Tipperary just managed to edge out Cork in an energetic Munster hurling semi-final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh, leaving Declan Ryan’s troops to face Waterford in the provincial decider for the second year running. Noel McGrath was left to drive home the only goal of the game as defending champions Tipperary scraped past their old rivals Cork to qualify for next month’s Munster Senior Hurling Championship final.
In front of a 32,568 Páirc Uí Chaoimh crowd, tensions frayed moments before the throw-in, with a pre-match skirmish between Cathal Naughton and Padraic Maher, which resulted in two yellow cards.
It was a young Cork side which led from about the third minute of the first half, right up until the 10th minute of the second half. Conor Lehane did manage to get the sides level again 15 minutes from full time. However despite Tipperary having John O’Brien sent off on his second yellow card in the 47th minute, (for a high challenge on Cork full back Brian Murphy) the holders held off a series of strong sortie’s from Cork, to set up a repeat of last year’s final.
Tipperary’s outstanding performers undoubtedly on the day were Pa Bourke, Noel McGrath, Padraic Maher and ‘Bonnar’ Maher.
Tipperary Scorers: P. Bourke 0-12, N. McGrath 1-04, B. O’Meara & B Maher 0-02 each, G. Ryan, Padraic Maher also 0-01 each.
Tipperary Team: Brendan Cummins; Conor O’Brien, Paul Curran (capt), Michael Cahill; Thomas Stapleton, Conor O’Mahony, Padraic Maher; Brendan Maher, Shane McGrath; Gearóid Ryan, Patrick Maher, Pa Bourke; Brian O’Meara, John O’Brien, Noel McGrath.
Used Subs: Lar Corbett for Ryan, Shane Bourke for O’Meara, James Woodlock for B Maher, Eoin Kelly for P Bourke, & Donagh Maher for Stapleton.