SHC semi-final: Terrific Tipp run Rebels ragged
August 17, 2014
Cork's Lorcan McLoughlin and Lar Corbett of Tipperary
Tipperary will meet Kilkenny in the All-Ireland hurling final on September 7 after producing a tremendous display to beat favourites Cork by 10 points at Croke Park.
Goals from Seamus Callanan in the sixth and 47th minutes paved the way for an emphatic win for Eamon O'Shea's revitalised side who return to the final after a three-year lapse. A bumper attendance of 68,728 flocked to GAA HQ in anticipation of a classic encounter, but it never materialised as Tipp bossed the game from start to finish.
Padraig Maher, Brendan Maher, James Woodlock, Shane McGrath, Patrick 'Bonnar' Maher, John O'Dwyer and the aforementioned Callanan - who top-scored with 2-4 - were outstanding on a day when Jimmy Barry-Murphy's Munster champions never turned up. They trailed by 0-8 to 1-7 at half-time after shooting nine first half wides and were a beaten docket when Callanan bagged his second goal 12 minutes after the restart.
The victory means Tipp now lead the head-to-head with 38 championship wins to Cork's 37. Since losing to Limerick in the Munster SHC semi-final, they have turned their season around and will relish the challenge of facing a Kilkenny team who have held the Indian sign over them since the 2010 All-Ireland final.
Alan Cadogan opened the scoring after just 35 seconds for the Rebels, but they played second fiddle to a more economical Tipp team for much of the first half. A stunning Seamus Callanan goal sparked the Premier into the life.
The in-form full forward beat Anthony Nash with a rocket of a shot into the roof of the net after Shane O'Neill had failed to cut out Shane McGrath's centre by allowing the ball to slip from his grasp.
James Woodlock immediately added a point before a John O'Dwyer brace extended the underdogs' lead to five points, 1-3 to 0-1, after 10 minutes.
Aidan Walsh registered Cork's second point, only for Callanan to reply with the game's first pointed free. Having struggled to win primary possession in the opening quarter, the Munster champions were now beginning to find their rhythm as Conor Lehane (easily Cork's best player) set up Seamus Harnedy for a good score.
But their attempts to close the gap were undermined by poor shooting as Pat Horgan, Bill Cooper and Harnedy posted four wides in-a-row. Goalkeeper Nash finally made one count when he sent over a monster of a free from his own 45-metre line, but Shane McGrath - on his 40th championship appearance - replied with a pair of points in the 20th and 22nd minutes to re-establish Tipp's five-point advantage, 1-6 to 0-4.
It was left to Nash to rally Cork once again when he landed another free from long range. Captain Pa Cronin, who recovered from a leg injury sustained in the Munster final five weeks ago to making the Cork starting line-up, then made a terrific catch from a Nash clearance to tee up Lehane for the Rebels' sixth point in the 27th minute.
John O'Dwyer kept them at arm's length with a great effort from under the Hogan Stand, but Cork finished the half the stronger as points from Lorcan McLoughlin and Pat Horgan (free) left just two between the sides at the break.
Tipp's dominance in the middle of the park continued after the restart when Shane McGrath and James Woodlock registered their third and second points respectively. And their five-point lead was restored when Callanan scored under no pressure.
The Cork management reacted to their side's lethargy by making a double substitution in the 45th minute which saw Paudie O'Sullivan and Stephen Moylan replace Pa Cronin and Alan Cadogan.
At the same time, a subdued Pat Horgan tapped over his second free before the game took a decisive turn in Tipperary's favour when Callanan beat Anthony Nash for a second time with a clinical finish to the top right hand corner after Patrick 'Bonnar' Maher had done the donkey work.
Suddenly finding themselves seven points clear for the first time, Eamon O'Shea really turned the screw after that with a succession of well-taken scores.
Noel McGrath put his name on the scoresheet before John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer took centre stage with three points to bring his tally to 0-6, with Conor Lehane replying in between. James Woodlock lofted over his third before Lehane's goal attempt was tipped over by Darren Gleeson.
It continued to be one-way traffic, however, as Callanan landed two more points and Noel McGrath got his second to extend Tipp's lead to 13.
As Tipp emptied the bench, Cork managed a consolation goal three minutes from the end when substitute Jamie Coughlan centred for another replacement, Rob O'Shea, to finish to the net.
Cork's day was summed up when Darren Gleeson made a brilliant double-save to deny Pat Horgan at the death.
Tipperary: D Gleeson; J Barry, P Stapleton, C Barrett; K Bergin, B Maher, Padraic Maher; S McGrath (0-3), J Woodlock (0-3); G Ryan, Patrick Maher, N McGrath (0-2); S Callanan (2-4, 1f), J O'Dwyer (0-6), L Corbett. Subs: D Maher for Ryan (57), E Kelly for Corbett (60), J Forde for Patrick Maher (63), M Cahill for S McGrath (65), C O'Brien for Woodlock (69).
Cork: A Nash (0-2, 2f); C Joyce, S McDonnell, S O'Neill; D Cahalane, M Ellis, L McLoughlin; D Kearney, A Walsh (0-1); S Harnedy (0-1), B Cooper, C Lehane (0-4); P Horgan (0-2, 2f), P Cronin, A Cadogan (0-1). Subs: P O'Sullivan for Cadogan (46), S Moylan for Cronin (46), R O'Shea (1-0) for Walsh (55), J Coughlan for Harnedy (64).
Referee: J Owens (Wexford).
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