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Late Connolly goal puts Cork into Munster final as they survive Tipperary test

Cork only scored a single point in the first-half but still triumphed.

Colm O'Neill and Bill Maher battle for the ball.
Colm O'Neill and Bill Maher battle for the ball.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Cork 1-10
Tipperary 1-9

Fintan O’Toole reports from Páirc Uí Rinn

AGAIN CORK CLAIMED a one-point win in a Munster championship outing and again they received a severe examination.

A dramatic finale in this evening’s semi-final in Páirc Uí Rinn saw Cork’s Luke Connolly palm the ball to the net in the 70th minute after a free-flowing move, moments after Tipperary’s star forward Conor Sweeney had flicked home a goal at the other end.

4,570 supporters witnessed Cork close out the game from there and claim the honours on a night when they produced a wretched first-half display that saw them only record a single point.

Tipperary suffered a major setback in the 19th minute when All-Star Michael Quinlivan departed the game on a stretcher after landing badly on his ankle.

But they did have Sweeney in inspirational form as he finished with 1-5 for a Tipperary team that were ahead 0-4 to 0-1 at the interval.

Cork were much improved in the second-half with Paul Kerrigan, Kevin Crowley, Ian Maguire and Sean Powter spearheading their challenge.

A Munster final now beckons on 2 July, a prospect that had seemed remote at half-time here.

Tipperary moved the ball with purpose in the opening period – their half-back line of Bill Maher, Robbie Kiely and Jimmy Feehan were terrific – yet they should have enjoyed a more handsome advantage on the scoreboard as chances were spurned.

Yet when Sweeney snapped over a pair of fine points for Tipperary after the interval, Cork’s situation looked more precarious.

Yet trailing 0-6 to 0-1 in the 37th minute, they transformed the match as they powered into contention with six points without reply as Barry O’Driscoll’s 52nd minute score edged them ahead.

Cork were grateful as well to goalkeeper Ken O’Halloran for making a vital block to deny Liam Boland from netting for Tipperary during that time frame.

The final quarter was closely contested before Cork made a decisive break with captain Kerrigan and Colm O’Neill pushing them into a 0-10 to 0-8 lead in the 63rd minute.

Kevin O’Halloran boomed over a brilliant point for Tipperary before they celebrated wildly when substitute Colm O’Shaughnessy’s speculative long ball was flicked to the net by Sweeney.

Cork’s response was impressive and for a team frequently criticised, they showed admirable composure. From the resultant kickout the ball was transferred at speed from Michael Hurley to James Loughrey to Collins and finally to Connolly who applied the vital touch.

In a frantic finale Cork held onto possession and held Tipperary out to take the spoils.

Scorers for Cork: Luke Connolly 1-2, Paul Kerrigan 0-3, Donncha O’Connor 0-2 (0-1f), Barry O’Driscoll, Mark Collins, Colm O’Neill (0-1f) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Tipperary: Conor Sweeney 1-5 (0-1f), Liam McGrath, Liam Boland, Robbie Kiely, Kevin O’Halloran 0-1 each.

Cork

1. Ken O’Halloran (Bishopstown)

6. Michael Shields (St Finbarr’s)
3. Jamie O’Sullivan (Bishopstown)
7. Kevin Crowley (Millstreet)

10. Colm O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)
2. James Loughrey (Mallow
5. Tomas Clancy (Fermoy)

22. Ian Maguire (St Finbarr’s)
9. Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues)

18. Brian O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)
15. Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers – captain)
12. John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers)

13. Colm O’Neill (Ballyclough)
14. Peter Kelleher (Kilmichael)
23. Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers)

Subs

19. Donncha O’Connor (Ballydesmond) for Kelleher (30)
17. Barry O’Driscoll (Nemo Rangers) for Brian O’Driscoll (36)
26. Sean Powter (Douglas) for Colm O’Driscoll (half-time)
11. Mark Collins (Castlehaven) for Barry O’Driscoll (blood sub) (44)
O’Driscoll for Collins (49)
Collins for Deane (51)
24. Michael Hurley (Castlehaven) for O’Rourke (59)
21. Gary Murphy (Castletownbere) for O’Neill (66)

Tipperary

1. Ciarán Kenrick (Moyle Rovers)

3. Paddy Codd (Killenaule)
2. Shane O’Connell (Golden-Kilfeacle)
4. Alan Campbell (Moyle Rovers)

5. Bill Maher (Kilsheelan-Kilcash)
6. Robbie Kiely (Carbery Rangers, Cork)
7. Jimmy Feehan (Killenaule)

8. Liam Casey (Cahir)
9. George Hannigan (Shannon Rovers)

10. Josh Keane (Golden-Kilfeacle)
21. Diarmuid Foley (Moyle Rovers)
11. Liam Boland (Moyle Rovers)

13. Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen)
14. Michael Quinlivan (Clonmel Commercials)
12. Brian Fox (Éire Óg Annacarty – captain)

Subs

15. Liam McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney) for Quinlivan (inj) (19)
16. Kevin O’Halloran (Portroe) for Foley (47)
18. Alan Moloney (Rockwell Rovers) for Casey (52)
17. Colm O’Shaughnessy (Ardfinnan) for O’Connell (inj) (56)
20. Kieran Bergin (Killenaule) for Hannigan (56)
22. Jason Lonergan (Clonmel Commercials) for Boland (65)

Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down)

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