Cork concludes the group stages of the Allianz HL with a defeat 2018-03-11 21:00:00

Courtesy of John Harrington via

Tipperary did just about enough to withstand a late Cork charge to qualify for the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Quarter-Finals and consign the Rebels to a relegation play-off against Waterford.
They were their own worst enemies at times, hitting 20 wides and fading late in the game, but by then had created a big enough buffer on the score-board to hold on.
This was a lively encounter from the off, as Michael Breen and Patrick Horgan exchanged points to set a nice early tempo to the match.

Pic: George Hatchell

The first serious blow of the game was landed by Cork after eight minutes when Alan Cadogan leaped like a salmon to catch a ball on the edge of the square before being felled by a posse of backpedalling Tipperary defenders.Referee Paud O’Dwyer called a penalty, and Patrick Horgan stepped up to drive a venomous shot to the back of Brian Hogan’s net.
Tipperary’s response to that set-back was immediate and impressive as they hit four points in the space of two minutes to take the lead again.
Jason Forde hit two of them – his second and third points of the day – as he continued the rich vein of form that has arguably made him the most in-form forward in the country so far this year.
All of his scores were of the very highest calibre too as he rushed outfield from his full-forward berth and controlled the ball with some really deft touches before firing it over the bar on the run.
Just when it looked like Tipp were starting to get on top, Cork started landing some stinging counter-punches.
Their corner-forwards Cadogan and Horgan had the beating of their men, and whenever the ball was angled in towards them they won frees or picked off points.
The match was becoming an end to end, tit for tat sort of contest, and the teams were level at 0-11 to 1-8 by the 30-minute mark.
Tipperary found another gear just before half-time though, as points from Cathal Barrett, Forde, the increasingly influential Patrick Maher, and a humongous long-range effort from corner-back Alan Flynn put them 0-15 to 1-9 ahead by the break.
The second-half took some time to settle down, with both teams guilty of some poor shooting and the concession of cheap frees.

Pic: George Hatchell

The first point from play of the second-half didn’t arrive until the 48th minute, and was scored by Cork’s Conor Lehane which left the score reading 0-19 to 1-12 in Tipperary’s favour.Tipp couldn’t quite shake Cork off despite dominating possession, but the Rebels had goalkeeper Anthony Nash to thank for keeping them in the game when he pulled off a brilliant reflex save with an outstretched leg from a Michael Breen shot.
The breakthrough finally came for Tipperary five minutes later when Billy McCarthy scored a brilliant individual goal.
Perhaps the Cork defending was slack, but you have to credit the Thurles Sarsfields man for having the gumption to charge straight for goal from around 45 yards out before blasting the ball to the roof of Nash’s net.
That looked like a fatal blow for Cork, but their initial response was positive as first Horgan and then Cahalane fired over points to briefly give them renewed hope.
It looked like Tipperary points from Forde and Barrett had quelled the Rebels uprising, but then Cork hit four points in a row to leave it a one-score game again, 1-24 to 1-21, with two minutes of normal time remaining.
They never looked like scoring the goal they needed to pull the game out of the fire though, as Tipperary centre-back Padraic Maher hurled up a storm in the closing minutes to keep them at bay.
The Premier County will now play Dublin in the League Quarter-Finals next weekend.
Scorers for Tipperary: Jason Forde 0-12 (7f), Billy McCarthy 1-1, Patrick Maher 0-3, Sean Curran 0-2, Michael Breen 0-2, Cathal Barrett 0-2, Brendan Maher 0-1, Alan Flynn 0-1.
Scorers for Cork: Patrick Horgan 1-10 (1-0 pen, 8f), Alan Cadogan 0-3, Michael Cahalane 0-2, Conor Lehane 0-2, Shane Kingston 0-1, Luke Meade 0-1, Brian Lawton 0-1, Daniel Kearney 0-1.
TIPPERARY: Brian Hogan; Alan Flynn, Sean O'Brien, Donagh Maher; Barry Heffernan, Padraic Maher, Ronan Maher; Brendan Maher, Cathal Barrett; Sean Curran, Billy McCarthy, Patrick Maher; Michael Breen, Jason Forde, John McGrath. Subs: Mark Russell for John McGrath (64), Cian Darcy for Billy McCarthy (71), Michael Cahill for Donagh Maher (72).
CORK: Anthony Nash; Darren Browne, Colm Spillane, Sean O’Donoghue; Christopher Joyce, Tim O'Mahony, Mark Coleman; Darragh Fitzgibbon, Bill Cooper; Shane Kingston, Conor Lehane, Robbie O'Flynn; Alan Cadogan, Michael Cahalane, Patrick Horgan. Subs: Luke Meade for Shane Kingston (54), Brian Lawton for Robbie O’Flynn (59), Daniel Kearney for Bill Cooper (65), Jack O’Connor for Darragh Fitzgibbon (70).
Ref: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)

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