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Munster GAA Intermediate Hurling Championship Final – Cork 4-15 Tipperary 2-8

Cork defeated Tipperary by 4-15 to 2-8 in the Munster GAA Intermediate Hurling Championship Final on Wednesday June 25th at Pairc Ui Rinn.

Three-goal Drake sees Rebels reclaim title

By Denis Hurley for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Cork 4-15 Tipperary 2-8

Tipperary’s quest for a three-in-a-row of Munster and All-Ireland IHC titles came to ground as Cork were deserving victors at Páirc Uí Rinn last night. Set on their way by a pair of David Drake goals inside eight minutes, Cork always looked likelier victors. While their play may not have sparkled all night, they minimised their errors while Tipp struggled to function until a 14-minute purple patch during the second half, when they outscored their hosts by 2-3 to no score.

By that stage, though, the outcome was decided and Cork finished strongly to ensure victory – the county’s first Munster hurling title since the intermediate of 2010. The way they began was vitally important to the outcome, according to Cork manager Liam Hayes. “It’s a big advantage when you start so well,” he said. “It gives you the cushion to drive on, the lads responded well. I’m happy enough but we went to sleep for a bit in the second half. We’ll have a look at it.

“It’s nice to be in the All-Ireland series, when Tipp beat us last year in the final hit us hard. A lot of these guys were involved then and they were disappointed with how the year ended so they wanted to respond, and they did.”

As impressive as Cork were, Tipp were part-architects in their own downfall in the first half. Both of Drake’s goals came after deliveries were allowed to bounce around the goalmouth, they had 10 first-half wides and none of their four points before the break came from play. Cork, with full-forward John Cronin getting through a lot of ball from his posting as a third midfielder, profited, with Cormac Murphy excellent in the half-back line while Michael O’Sullivan and Peter O’Brien also did well.

The half-time margin was 2-8 to 0-4, and points from Murphy and O’Brien extended the lead before another nail was applied to the Tipp coffin. When Michael Walsh’s point effort came back off the post, sub Mark Sugrue was quickest to react as he fired to the net, and Cork added five more points to lead by 18 before Tipp opened their second-half account.

To give them credit, Michael Sheedy’s goal was followed in quick succession by Kieran Morris’s green flag. Even though Aiden McGrath got two 65s and John Sheedy got their first point from play as Cork went 14 minutes without play, Tipp were only playing for pride by this stage.

Cronin ended their drought and Colm Barry also got a fine point before Drake finished the evening for Cork with his hat-trick goal. From Walsh’s neat pass, he took the ball down and then side-stepped goalkeeper James Logue to cap a good evening for him and his side. Galway await Cork in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Scorers for Cork: D Drake 3-0, P O’Brien 0-4 (frees), M Sugrue 1-1, J Cronin, M O’Sullivan 0-3 each, C Murphy 0-2 (one free), C Casey, C Barry 0-1 each.

Scorers for Tipperary: M Sheedy, K Morris 1-0 each T O’Brien (frees), A McGrath (two 65s, one free) 0-3 each, K Fox, J Sheedy 0-1 each.

CORK: R Cunningham; J O’Callaghan, A Dennehy, B Ó Tuama; C Murphy, T Healy, C Barry; N Kelly, M Walsh; J Walsh, P O’Brien, M O’Sullivan; C Casey, J Cronin, D Drake.
Subs: M Sugrue for Kelly (half-time), R Cashman for Murphy (47-51, injured), T Lawrence for O’Callaghan (50), A Mannix for O’Brien (55), R Crowley for Drake (59), Cashman for Healy (60).

TIPPERARY: J Logue; P Ryan, Andrew Ryan, D Quinn; B Stapleton, R Sherlock, A McGrath; J Gallagher, P White; S Curran, M Sheedy, T Heffernan; T O’Brien, B Walsh, D Collins.
Subs: Adrian Ryan for Walsh (28, injured), K Morris for Heffernan (37), D Stapleton for A Ryan (41), K Fox for P White (44), J Sheedy for O’Brien (49).

Referee: D O’Driscoll (Limerick)