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Tipperary end 85-year wait for Munster senior football glory with famous win over Cork

Páirc Uí Chaoimh hosted today’s game.

Captain Conor Sweeney lifts the cup after Tipperary's victory.
Captain Conor Sweeney lifts the cup after Tipperary's victory.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Tipperary 0-17
Cork 0-14

ON AN EMOTIVE weekend when the GAA commemorations for Bloody Sunday 1920 took place, Tipperary delivered a landmark football moment.

After 85 years of waiting they can now enjoy the mantle of Munster senior football champions, deservedly taking down pre-match favourites Cork in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Years of underage accolades and an extended run in 2016 at senior level took them to this game where they made a major breakthrough. After Cork had toppled Kerry, Tipperary entered under the radar but David Power’s team exploded to life in the decider

They got huge joy out of their twin attacking act as Conor Sweeney and Michael Quinlivan excelled throughout. They shot 0-12 between them, Sweeney contributing seven and Quinlivan notching five.

Colin O’Riordan was pitched into the starting side beforehand and the Sydney Swans player made a huge impact at half-forward. He showcased his range of passing, feeding inside forwards and making a few towering catches. Steven O’Brien was highly influential at midfield with the likes of Alan Campbell and Jimmy Feehan anchoring the challenge at the back with solid displays.

Cork were a massive disappointment. They led 0-5 to 0-4 just before the first water break but that was the only time they pushed in front on the scoreboard. Tipperary dragged it back to 0-5 apiece at that juncture, a phase where the teams had looked evenly-matched. But then the winners took over, stitching together four points in a row, between the 27th and 34th minutes.

Cork, four in arrears at the break, were always chasing the game from there. They cut the gap to two at one stage in the second half but their performance was too error-strewn, patchy in their attacking movement, poor in point-taking towards the finish and unable to get much fluency going in their play.

ruairi-deane-with-robbie-kiely-and-colin-oriordan Ruairi Deane in action against Robbie Kiely and Colin O'Riordan. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Luke Connolly sparkled early on as he fired over four points but limped off injured at the interval. With Sean Powter having been ruled out during the week with a shoulder problem, those absences hit Cork hard.

But Tipperary were worthy victors and deserving of a spot against Mayo in the All-Ireland semi-final on 6 December. They wavered in the third quarter, a period where both teams were guilty of sub-standard fare. It was 0-12 to 0-9 in Tipperary’s favour entering the final quarter and they saw a goal disallowed for an infringement.

Cork were fortunate there and when Sean White lobbed over a 63rd-minute point, they trailed 0-14 to 0-12. However, Tipperary steadied themselves to outscore their opponents 0-3 to 0-2 in the closing stages. Goalkeeper Evan Comerford fired over a vital free, Quinlivan popped over another after a Cork mistake on their kickout, and fittingly long-serving figure Philip Austin came off the bench to grab their last point.

A day of glory for the Premier, one they will savour.

colin-oriordan-and-steven-obrien-celebrate-after-the-game Colin O'Riordan and Steven O'Brien celebrate after the game. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Scorers for Tipperary: Conor Sweeney 0-7 (0-2f, 0-2 marks), Michael Quinlivan 0-5 (0-1f), Liam Casey 0-2 (0-1f), Kevin Fahey, Philip Austin, Evan Comerford (0-1f) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork: Luke Connolly (0-2f, 0-1 ’45), Mark Collins (0-4f) 0-4 each, John O’Rourke 0-2, Colm O’Callaghan, Brian Hurley, Sean White, Cathail O’Mahony (0-1f) 0-1 each.

Tipperary

1. Evan Comerford (Kilsheelan-Kilcash)

4. Colm O’Shaughnessy (Ardfinnan)
2. Alan Campbell (Moyle Rovers)
3. Jimmy Feehan (Killenaule)

5. Bill Maher (Kilsheelan-Kilcash)
6. Kevin Fahey (Clonmel Commercials)
7. Robbie Kiely (Barryroe, Cork)

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8. Steven O’Brien (Ballina)
9. Liam Casey (Cahir)

19. Colin O’Riordan (Killea)
11. Michael Quinlivan (Clonmel Commercials)
10. Conal Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials)

13. Brian Fox (Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill)
14. Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen – captain)
15. Colman Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials)

Subs

26. Liam Boland (Moyle Rovers) for Colman Kennedy (52)
21. Paudie Feehan (Killenaule) for Fahey (53)
12. Emmet Moloney (Drom & Inch) for Fox (61)
20. Padraic Looram (Clonmel Commercials) for Kiely (66)
23. Philip Austin (Borrisokane) for Casey (71)

Cork

1. Micheal Martin (Nemo Rangers)

3. Maurice Shanley (Clonakilty)
4. Paul Ring (Aghabullogue)
2. Kevin O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers)

5. Tadhg Corkery (Cill Na Martra)
6. Sean Meehan (Kiskeam)
7. Mattie Taylor (Mallow)

8. Ian Maguire (St Finbarr’s – captain)
9. Killian O’Hanlon (Kilshannig)

12. Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues)
11. Colm O’Callaghan (Éire Óg)
10. John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers)

13. Mark Collins (Castlehaven)
14. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven)

Subs

26. Cathail O’Mahony (Mitchelstown) for Connolly (inj) (half-time)
17. Sam Ryan (St Finbarr’s) for Ring (40)
19. Sean White (Clonakilty) for O’Callaghan (44)
21. Mark Keane (Mitchelstown) for O’Hanlon (59)
24. Michael Hurley (Castlehaven) for Taylor (64)

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from Páirc Uí Chaoimh

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