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Bubbles the scoring star as Tipperary win seven-goal thriller against Cork

John O’Dwyer shot 1-7 in the Premier County’s victory at Semple Stadium.

John O'Dwyer finds the net for Tipperary.
John O'Dwyer finds the net for Tipperary.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Tipperary 3-25
Cork 4-19

JOHN ‘BUBBLES’ O’DWYER shot the lights out for Tipperary as the Premier County advanced to the semi-finals of the Allianz Hurling League.

Last year’s runners-up set up a last four meeting with Clare by defeating Division 1B winners Cork by three points in a thrilling Semple Stadium contest.

In front of 6,615 spectators in Thurles, O’Dwyer bagged 1-7 in a high-scoring encounter pockmarked by 51 scores, with Seamus Callanan adding 0-8 to take his League tally to 5-40.

Tipp had edged into the quarter-finals thanks to a three-point victory over Dublin seven days ago and Eamon O’Shea’s charges produced some of their best form of the season to set up a third competitive meeting of the season with All-Ireland champions Clare.

But Tipp had to work desperately hard for the result as they trailed by two points at half-time, 3-9 to 3-11, despite getting off to a blistering start.

Tipp were 2-4 to 0-0 clear within eight minutes as Denis Maher bagged the opening goal of the game with 36 seconds on the clock, followed by an opportunistic Niall O’Meara strike in the seventh minute.

But Cork came hurtling back into contention with two goals in the space of three minutes, both scored by All Star Seamus Harnedy.

The St Ita’s man was on target for his first in the 12th minute and on the quarter-hour mark, the centre forward knocked home almost a carbon copy of his first.

In a breathless first half, Tipp claimed the next goal of the game, in the 32nd minute, with O’Dwyer kicking home a close range effort.

There was still time for a sixth goal of the opening half and it was scored by Anthony Nash in the 33rd minute, from a trademark 20m free.

The game’s seventh goal did not arrive until the 65th minute and it went Cork’s way, with Patrick Horgan pouncing on Darragh Egan’s error from close range.

The sides had been level twice in the second half and while Tipp, playing with the breeze in the second half, were 3-21 to 3-15 clear, Cork never gave up.

And they could have snatched a draw deep in stoppage time as Nash stepped forward to unleash another rocket from the 20m line.

But this time, the massed ranks on the Tipperary goalline stood firm to clear the danger, before referee Barry Kelly blew for full-time.

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Anthony Nash scores his side's third goal Anthony Nash finds the net for Cork. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Scorers for Tipperary: John O’Dwyer 1-7, Seamus Callanan 0-8 (3f, 1 65), Denis Maher 1-1, Niall O’Meara 1-0, James Woodlock, Noel McGrath, Shane Bourke 0-2 each, Conor O’Brien, Brendan Maher & Kieran Bergin 0-1 each.Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 1-8 (0-5f, 0-1 65), Seamus Harnedy 2-0, Anthony Nash 1-0f, Jamie Coughlan, Conor Lehane 0-3 each, Daniel Kearney 0-2, Killian Burke, William Egan; Patrick Cronin 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: Darragh Egan (Kildangan); Paddy Stapleton (Borris-Ileigh), Conor O’Mahony (Newport), Conor O’Brien (Éire Óg Annacarty/Donohill); James Barry (Upperchurch-Drombane), Brendan Maher (Borris-Ileigh), Thomas Stapleton (Templederry Kenyons); Kieran Bergin (Killenaule), James Woodlock (Drom & Inch); Denis Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), John O’Dwyer (Killenaule); Shane Bourke (JK Brackens), Seamus Callanan (Drom & Inch), Niall O’Meara (Kilruane MacDonaghs).

Subs: Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields) for O’Mahony (half-time), Jason Forde (Silvermines) for O’Meara (52), Liam McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney) for Bourke (62), Eoin Kelly (Mullinahone) for D Maher (66), John O’Brien (Toomevara) for Callanan (70+1).

CORK: Anthony Nash (Kanturk); Christopher Joyce (Na Piarsaigh), Damien Cahalane (St Finbarr’s), Killian Burke (Midleton); Lorcán McLoughlin (Kanturk), William Egan (Kilbrin), Eoin Keane (St Finbarr’s); Daniel Kearney (Sarsfields), Paul Haughney (Midleton); Brian Lawton (Castlemartyr), Seamus Harnedy (St Ita’s), Patrick Cronin (Bishopstown); Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers), Conor Lehane (Midleton), Jamie Coughlan (Newtownshandrum).

Subs: Rob O’Shea (Carrigaline) for Lawton (49), Cian McCarthy (Sarsfields) for Haughney (61), Alan Cadogan (Douglas) for Coughlan (62).

Referee: Barry Kelly (Westmeath).

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Jackie Cahill

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