McGrath goal gives Tipp the edge

Sun, Jun 24, 2012, 01:00

Noel McGrath’s goal proved to be the decisive score as Tipperary beat Cork by a solitary point in what was a thrilling Munster hurling championship semi-final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Tipperary will now face Waterford in next month’s Munster decider, while Cork will now have to make their way through the qualifiers if they are to realise their All-Ireland ambitions.

Cork took an early lead thanks to points from Pat Horgan, Jamie Coughlan and Paudie O’Sullivan but Pa Bourke and Noel McGrath scores kept Tipperary within touching distance throughout the first half.

Patrick 'Bonner' Maher was Tipperary’s main focus of attack but Cork captain Horgan kept pointing to ensure that the Rebels held a half-time lead of 0-14 to 0-12.

The introduction of Lar Corbett shortly before half-time appeared to give Tipperary more of a goal-threat and when the goal did arrive he had a hand in the build-up, before Noel McGrath smashed the ball into the Cork net to put Tipperary in front.

Just as Tipperary appeared to be gaining momentum John O’Brien was sent off for a needless second bookable offence. Cork substitute Cian McCarthy then reduced the arrears to two points but in the final minutes was guilty of firing a goal-scoring chance wide of the target, allowing Tipperary to hold on for victory.

In Ulster, the margin of victory was the same as Down staged a remarkable second-half comeback to reach their first Ulster final since 2003.

Monaghan dominated the first half at the Athletic Grounds, with Paul Finlay and Conor McManus scoring the majority of Monaghan’s 11 first-half points.

Only a penalty late in the first half kept Down in the game. Conor Laverty was brought down clumsily by Vinny Corey which allowed Aidan Carr to net the resulting penalty.

Despite the penalty conversion Down still trailed Monaghan on a score-line of 0-11 to 1-2 at the break.

Down emerged for the second half with a wind advantage and a vigour that had been lacking during their first half display.

Laverty was Monaghan’s tormentor in chief and when Benny Coulter scored with his first touch having been sprung from the bench, the improbable comeback began to look possible.

Aidan Carr levelled with a free-kick on the 45 metre line before Darren O’Hagan fisted the winning point over on 70 minutes.

Mayo easily reached the Connacht football championship final by crushing Leitrim at McHale Park. The final score saw Mayo win comfortably on a score-line of 4-20 to 0-10. Mayo’s goals were scored by Alan Freeman, Andy Moran (2) and Kevin McLaughlin.

Results

Munster senior hurling championship semi-final

Cork 0-24 Tipperary 1-22

Connacht senior football championship semi-final

Mayo 4-20 Leitrim 0-10

Ulster senior football Championship semi-final

Down 1-14 Monaghan 1-13

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