Cork 2-13 Tipperary 0-13
A WELL-DESERVED but hard-earned victory for Cork in this Littlewood's Division 2 League clash in Drom-Inch as they got their campaign off to a perfect start.
With their midfield pairing of Lauren Callanan and Rachel Harty on top in the early stages, they enjoyed the better of the opening half exchanges and a Rachel Harty point settled Cork into the game.
Both sides had first-half goal chances and it was Cork who availed of their opportunity with Finola Neville finishing a Hayley Ryan free to the net on 20 minutes, from the puck out Tipperary attacked and Cork were let off the hook as Niamh Loughnane’s shot on goal hit the butt of the upright and hopped wide.
Having dominated the opening half Cork led 1-10 to 0-5 at the break but they were pinned to their collars in the third quarter as Tipperary took control and pushed Cork into their own half they held them scoreless for twenty minutes as they cut the Cork lead to a goal.
Emptying their bench Cork upped the pace again and they grabbed a vital goal with Clodagh Finn sending a superb groundstroke to the net, a score that upset the Tipp momentum and settled Cork’s nerves.
Cork dominated the opening half and showing huge hunger tore into the game from the off, Harty's point was replied to by Jill Ann Quirke with a Tipp point from play. With Aoife Hurley, and Ali Smith pointing Tipperary’s reply was a Jenny Grace pointed free.
Twice the sides swapped points. Finola Neville showing her strength and experience at full-forward proving a hand full for the Tipp defence and when Hayley Ryan’s long delivery from a free hung in the air Neville showed her craft flicking it to the net to stretch Cork's advantage 1-7 to 0-3 with 10 minutes to the break.
Jenny Grace and Hayley Ryan exchanged pointed frees but Cork finished the half stronger to lead by eight at the short whistle Aoife Hurley and Ali Smith on target.
On the resumption Tipperary were a different side, switching the excellent Jenny Grace to mid field and introducing Leah Heffernan and Gemma Fox they took control with Grace driving them forward as she showed her physical strength.
Inside two minutes of the half Cork had a goal chance wide but from her on Tipp took over, twice Jenny Grace converted frees before Cork left them off the hook with a penalty send wide by Neville. Jill Ann Quirke, Gemma Fox and Jenny Grace had Tipperary within a goal as they kept the pressure on but a superb move saw Aoife Hurley take on the Tipp defence and part to Finn who grabbed the score of the day an absolute gem of a ground shot that flew along the wet surface to the net.
Granted a lifeline Cork upped the pace Smith, Finn and Neville had points as Grace replied with two, Sinead Maher and Grace had late Tipperary points but goals win games and on the day two were enough to get Cork over the line.
F Neville 1-3, C Finn 1-1, A Smith 0-4, A Hurley 0-2 H Ryan 0-2 f, R Harty 0-1.
J Grace 0-9 f, J A Quirke 0-3, G Fox, S Maher 0-1 each.
S Beausang; E Flanagan, N O’Leary, A Crowley; A Moloney (c), A O'Callaghan, N Kilcommins; L Callanan, R Harty; C O’Callaghan, H Ryan, M Barrett; A Smith, F Neville, A Hurley.
M Murphy for C O’Callaghan (38), C Finn for M Barrett (42), K Walsh for H Ryan (53), C Daly for E Flanagan (57), K O’Keeffe for A Smith (58), H Sexton for A O’Callaghan (62).
S Quigley; L Heffernan, C Brennan, C Ryan; M Quigley, M Ryan, E Carey; C Ryan, C Browne; C Dwan, J Grace, N Loughnane; J A Quirke, S Meagher, C Hogan.
L Heffernan for C Dwan (h-t), G Fox for N Loughnane (39), N Long fort L Heffernan (44), E Bourke for C Browne(45).
Barry Nea (Westmeath).