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Aidan Walsh rescues Cork to deny Tipperary famous Munster football win

The dual star came off the bench to prevent Tipperary causing a massive shock.

Aidan Walsh hit three late points to save Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Aidan Walsh hit three late points to save Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Cork 0-16
Tipperary 1-11

A LATE SCORING cameo by Aidan Walsh saved Cork as they endured a massive scare against Tipperary tonight in Páirc Uí Chaoimh before booking their place in the Munster senior football final on July 6th.

Cork were heavy favourites to prevail beforehand but the game transpired to be a grueling test for Brian Cuthbert’s side. Tipperary tapped into the recent underage progress in the county to produce a magnificent performance that almost saw them snatch a famous success.

Conor Sweeney’s opportunist goal before half-time propelled them into a 1-7 to 0-9 lead and they stayed in front throughout the second-half. When substitute Brian Mulvihill clipped over a stylish point in the 66th minute, Tipperary were 1-11 to 0-12 clear and on the cusp of a causing a huge upset.

But Cork finally roused themselves after a below-par and sloppy showing. They struggled all night to punch holes in Tipperary’s rearguard and four of their starting forwards were withdrawn before the final whistle.

However Colm O’Neill made a difference when sprung from the bench and it was Aidan Walsh who really dug them out of a hole. Six days after his hurling heroics for the county, he stepped up on the football stage to swing over a pair of brilliant points with his right foot that tied the teams as the game entered injury-time.

Walsh then stepped inside onto his left to push Cork in front with another superb kick in the 71st minute and Barry O’Driscoll completed the rescue operation for Cork with another late score that sealed a two-point victory.

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

It was a heartbreaking loss for Tipperary as they had stayed in the ascendancy for so long in the second-half. They showed their capabilities early on by settling to the rhythms of the contest and going 0-5 to 0-2 clear by the 11th minute.

The points registered by Colin O’Riordan and Michael Quinlivan during that time frame were of the highest quality and but for a brave block by Ken O’Halloran on Sweeney, they could also have had an early goal.

Gradually Cork got to grips with the game and they notched the next five points courtesy of Daniel Goulding (2), Brian Hurley, Paul Kerrigan and John Hayes. But Tipperary’s defence generally held up well as they crowded out Cork with Ciaran McDonald expertly marshaling danger man Hurley.

Cork went 0-7 to 0-5 clear before Tipperary drew level thanks to points from Steven O’Brien and Brian Fox. Cork kicked on again before the break with scores from Mark Collins and Fintan Goold but it was Tipperary who went in at the interval in high spirits. Sweeney got on the end of a long ball from Philip Austin before calmly rolling a shot to the net.

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Tipperary were in front by 1-7 to 0-9 and they kept Cork at arms length throughout the second-half. The standard of shooting on both sides left plenty to be desired and Tipperary had plenty cause to rue missed opportunities.

But Peter Creedon’s side did move 1-10 to 0-10 clear by the 47th minute through Sweeney and they were in a buoyant mood. Scores were at a premium then yet O’Neill did notch a pair of frees to leave Cork adrift by the minimum with eight minutes remaining.

Mulvihill ended Tipperary’s long scoring drought with an inspirational and vital point but Cork saved themselves at the death thanks to a tour de force by Walsh.

A dejected Colin O'Riordan and Ciaran McDonald Tipperary's Colin O'Riordan and Ciaran McDonald are devastated after defeat. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Scorers for Cork: Aidan Walsh, Daniel Goulding (0-2f) 0-3 each, Colm O’Neill (0-2f), Mark Collins, Barry O’Driscoll 0-2 each, Fintan Goold, Paul Kerrigan, Brian Hurley (0-1f), John Hayes 0-1 each.Scorers for Tipperary: Conor Sweeney 1-3 (0-3f), Barry Grogan 0-3 (0-2f), Michael Quinlivan, Colin O’Riordan, Peter Acheson, Steven O’Brien, Brian Mulvihill 0-1 each.

Eoin Cadogan consoles Steven O'Brien Eoin Cadogan consoles Tipperary's Steven O'Brien. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

1. Ken O’Halloran (Bishopstown)
2. Michael Shields (St. Finbarr’s)
3. Thomas Clancy (Clonakilty)
4. Noel Galvin (Ballincollig)
5. James Loughrey (Mallow)
6. Patrick Kelly (Ballincollig)
7. John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers)
8. Andrew O’Sullivan (Castletownbere)
9. Fintan Goold (Macroom)
10. Mark Collins (Castlehaven)
11. Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers)
12. Barry O’Driscoll (Nemo Rangers)
13. Daniel Goulding (Éire Óg)
14. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven)
15. John Hayes (Carbery Rangers)

21. Aidan Walsh (Kanturk) for O’Sullivan (34)
18. Eoin Cadogan (Douglas) for Goulding (half-time)
25. Colm O’Neill (Ballyclough) for Kerrigan (45)
23. Colm O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh) for Collins (51)
24. Donal Og Hodnett (O’Donovan Rossa) for Hurley (52)
26. Cathal Vaughan (Iveleary) for Clancy (62)

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

1. Paul Fitzgerald – Fethard
2. John Coghlan – Moyne Templetuohy
3. Paddy Codd – Killenaule (Capt)
4. Ciarán McDonald – Aherlow
5. Colin O’Riordan – JK Brackens
6. Robbie Kiely – Arravale Rovers
7. Peter Acheson – Moyle Rovers
8. Steven O’Brien – Ballina
9. George Hannigan – Shannon Rovers
10. Philip Austin – Borrisokane
11. Ian Fahey – Commercials
12. Brian Fox – Eire Óg Annacarty
13. Conor Sweeney – Ballyporeen
14. Michael Quinlivan – Commercials
15. Barry Grogan – Aherlow

25. Brian Mulvihill (Moyle Rovers) for Fahey (43)
2. John Coghlan (Moyne Templetuohy) for Mulhair (inj) (58)
23. Conal McCullagh (Clonmel Commercials) for Grogan (60)
18. Hugh Coghlan (Moyne Templetuohy) for Hannigan (67)
17. Alan Campbell (Moyle Rovers) for Mulhair (69)

Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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