A hungry and more than determined Tipperary totally demolished Munster champions Cork by ten points in their All-Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park this afternoon. Séamus Callanan scored 2-04 (10 pts) while John O’Dwyer exacted a further six points from play, outclassing the 2013 All-Ireland finalists Cork, latter which many sports commentators had named favourites to beat the Premier County.
While just two points clear at half-time, 1-07 (10 pts) to 0-08 (8pts) and in front of almost 69,000 spectators, it was quite clear from the start that Tipperary were on a clearly defined mission; latter intent on booking their final showdown with Kilkenny come Sunday, September 7th in Croke Park. Tipperary and Kilkenny will now meet in the Liam MacCarthy Cup decider for the fourth time in six successive seasons, with Tipperary now clearly signalling their intent to gain the All-Ireland title 2014 for the first time since their memorable 2010 victory.
For this afternoons meeting Tipp manager Eamon O’Shea, had primed his troops well; employing a short puck out strategy, thus guaranteeing early possession in the first half and executed by the virtuosity of his team’s goalkeeper Darren Gleeson. The game, from start to finish, had all the elements of a near master class in hurling for an outclassed Cork side on the day, latter who registered some 14 wides; nine before half-time and five more, before the full-time whistle signalled the end of the second half. With 2-17 (23 pts) hit by the Premier County from play, Tipperary can now look forward optimistically to their well deserved meet with Kilkenny in the final.
Cork’s A. Walsh, P.Horgan and D. Kearney were kept suitably under control by the brilliance of Tipperary’s S. McGrath (3 pts) and J.Woodlock (3 pts) and C. Barrett, while Tipp’s James Barry and Pádraic Maher cultivated the half-back line. However it was the brilliance of Drom & Inch hit-man Seamus Callanan, who rifled the game’s opening goal past Anthony Nash in the sixth minute, which insured Cork always remained in arrears and playing second fiddle to a superior slick team that remained truly in flames for over seventy minutes.
From the beginning of the second half and contrary to the belief of the commentators, Cork did not gain their usual second half expected momentum and Tipp’s Woodlock, McGrath and Callanan continued to tag on points, while Callanan’s 47th minute second goal, courtesy of a pass from Patrick Maher, clearly shook a now desperately searching and clearly despairing Cork side.
A consolation goal for Cork from substitute Rob O’Shea, with only three minutes remaining, did little to halt the exodus of Cork supporters from Croke Park, leaving twelve minutes before full time, latter disillusioned and anxious to beat an early retreat in a south-westerly direction home.
Final Score: Cork 1-11 (14 pts) to Tipperary 2-18 (24 pts).
Tipperary Team: D. Gleeson, P. Stapleton, J. Barry, C. Barrett, K. Bergin, B. Maher, P. Maher, S. McGrath (0-03), J. Woodlock (0-03), G. Ryan, P. Maher, N. McGrath (0-02), J. O’Dwyer (0-06), S. Callanan (2-04) and L Corbett.
Substitutes: D. Maher for G.Ryan, E. Kelly for L. Corbett, J. Forde for Pat Maher, M. Cahill for S. McGrath and C O’Brien for J. Woodlock.
Referee: J. Owens (Wexford).