Cork 3-14 Tipperary 0-16
AN impressive opening win for Cork in the Littlewoods National League at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday.
Paudie Murray will be happy with the performance. His charges were lively and fluid with good passages of interplay and in those situations, they easily split Tipperary.
Cork’s half-back line of Hannah Looney, Laura Treacy and Laura Hayes were well on top, giving a good supply to Ashling Thompson and Katrina Mackey who’s running and offloads to their half-forward line had Tipperary at sixes and seven’s while trying to stop the onslaught.
Cork led 2-7 to 0-6 at half time and while both of Cork’s goals came from errors by Tipp goalkeeper Áine Slattery, albeit a good finish by Amy O’Connor for their first, Cork were full value for their advantage and on the run of play should have been further ahead.
Cork varied their game. Their speed and short passing had Tipperary not knowing which way to turn but at the same time, they attempted several shots from distance. Five had dropped short into the goalkeepers’ hands in the first quarter but that’s not overly concerning so early in the season and they were willing to take the chance.
Thompson scored three lovely points from out around the 45 as Cork looked in complete control of the game. Tipperary on the other hand were getting short-change from their attacks.
They tried to pull Cork out, but the Rebels held firm with their midfield also falling back to assist and Tipp’s passing wasn’t pinpoint accurate enough to break Cork down.
Four of Tipp's opening six points came from frees at the stick of Cáit Devane as they struggled to make progress, looking very rushed and panicky on the ball in that forward division. Amy Lee when required was fast off her line and a goal was never a threat.
As the second half got underway Tipperary attempted to push up more on Cork but Mackey and Thompson’s support was exceptional, helping their defence and minutes later striking points over the bar. As Thompson’s and Mackey’s work rate continued, scoring five points between them, Chloe Sigerson was getting the space and shots in even through the striking didn’t always go her way.
The game was over on 45 minutes as great work by Laura Treacy, a strong run by Hannah Looney led to Amy O’Connor blasting the net for Cork’s third goal. Tipp did hit a purple patch with five points on the trot bringing the gap down to five points and Amy Lee again was off her line fast to deny what could have developed into a goal, but it wasn’t enough.
Cork are now straight through to a quarter-final based on this win and it’s what Paudie Murray would have wanted at the start of the day.
Cork may be without a national league title since 2013 but they’ve been dominant in the championship since then with four titles as they continuously used the league to develop new players. He has no option but to travel that path this time around due to several retirements over the past few seasons.
While on the pitch he has 10 seasoned players, after that the average age is 20. Five subs were introduced, some making their debut. For that reason, Saturday’s league victory over Tipperary was a good start.
Good for players to get back out there. All the training in the world doesn’t compare to competition intensity.
A O’Connor 2-1, F Keating 1-2, A Thompson 0-3, O Cronin, C Sigerson 0-3 (0-1 f) each, K Mackey 0-2.
C Devane 0-10 (0-7 f), N Walsh 0-2, E Fryday 0-2, C McIntyre, G O’Brien 0-1 each.
A Lee; L Coppinger, A Egan, M Cahalane; H Looney, L Treacy, L Hayes; K Mackey, A Thompson; C Sigerson, O Cronin, C O’Sullivan; F Keating, A O’Connor, L Collins.
I O’Regan for L Collins, S McCarthy for C O’Sullivan (41), C Healy for O Cronin (45), C Dooley for M Cahalane (53), I Sheehan for F Keating (58).
A Slattery, J Bourke, M Ryan, C Quirke; M Eviston, K Kennedy, A McGrath; E Fryday, S Fryday; C Hennessy, N Walsh, G O’Brien, J Kelly, C Devane, C McIntyre.
E Loughnane for C Hennessy (31), E Heffernan for M Eviston, E McGrath for C McInytyre (45), G O’Toole for S Fryday (48).
Liz Dempsey (Kilkenny).