Tipperary upset the odds to end 85-year wait for 10th Munster title

Michael Quinlivan shines as Tipp beat Cork to secure first provincial title since 1935

Tipperary celebrate their Munster final win over Cork. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Tipperary celebrate their Munster final win over Cork. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

Tipperary 0-17 Cork 0-14

Tipperary stunned favourites Cork to end an 85-year wait for their 10th Munster senior football title at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.

And nobody would begrudge the Premier County their hour of glory because Tipp were richly deserving of their victory as Cork only led once throughout and that was for less than a minute.

The outsiders bossed matters throughout and played the game on their terms, honouring the 100th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in the perfect manner.

Tipp were truly heroic in the way they set about their business and how they implemented manager David Power’s plan.

Evan Comerford kicks a free during Tipperary’s win over Cork. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Evan Comerford kicks a free during Tipperary’s win over Cork. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Midfielders Liam Casey and Steven O’Brien dominated in the air and in Michael Quinlivan and Conor Sweeney, Tipp supplied the best forwards on view.

Aussie Rules player Colin O’Riordan was drafted into the side before the throw-in and his presence also helped Tipp in the middle third of the pitch.

Defensively, Tipp also had Cork’s measure, the home side’s cause not helped by a first-half injury to Luke Connolly, who didn’t reappear on the resumption.

“This is a very emotional win and I always believed this was going to be our day. Today Tipp football needed to win a senior title and we played seriously good football in the process,” said Power.

Tipp were full value for their 0-11 to 0-7 half-time lead, setting out their stall with a Sweeney ‘mark’ after just 30 seconds.

Cork came under pressure immediately as the visitors took an early grip to sweep three points clear in as many minutes before the home side eventually settled.

Connolly and Mark Collins tied matters after 10 minutes and they were still level at 0-5 apiece by the opening water-break after Connolly had edged Cork in front for the first time.

But, it was Tipp who seized control in the closing stages, outscoring Cork by 0-5 to 0-1 with Quinlivan finding the range with two beauties from either flank.

Cork were struggling to make any impression up front with a slow, laboured approach and when Colm O’Callaghan fouled the ball, Tipp countered through Kevin Fahey for a 0-10 to 0-6 advantage approaching the break.

Although John O’Rourke ended a 12-minute barren spell with a much needed score, fittingly it was left to Quinlivan to close out the half, leaving Tipp primed and Cork in serious trouble.

There was little to indicate a change in pattern during the third quarter with just three scores, Sweeney again adding a second mark inside 30 seconds before Collins and Brian Hurley left it 0-12 to 0-9 at the second water break.

Tipp had a goal disallowed, as well, Casey finishing to the net only for Cork to escape with a free out for a debateable square infringement.

It didn’t deter the new champions, though, as they moved five points ahead, when Cork produced their spell spell to hit three unanswered points for 0-14 to 0-12 after 63 minutes.

Tipp kept their composure, however, and quickfire points from a free by ’keeper Evan Comerford and Quinlivan gave them breathing space again.

David Power reacts at the full time whistle after Tipperary’s win over Cork. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
David Power reacts at the full time whistle after Tipperary’s win over Cork. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Cork needed a goal, but it rarely looked like materialising and time ran out on them after three minutes of injury-time, prompting great scenes of jubilation in the Tipp camp.

“The big thing over the last couple of weeks coming into the game was that we always believed we could beat Cork,” added Power.

“I didn’t have to say that because the players knew after beating them at minor and under-21 levels over the years. And they also won in 2016. There was always that belief in the panel.”

It was a disappointing end to Cork manager Ronan McCarthy’s three-year tenure. He said it wasn’t the time for quick decisions about his future.

Tipperary: E Comerford (0-1, free); A Campbell, J Feehan, C O’Shaughnessy; B Maher, K Fahey (0-1), R Kiely; S O’Brien, L Casey (0-2, one mark’); Conal Kennedy, M Quinlivan (0-5, one free), C O’Riordan; B Fox, C Sweeney, (0-7, two frees, two marks), Colman Kennedy. Subs: L Boland for Colman Kennedy (52 mins), P Feehan for Fahey (53 mins), E Moloney for Fox (61 mins), P Looram for Kiely (64 mins), P Austin (0-1) for Casey (70 mins).

Cork: MA Martin; K O’Donovan, M Shanley, P Ring; T Corkery, S Meehan, M Taylor; I Maguire, captain, K O’Hanlon; J O’Rourke (0-2), C O’Callaghan (0-1), R Deane; M Collins (0-4, four free), B Hurley (0-1), L Connolly (0-4, two frees, one 45) . Subs: C O’Mahony (0-1, one free) for Connolly (half-time), S Ryan for Ring (39 mins), S White (0-1) for O’Callaghan (43 mins), M Keane for O’Hanlon (58 mins), M Hurley for Taylor (64 mins).

Referee: M Deegan (Laois).

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