Cork v Tipp: Talking points ahead of huge game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh

A massive crowd of almost 40,000 is expected on Saturday night as the old rivals collide in a crucial Munster hurling clash
Cork v Tipp: Talking points ahead of huge game at Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Patrick Horgan of Cork in action against Jack Fagan and Conor Prunty of Waterford. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile


The Cork faithful flowed out of Páirc Uí Chaoimh last Sunday in high spirits.

The Munster opener was a must-win and the Rebels laid down a strong marker in Pat Ryan's first championship game. Rob Downey, newcomer Brian Roche, and Darragh Fitzgibbon were the standout performers but everyone in red was on song.

What was expected to be a closely fought contest against a Waterford team that should have taken down Limerick a week earlier never sparked to life. The Déise, even without their marquee sweeper Tadhg de Búrca, set up to cut off the Cork goal threat but the tradeoff was acres of space just beyond midfield which Conor Lehane and Fitzgibbon, especially, exploited in the first quarter.

Cork build up an early advantage and even though Waterford could have raised a few green flags in the second half if it wasn't for some timely interventions from Patrick Collins and Damien Cahalane, the result was settled long before full-time.

There might have been a buzz down the Marina in the aftermath but absolutely no one was getting carried away. Tipperary will be a different sceál completely.

Tipp had last weekend off so they'll hit Leeside on Saturday night refreshed and eager to build on their outstanding victory in Ennis. Liam Cahill is in his first campaign as Premier boss and was thrilled to see his charges pounce for five goals against Clare, Jake Morris the tormentor in chief.

Jake Morris did the damage for Tipp in Clare. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Jake Morris did the damage for Tipp in Clare. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Waterford hurled tentatively last weekend, Davy Fitzgerald unable to get them firing. That certainly won't be the case in front of a heaving Páirc tomorrow.

Morris was Tipp's lethal weapon in Ennis but free-taker and ball-winner Jason Forde and playmaker Noel McGrath will take serious minding too. In Cathal Barrett, the Premier have one of the best man-markers in the business and Ronan Maher's aerial prowess will test Cork's long puck-outs.

The Old Firm winner will be in pole position to emerge from Munster.  


An impressive crowd of 29,104 was in the Páirc for Cork-Waterford but there will be considerably more for the visit of Tipp. They'll bring a larger away support and the Rebels' form will draw in more locals. 

Beyond that, the fact RTÉ doesn't have live coverage of what is the most attractive hurling or football game this weekend will also be a factor. The GAAGo streaming service offers comprehensive coverage, matching Sky Sports' excellent offering is has replaced, but the prospect of paying €12 as a one-off or subscribing for €79 is off-putting for many.

What's most frustrating in regards to GAAGo is that it's simply not a viable option for many elderly fans or those in rural locations with poor broadband. And they might not be in a position to attend games in person. 

Clare's epic victory over Limerick wasn't on RTÉ and Cork-Tipp falls into the same category. 


A subplot across this summer is whether Patrick Horgan can hold off TJ Reid as the all-time championship top scorer.

RTE’s Mike McCartney interviews TJ Reid of Kilkenny after the Galway game. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie
RTE’s Mike McCartney interviews TJ Reid of Kilkenny after the Galway game. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

The Kilkenny colossus was solid in the draw with Galway last weekend and finished with a tally of 0-9, eight frees. Horgan had 0-8, two from play, the following day.

That means there are now just 10 points between them in the scoring charts, Horgan on 22-524 (590 points) and Reid at 28-496 (580).

This weekend, the Cats travel to Corrigan Park to take on Antrim, so we can expect another decent haul from placed balls for Reid. There is an extra match in the Leinster championship, with six counties, while Kilkenny are certainties to make the provincial final, which isn't the case for Cork. That could influence whether Horgan or Reid are on top of the pile by mid-July. 

Incidentally, Reid is now second in all-time championship appearances, along with Brick Walsh, and just one behind Derek McNicholas, who featured for Westmeath for the 77th time in their loss to Dublin.

Horgan has 72 championship games under his belt, with fourth-placed Brendan Cummins on 73. Back as a starter, the Glen club man will overtake him in the coming weeks.

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