Tipperary strolls to victory in Munster quarter-final
Rain was no excuse for a Cork performance that made it an easy win for the home side
Tipperary’s Kieran Bergin with Cork’s Brian Lawton in the Munster quarter-final. Photograph: Inpho/Ken Sutton
Cork’s Killian Burke clashes with Tipperary’s John McGrath at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Inpho/Ken Sutton
Not one for the pantheon, this. On a day borrowed from monsoon season on some far off sub-tropical island, dear old grey and battered Thurles saw Tipperary skip through to the Munster quarter-final with a 0-22 to 0-13 win over Cork.
That Mick Ryan’s team never needed to be anything better than slightly above par here was a pointed indictment of their opposition. Rarely can Tipp have progressed in the Munster Championship past Cork with such ease.
No question, Cork’s decline was the story out of Semple Stadium. Kieran Kingston’s side had saved a rotten league campaign in the last five minutes of the final game and the word filtering up from Leeside ever since was of a squad on the up, mad for road and ready for an ambush. Indeed, it was a wonder we were able to see them at all yesterday, so long was the grass that was reputed to have been hiding them.
You would expect hurlers from a county that has taken the brunt of months of bad weather to be better in the rain. Not so. Cork looked to always have been in need of another touch, another step, another half-second. Tipp, to their credit, provided them with very little in the way of that.
William Egan played as sweeper for Cork but his positioning contrived to make him ineffective. Tipp scored 14 points in the first half, mostly regulation scores from John O’Dwyer, Seamie Callanan and John McGrath where they came out to collect diagonal ball and split the posts shooting over their shoulder. Egan was behind their marker each time, watching the ball float over the bar. Granted, Tipp never threatened a goal but it seemed a high price to pay for the lack of balance in the Cork team. Their forwards were outnumbered every time as a result.
Lost the breaksPat Ryan
It’s not as if Tipp were spectacular either. True, some of their score-taking was sumptuous – especially from Callanan and O’Dwyer. Callanan fashioned one glorious point in the first half from the left sideline, over his shoulder, all the time looking away from the posts to kid his marker Damien Cahalane that he was hoping to tap a pass back to a teammate.
But they were never humming in the way Tipp can hum. They never had to be. In that respect, it’s hard to know where they stand after this. Limerick surely won’t be as accommodating a month from now.
“It was pretty solid,” said Mick Ryan. “Pretty solid. That was a very difficult day for forwards. Even a slow back like myself might have done all right on a day like that. It made your use of the ball far more important – you had to be careful with what you did out there . . . We were okay for long periods but not all the time.”
And yet enough to dish out a hammering. Worrying times on Leeside.