Allianz Hurling League – Cork vs Tipperary Report1
Hurling League – Division 1A – Cork 0-26 Tipperary 1-11
On a cool crisp evening on Leeside, Tipperary made the journey to Pairc Ui Rinn to face Cork in round one of the 2013 Allianz Hurling League in front of 6,381 paying spectators. Tipperary arrived with a strong starting line-up looking to banish any hangover from a disappointing 2012, while Cork are still in a period of transition under Jimmy Barry Murphy.
Under the watchful eye of Barry Kelly the game got off to a lively start with Tipperary looking to make their mark in the physical stakes. Somewhat surprisingly however, The Rebels were well equipped to deal with the onslaught and some bruising tackles from the Tipperary half backs were dealt with suitable replies from the new look Cork half forward line lead by the impressive Paudi O’Sullivan.
The game opened with a nicely pointed free from Tipperary’s ever-reliable Noel McGrath and ended with a successful John O’Dwyer effort from play, however few would have expected the rebels response in between, reeling off 14 unanswered points to leave the scoreboard reading 0-14 – 0-2 at the interval. A series of four unerring Pat Horgan frees were followed up by fine efforts from Stephen Moylan, and Christopher Joyce to leave the score at 0-6 to 0-1 early in the first half. Perhaps the most notable moment of the game however was a fine point from the impressive Lorcan McLoughlan who flicked over the bar from close range from a Pat Horgan Handpass leaving the score reading 9 points to 1 after 15 minutes.
In reality the contest was over at half time, and while the introduction of Lar Corbett and Eoin Kelly, including a fine goal from the latter, brought the score closer to respectability and ensured the spoils were shared in the second half, there was little doubt of the outcome following Cork’s dominant first half. Such was the completeness of the Cork performance it is hard to omit any players from mention, however the performances of Shane O’Neill, William Egan, Christopher Joyce, Daniel Kearney, Paudi O’Sullivan and Pat Horgan deserve special note. On the Tipperary side, Padraic Maher, Noel Mcgrath and John O’Dwyer were commendable.
Allianz Hurling League – Rebel rising?
The rebels would have cause to be optimistic after Saturday night’s result. Without their captain Pa Cronin, and pacey forwards Jamie Coughlan and Cathal Naughton, the performance was impressive on the surface. The bare result however, must be treated with caution. There are several points to note after the opening encounter in the 2013 National Hurling League
1) Tipperary have a lot of work to do…
The application and execution of the Tipperary team leaves a lot to be desired. However this is not the first time Cork have impressively beaten Tipperary on leeside. Few will forget the 2010 Munster Championship demolition Cork inflicted on Tipperary. Tipperary won the All-Ireland later in the year.
2) Hunting in packs…
Cork were relentless in their work-rate on Saturday night. Noticeably bigger and stronger, the opining overtures of Tipperary physicality seemed to be relished by the rebels. There was a swarm of Cork players quick to close down their opponents never allowing them to settle into any rhythm.
3) Tactical Awareness
The tactical awareness of the Cork team has clearly been an area of strong attention during the off-season. Cork had a very noticeable plan to use the ball quickly and intelligently. The forwards were eager to withdraw to deep roles freeing up the wing-backs and mid-fielders to receive quick ball cleared from defence. There was also noticeable fast diagonal balls for the Cork forwards to run onto creating space in the inside line.
4) Work Rate
The work rate of the Cork team was impressive. Quick to close down any Tipperary impetus, the Cork players were resolute in their task for 70 minutes . This is a noticeable development from last season, and one that is necessary to compete at the highest level in the modern game where fitness and strength play such a large role.
Next up for Tipperary is a home meeting with Kilkenny on March 10th, while Cork travel to Dungarvan on the same day to meet a Waterford side sure to be pleased after their victory over Clare on Sunday.
CORK (Allianz Hurling League – vs Tipperary): A Nash; S O’Neill, S McDonnell, C O’Sullivan; S White, C Joyce (0-01), W Egan (0-01); D Kearney (0-03), L McLoughlin (0-01); C McCarthy (0-01), P O’Sullivan (0-01), C Lehane (0-01); S Moylan (0-02), L O’Farrell (0-01), P Horgan (0-13, 0-09f).
Subs used: T Kenny for Kearney (60 mins), M Walsh (0-01) for McLoughlin (63), A Mannix for O’Farrell (67).
TIPPERARY (Allianz Hurling League – vs Cork): B Cummins; P Stapleton, P Curran, C O’Brien; D Maher, Padraic Maher, B Maher; S McGrath, J Ryan; N McGrath (0-03, 0-03f), J O’Dwyer (0-03), Patrick Maher; S Bourke, B O’Meara, S Callanan.
Subs used: A Ryan (0-01) for J Ryan (26 mins), L Corbett (0-02) for Callanan (32), J Forde (0-02) for Patrick Maher (half-time), E Kelly (1-00) for O’Meara (45), M Cahill for Stapleton (60).