Tipp stun Cork to earn replay
Tipperary 1-14 Cork 2-11
An injury time point from corner back Niall Kelly earned gallant Tipperary another day out against Cork after the sides fought out a thrilling draw in the Munster football final at Semple Stadium, Thurles today.
Written off by many - the bookies favoured Cork to the tune of 8-1 on - in the build up to today’s clash, Tipperary proved they are a side of considerable worth and only for a sluggish period midway through the second half would have seen off Larry Tompkin’s side.
Tipperary started brightly and edged into a early lead with fine scores from full forward Peter Lambert and the consistently excellent Declan Browne. Corner forward Browne recorded three of his five first half scores inside the opening ten minutes, putting favourites Cork on the back foot from an early stage.
But Larry Tompkins’ side soon settled and pulled through that rocky period with a telling contribution of their own in the 17th minute. The lively Brendan Jer O’Sullivan breezed through the Tipperary defence to net and pull the sides level.
Both sides traded points after that with Browne adding to his tally and Cork’s Colm Corkery and Fionnan Murray knocking over a brace apiece.
Cork were fortunate to extend their lead when Tipperary ‘keeper Philly Ryan made a costly error two minutes before half-time. Brendan Jer O’Sullivan’s effort appeared to be sailing over the posts but dipped suddenly and crept in under the crossbar for a goal despite the flapping efforts of Ryan.
Cork were caught napping after the restart and gifted their opponents a chance to eat away at their half-time advantage. Browne - marked for the second half by the excellent Anthony Lynch - tapped over a free to put one between the sides.
But Tipperary turned the game on its head ten minutes into the half when substitute Benny Hickey found the net after Cork ‘keeper Kevin O’Dwyer had made a fine stop from Browne at close range. The goal put Tipperary back in front.
Tipperary, despite having increased their lead even further, lost focus and Cork took advantage of their opponents slack use of possession and decisiveness in front of the posts. Colm Corkery scored three frees in an eight minute period to level the match.
The captain then booted over a fine score from play to put the Rebels a point up with the game edging into injury time. Tipperary, who up until that period endured a 20 minute period with no score, broke up field with renewed confidence and dramatically equalised through defender Noel Kelly who raced up the far touchline unnoticed and positioned himself in front of the posts where he calmly fisted over to force the replay.