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5 talking points after Tipperary overturned Cork in today's semi-final

We also ask if Cork fell flat after Munster glory?

Stephen McDonnell and Patrick Maher contest a high ball.
Stephen McDonnell and Patrick Maher contest a high ball.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

1. Tipperary atone for 2012 in Croke Park

It’s two years since Tipperary were humbled at the semi-final stage by Kilkenny but they exorcised those August 2012 demons today. On their return to Croke Park for the first time since that defeat, Tipperary turned on the style and produced a brilliant and commanding display.

They should have been further ahead by half-time and a scoring burst after the interval settled this contest. They extracted sparkling offensive showings from Seamus Callanan and John O’Dwyer while their defence were collectively brilliant. It was a superb team display as they showed their character when the stakes were considerably high.

2. Cork fall flat after Munster glory

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Cork opened this year’s Munster campaign shakily against Waterford but responded that day to dig out a draw and used it as a springboard to sparkle in the province. Wins over Waterford, Tipperary and Limerick secured silverware and ensured that they were in an upbeat mood entering today’s match.

But Cork fell terribly flat, never scaling the heights they had reached in Munster and looking like a team badly affected by their five-week layoff from action. Aidan Walsh, Seamus Harnedy, Alan Cadogan and captain Patrick Cronin were all withdrawn before the finish. That those key players were substituted spoke volumes for the difficulties Cork endured.

3. Seamus Callanan and John O’Dwyer wreak havoc

They were Tipperary’s top two scorers entering today’s game and neither Seamus Callanan or John O’Dwyer disappointed. Callanan finished with 2-4 and his two goals were strikes of brilliance and substance at various stages in the game. He’s been the team’s figurehead all year and he didn’t disappoint today.

O’Dwyer’s free-scoring wizardry has been a key asset in helping Tipperary pick up the pieces since their Munster loss to Limerick. He weighed in with another six points today to bring his return to 2-20 for this summer’s campaign. The Killenaule club man was superb and Tipperary are reaping a rich dividend from his emergence on the senior stage.

4. The back door route rehabilitates Tipperary once more

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Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Tipperary’s season looked in serious jeopardy in early June when they were hit with a two point defeat against Limerick. When they trailed Galway with 20 minutes left in their qualifier the following month, the anxiety deepened for Tipperary given their previous losing streak in championship ties.

However they summoned a revival that night to fashion a victory over Galway. Since then Tipperary’s season has taken off as they collected wins over Offaly and Dublin. They had serious momentum behind them before today and channelled it accordingly. Just like 2010, the back door has rehabilitated Tipperary once more and they’ll hope to close out the season in a similar fashion.

5. Spotlight falls on JBM’s future with Cork

Defeat today brings an end to Jimmy Barry-Murphy’s current term as Cork hurling boss and it will be interesting to see if he is still at the helm in 2015. He revealed after today’s game that he would need to discuss his future with the county board before making a decision.

Barry-Murphy has produced three prolonged campaigns with Cork, as they bowed out at the semi-final stage in 2012 and 2014 while it was after a final replay that they lost last year. The Liam MacCarthy Cup has eluded them but Barry-Murphy has made substantial progress. Whether he will come back for another assault next year remains to be seen.

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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