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Dublin: 4 °C Tuesday 11 December, 2018


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Good afternoon and welcome to our live minute-by-minute coverage of what will hopefully be a cracker as Tipperary and Cork open the Munster senior hurling championship at Semple Stadium.

Throw-in is at 4pm.

TEAM NEWS: Here’s the Cork side as named earlier this week — Stephen McDonnell’s injury sees Mark Ellis shift to full-back for Kieran Kingston’s men.

1. Anthony Nash (Kanturk)

2. Damian Cahalane (St Finbarrs)
3. Mark Ellis (Millstreet)
4. Conor O’Sullivan (Sarsfield)

5. Lorcan McLoughlin (Kanturk)
6. Christoper Joyce (Na Piarsaigh)
7. Cormac Murphy (Mallow)

8. Daniel Kearney (Sarsfield)
9. William Egan (Kilbrin)

10. Bill Cooper (Youghal)
11. Conor Lehane (Midleton)
12. Brian Lawton (Castlemartyr)

13. Alan Cadogan (Douglas)
14. Seamus Harnedy (capt, St Itas)
15. Patrick Horgan (Glen Rovers)

TEAM NEWS: Four championship debutants in this Tipp side including John McGrath, younger brother of Noel.

1. Darren Gleeson (Portroe)

2. Cathal Barrett (Holycross-Ballycahill)
3. James Barry (Upperchurch-Drombane)
4. Michael Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields)

5. Seamus Kennedy (St Mary’s)
6. Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
7. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)

8. Brendan Maher (capt, Borris-Ileigh)
9. Michael Breen (Ballina)

10. Sean Curran (Mullinahone)
11. Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh)
12. Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)

13. John O’Dwyer (Killenaule)
14. Seamus Callanan (Drom & Inch)
15, John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)

I think “manky” is the most appropriate word for today’s conditions in Thurles.

Just ask the King and Ger…

Henry Shefflin and Ger Loughnane Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

The bookies make this a four-point game in Tipp’s favour, which is no real surprise based on the league form — but there seems to be a quiet confidence among the Rebels fans. Could they pull off a shock and set up a showdown against Limerick?

Before we get underway in Thurles, there’ll be a moment of reflection for former GAA presidents Jack Boothman and Joe McDonagh.

THROW IN: We’re underway.

1 min — Tipperary 0-1 Cork 0-0: Noel McGrath takes a quick sideline cut and Paudie Maher points the opening score just 30 seconds in.

William Egan, wearing the number nine jersey for Cork, has dropped in as sweeper in the early stages here.

3 mins – The first bits of pulling and dragging as Damien Cahalane and Seamus Callanan wait for a sideline on the edge of the square. Barry Kelly has a word but that’s all.

4 mins — Tipperary 0-2 Cork 0-0: John McGrath skips away from Mark Ellis and picks a pass to John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer who points.

It’s fairly lashing down now in Thurles.

5 mins — Tipperary 0-2 Cork 0-1: Alan Cadogan gets Cork up and running.

Before that passage of play, both Cormac Murphy and Sean Curran were booked for an off-the-ball tussle.

7 mins – This is all getting a little bit heated here. Cathal Barrett and Bill Cooper get tangled up, and both men grab at the helmet of the other. Cooper loses his helmet, Barrett’s jersey looks like it might have been torn, and both get yellow cards.


9 mins — More digging! This time it’s Lorcan McLoughlin who looks like he’s gets a bit of a puck in the ribs from Noel McGrath as they both watched a Tipp free sail over the heads and wide.

No quarter asked or given at this point.

10 mins — Tipperary 0-3 Cork 0-1: Seamus Callanan is up and running for championship 2016. He breaks into space and, going away from Anthony Nash’s goal, points off his right before the angle gets too narrow.

12 mins — Tipperary 0-4 Cork 0-1: Great battling by John McGrath who comes through a forest of bodies and manages to hold onto possession. Brendan Maher is waiting to receive the pass, and he fires over a point. That was all about the younger McGrath brother though — lively start to his championship debut.

15 mins — Tipperary 0-5 Cork 0-1: Super score by Seamus Callanan who peels away from Damien Cahalane and points effortlessly from what looks to be an impossible angle.

Moments before that, Seamus Kennedy got in a great block to deny Pa Horgan what looked to be a certain point.

Seamus Callanan and Damian Cahalane Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

16 mins — Tipperary 0-7 Cork 0-1: This is sensational hurling by Tipp — exhibition stuff!

First, Callanan sets up John McGrath with a sublime touch; then Bubbles adds another. Cork all at sea here and this is in danger of getting away from them.

19 mins — Tipperary 0-7 Cork 0-3: Cork won’t give it up so easily. Horgan knocks over a free and then Brian Lawton points to cut the gap to four. Can Kieran Kingston’s side build on this now?

21 mins – Another set of yellow cards, one apiece for Bubbles and for Conor O’Sullivan. Barry Kelly’s certainly consistent, that much is for sure.

22 mins — Tipperary 0-8 Cork 0-4: Bubbles lines up a long-range free and points it, but it’s cancelled out almost immediately by Conor Lehane at the other end.

24 mins — Tipperary 0-9 Cork 0-4: Once again, it’s John McGrath who’s doing some really determined battling in the channels. It looks like he’s lost out against Mark Ellis but does just enough to nick it away from the Cork full-back, and then wins the free from William Egan as he tries to make the angle to shoot. Callanan points the free.

25 mins — Tipperary 0-10 Cork 0-4: John O’Dwyer points a free from his own 65 line — he makes it look so easy.

29 mins — Tipperary 0-11 Cork 0-4: Noel McGrath steps on to the breaking ball in midfield and swings over another Tipp score.

30 mins — Tipperary 0-11 Cork 0-4: Bit of wrestling between Damien Cahalane and Seamus Callanan, and despite the Cork man’s appeals, it’s a free in to Tipp. Callanan points and there’s eight points between the sides now.

31 mins — HAWK-EYE! For the first time in a senior championship game outside Croke Park, we need technology to rule on a score. It’s Dan McCormack’s effort and Hawk-Eye rules that it would have hit the post — no score!

31 mins — SUBSTITUTION: Aidan Walsh is on to replace Daniel Kearney.

32 mins — YELLOW! Brendan Maher is the latest man into Barry Kelly’s book.

33 mins — Tipperary 0-12 Cork 0-5: Pa Horgan points a free to keep the scoreboard ticking over.

36 mins — Tipperary 0-13 Cork 0-5: A Cork mistake leaves Bubbles in acres of space and he points his fifth of the day.

Kieran Kingston is going to need to go to Plan B in the second half.

John O’Dwyer scores a point Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

37 mins — Tipperary 0-14 Cork 0-5: Another for Bubbles. Tipp are punishing each and every Cork mistake here… and there are a few of those.

Ger Loughnane on RTÉ:

Tipperary are used to the sweeper system; they’ve played it against Waterford. Cork haven’t a clue what they’re doing.

SECOND HALF: Back underway — do Cork have anything up their sleeve?

38 mins — Tipperary 0-15 Cork 0-5: Seamus Callanan buys himself a yard or two of space, and that’s all he needs to point.

39 mins — Tipperary 0-16 Cork 0-5: John McGrath has been doing Trojan work to set up Tipperary scores, and this time it’s big brother Noel who benefits. Eleven points in it.

41 mins — Tipperary 0-16 Cork 0-6: Pa Horgan knocks over a free.

Cork sub: Conor O’Sullivan replaced by Killian Burke.

44 mins — Tipperary 0-16 Cork 0-7: Alan Cadogan weaves his way past Michael Cahill and floats a point off the upright and over the bar.

45 mins — Tipperary 0-16 Cork 0-8: Another Horgan free and Cork are back within eight. They’ve been marginally the better side in a flat start to this second half.

48 mins – Chance for Conor Lehane to really ignite a Cork comeback but the wind catches his shot and it hangs right and wide.

49 mins – Confusion as Bubbles O’Dwyer wins possession and breaks towards goal… but Barry Kelly has spotted an infringement as he contested for the ball and blows for a free out.

Bubbles is confused.

50 mins — Tipperary 0-16 Cork 0-9: Cormac Murphy steps up and points. It seems that Cork’s decision to abandon the sweeper has allowed them to get a bit more of a foothold here.

52 mins — SAVE! Horgan has a chance to knock over an easy free and cut the gap to six, but decides with less than 20 minutes left, he has to go for goal. His shot is at straight at Brendan Maher who saves — and Tipp are right back down the other end where they win a 65.

Will that decision prove to be crucial?

53 mins — LET OFF! Callanan lines up the 65 but sends it left and wide.

Subs: Luke O’Farrell on to replace Horgan; Jason Forde on for Noel McGrath.

55 mins — WIDE! Hawk-Eye called into action again to rule on a Michael Breen effort — but it’s just to the right of the posts. Still seven between the sides.

56 mins — Tipperary 0-17 Cork 0-9: John O’Dwyer points a 65 in difficult conditions; that’s Tipp’s first point since the 39th minute, but they’ve still kept Cork at arm’s length.

58 mins — Tipperary 0-18 Cork 0-9: Callanan knocks over another free and any threat of a Cork comeback seems to have really subsided at this point.

60 mins — Wide count at the moment: Tipperary 10-8 Cork

62 mins — Tipperary 0-19 Cork 0-9: Another Callanan free and Tipp lead by 10, but to describe this second half as flat would be a bit of an understatement.

64 mins — Tipperary 0-19 Cork 0-10: Seamus Harnedy gets his first of the day but this has been a clock-watching exercise for the last little while. Wouldn’t blame you if you turned over for the end of the golf…

66 mins — Tipperary 0-19 Cork 0-11: No advantage accruing to Cork so Barry Kelly brings play back for a free, which Conor Lehane points.

Michael Duignan reminds us that we haven’t even seen a shot on goal today, never mind a goal. Cheers.

68 mins — Tipperary 0-20 Cork 0-12: Niall O’Meara finds Jason Forde who points; Luke O’Farrell responds immediately with a long-ranger.

Nearly there now.

69 mins — Tipperary 0-20 Cork 0-13: Luke O’Farrell is still battling away for Cork and he sets up Alan Cadogan for his third of the day.

70 mins – Cork doing their best to engineer a goal opportunity and they win a free in. It’s take short quickly, but Luke O’Farrell’s drive is blocked away and Lehane snatches at the rebound to send it wide.

71 mins — Tipperary 0-21 Cork 0-13: We’re into the second of three additional minutes as Kieran Bergin adds his name to the scoresheet.

70+3 mins — Tipperary 0-22 Cork 0-13: The afternoon has been lit up by occasional flashes of brilliance and Callanan adds a lovely eighth to wrap things up.

So that’s that. Tipperary book their place in the Munster semi-finals against Limerick after a one-sided afternoon that petered out into a bit of a non-event.

That’s hardly Tipp’s fault, mind you. They comfortably had enough in hand to win by nine points without ever stepping up from second gear.

Cork will need a good long look in the mirror before the qualifiers, you feel.

That’s it from us for now but we’ll have lots more reaction and analysis over the course of the evening. Thanks for reading!

About the author:

Niall Kelly