Cork 2-17 Tipperary 1-12
CORK lived up to their position as warm favourites by spoiling Tipperary’s day in front of a crowd of just under 43,000 in the 1980 Munster senior hurling semi-final in Thurles.
It was a red letter day for the home county, who officially opened the Ryan Stand, commemorating the former chairman and president of the Tipp county board, the Very Rev MK Canon Ryan.
But, the majority of the 10,500 spectators in the new stand were left disappointed by another dismal showing from the Premier County who were now entering a decade in the doldrums.
Cork showed why they were 2/5 with the bookies by dominating practically the whole game, turning around 1-6 to 0-6 ahead at the interval, having played against the howling wind and rain.
Seanie O’Leary scored a trademark goal after 12 minutes following Tim Crowley’s cross from the left and the ace goal-poacher shrugged off three defenders to palm the ball in for a priceless score.
Try as they might Tipp’s forwards couldn’t penetrate a brilliant Cork defence in which all six backs contributed immeasurably to their team’s dominance.
Brian Murphy gave, arguably, his best display in a Cork jersey while Martin O’Doherty and Johnny Crowley were colossal figures through the centre.
There was a happy return, too, for John Horgan, who had lost his place after the drawn league final with Limerick.
John Fenton ruled midfield alongside Tom Cashman while the ability of Crowley and Jimmy Barry-Murphy to keep the ball moving from the wings was another important aspect.
Ray Cummins played a deep attacking role intelligently and Cork’s superiority would have been further enhanced on the scoreboard but for a dozen wides in the opening period.
Pat Horgan played a significant role at centre-forward, too, helping dilute the influence of home centre-back Noel O’Dwyer, who only performed to his best in patches.
Tipp fought bravely on the resumption and trailed by only a couple of points
when Cork’s selectors made a number of switches, which paid an immediate dividend.
Crowley moved to midfield, Cashman to right half-forward and Barry-Murphy to left. Within three minutes the tie was effectively settled.
Crowley was again instrumental in the attack, which was helped on by Eamonn O’Donoghue, who played a super ball into space for the on-rushing Cashman to slam home a brilliant goal after 47 minutes.
Cork’s lead was now eight points and while Tipp reduced with a Seamus Bourke goal, 13 minutes from the end, the visitors’ response was telling.
In the space of two minutes, Cashman, Cummins, and Fenton rattled over points to leave no one in any doubt about the outcome.
In the end, Cork’s eight-point winning margin flattered Tipp, who were 6/4 before the off. Cork set-up a decider with Limerick aiming to defend their provincial crown in the process.
Scorers for Cork: J Fenton 0-7 (0-6 f), T Cashman 1-2, R Cummins 0-4, S O’Leary 1-0, P Horgan 0-2, E O’Donoghue and J Barry-Murphy 0-1 each
Scorers for Tipperary: S Bourke 1-3 (0-3 f), T Butler 0-4 (0-2 f), P Queally 0-2, J Kehoe, E O’Shea and G Stapleton 0-1 each
CORK: T Murphy; B Murphy, M O’Doherty, J Horgan; D Coughlan, J Crowley, D MacCurtain; J Fenton, T Cashman; J Barry-Murphy, P Horgan, T Crowley; S O’Leary, R Cummins, E O’Donoghue.
TIPPERARY: P McLoughney; P Williams, J Keogh, T O’Connor; P Fitzell, N O’Dwyer, D Cahill; G Stapleton, P Fox; E O’Shea, J Williams, J Kehoe; M Murphy, T Butler, P Queally.
Subs: S Bourke for Murphy, J Grace for Stapleton and P Ryan for Cahill injured.
Referee: JJ Landers (Waterford).