Three key factors in the Cork hurlers' draw with Tipperary

Rebels are unbeaten after their first two games of the 2021 Allianz NHL
Three key factors in the Cork hurlers' draw with Tipperary

Tipperary's Brendan Maher with Darragh Fitzgibbon of Cork at the final whistle on Saturday night. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

1. Sticking to the process

Cork’s style of play has Donal O’Grady’s unmistakable imprint on it and it was interesting to see some negative reaction to it on Saturday night – Tipperary journalist Shane Brophy likened it to lacrosse. Whatever about the optics, it seems to be the method that suits Cork best and there was a commitment to it on Saturday, even when the game looked to be going Tipp’s way.

Cork managed to get back in front by keeping to what they were doing, even if they ultimately had to settle for a draw.

2. Eye for goal

As pleasing as the five goals were against Waterford the previous week, there must have been some sense that it was a flash in the pan and Cork would return to a 1-22 or 0-24-like tally this time around, especially away to such strong opposition.

In fact, it was the points tally which was below what would have been expected – an unbalanced frees tally a factor, perhaps – as Cork continued to show a willingness to go for green flags, as early as Jack O’Connor’s second-minute chance.

3. Clean sheet

Against the positive green-flag tally at the attacking end is the fact that Cork have conceded just one goal in two matches, and that a garbage-time strike from Waterford’s Stephen Bennett last week. The Tipp faithful were disappointed that they couldn’t forge any openings but the firepower in the panel is such that a shutout doesn’t happen by accident.

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