Cork lose to Tipp but bigger concern is red card for Ashling Thompson

Rebels could be without one of their in-form players for the All-Ireland camogie semi-final
Cork lose to Tipp but bigger concern is red card for Ashling Thompson

Cork's Saoirse McCarthy tussles with Tipperary's Aoife McGrath during the Glen Dimplex All-Ireland Senior Camogie Championship at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Cork 1-16 Tipperary 1-17 

A HOME defeat for Cork in Páirc Uí Rinn on Saturday but already semi-final qualified the result wasn’t the key factor. 

What Matthew Twomey wanted was a strong performance heading into the semi-final in three weeks. The talking point after the game, and it’s a big problem, is that Ashling Thompson got a straight red after the final whistle for words with the referee. 

She more than likely will now miss the semi-final. Galway and Kilkenny drew meaning Galway topped the group on scoring difference. Cork and Galway are through to the last four while the quarter-finals are Kilkenny-Dublin and Waterford-Limerick.

Maybe it’s no harm that issues were highlighted here, Cork were exposed in a number of areas.

Sarsfields' Molly Lynch started in place of Amy Lee in goal. Lynch needed game time and got it in front of a fine crowd; Cork's home games have been well supported this year.

It was the strangest of starts with two goals inside the opening minute. A quickly-taken free after 15 seconds was caught by full-forward Cait Devane. She caught the high delivery on the edge of the square and needed just one glance to rattle the net. 

From the puck-out, a deft pass from Sigerson to the inflight Hayes whose long strike looked to be going over. Challenged by goalkeeper Áine Slattery it reflected into the net.

Despite being named 18 on the program, Orla Cronin withdrew from the Cork panel late this week. She hasn’t had it easy of late and a number of niggling injuries ensured she couldn’t get a run at training or matches. 

She decided to take a step back and unquestionably she is a huge loss. Cronin has been one of Cork’s most consistent forwards over the past four years, her intelligent movement, distribution and scoring ability made her an invaluable asset.

It was a strong opening quarter for Tipp. Cork looked disjointed, the visitors looking strong and confident, making you wonder how they had only one win to date in their group, albeit having two draws. They picked off some lovely points from distance and by the end of the third quarter had five different scorers on the board and led 1-6 to 1-1.

Cork settled and three points on the bounce from Hannah Looney, Cliona Healy and Katrina Mackey left two between the sides.

Libby Coppinger was having a strong test and battle with Cait Devane, both having good moments, and those challenges at this stage of the championship are worth their weight in goal to Cork’s full-back. Devane struck a free before Healy and Sorcha McCartan hit two.

McCartan would have been happy at halftime with her performance after her long absence. She was lively, gave some nimble passes and hit two points, one a wonderful over-the-shoulder point.

Cork's Amy O'Connor wins possession of the sliotar from Tipperary's Ereena Fryday. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork's Amy O'Connor wins possession of the sliotar from Tipperary's Ereena Fryday. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

A lovely point by Clodagh McIntyre was matched with an equally impressive Chloe Sigerson one and Tipp led 1-8 to 1-7 at the break with Cork coming back out with wind advantage.

Cork needed a better second-half performance. Their first wasn’t the standard of what’s going to be required in the semi-final. 

t didn’t happen. It was point for point before a two-pointer sideline cut by Eimear McGrath gave Tipp a four-point advantage entering the last quarter.

The gap was five entering the final 10 minutes. A brilliant Cork crowd got behind their team. Five points on the trot for Cork and the sides were level. Devane pointed a Tipp free. Cork had a chance with a distance free but with Sigerson now on the bench, it fell to Amy O’Connor. 

It narrowly went wide. A win for Tipp but not enough for them to advance, Dublin pipping them on scoring difference. For Cork, a lot to do.

Scorers for Cork: C Healy 0-4, L Hayes 1-0, A O’Connor 0-2 (0-1 f), K Mackey 0-3, S McCartan, C Sigerson, H Looney 0-2 each, A Thompson 0-1.

Tipperary: C Devane 1-7 (0-5 f), E McGrath 0-3 (0-2 sl), G O’Brien 0-2, C McIntyre 0-2, C Hennessy, E Fryday, M Eviston, 0-1 each. 

CORK: M Lynch; M Murphy, L Coppinger, M Cahalane; L Hayes, A Thompson, S McCarthy; K O’Mahony, H Looney; K Mackey; F Keating, C Healy; A O’Connor, C Sigerson, S McCartan. 

Subs: E Murphy for F Keating (51), O Cahalane for C Sigerson (53).

TIPPERARY: A Slattery; J Bourke, M Ryan, E Loughman; C Quirke, A McGrath, M Eviston; C Maher, C Maher; C Hennessy, G O’Brien, E Fryday; E McGrath C Devane, C McIntyre.

Subs: N Treacy for M Eviston (h-t).

Referee: Justin Heffernan (Wexford).

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