Conor Lehane the star of the show as Cork hammer Tipp to lay down Championship marker

Cork 3-30 Tipperary 1-24
Darragh Fitzgibbon of Cork celebrates as he scores his side's second goal

Darragh Fitzgibbon of Cork celebrates as he scores his side's second goal

Vincent Hogan

Cork bore all the swagger of men really warming to this championship as they condemned Tipperary to a whitewash with this ruthless demolition of their hosts at FBD Semple Stadium.

Re-affirming all of the positive impressions left in Walsh Park one week earlier, Cork packed far too much power for a home side that looked well beaten a long time before the finish.

Conor Lehane was their star-man with a real five-star performance, but Cork were dominant all over the field against a Tipp team that could, potentially, face a championship relegation game if Kerry now win the Joe McDonagh Cup.

Tipp were reduced to fourteen men on the hour when substitute, Alan Flynn, collected a straight red card for illegal use of the hurley.

The idea of Tipp not being involved in next year’s championship may seem far-fetched, but it is a measure of their fall from grace that that exists as a possibility now.

They finished bottom of the Munster group but Cork’s third place ensures them of progress into the All-Ireland championship.

Tipp came into the game not simply needing to beat Cork to stay in this championship, but relying on an unlikely sequence of scoring permutations for survival to be possible.

All that said, the matter of pride is always a compelling force for a Premier county team whenever in close proximity to that blood red jersey. And they began in stunning fashion, scoring an unanswered 1-3 inside the opening five minutes.

Jake Morris got the goal on just 38 seconds, firing one-handed past Patrick Collins into the town-end goal after great work by Craig Morgan, Ronan Maher and Mark Kehoe in the build-up, the latter taking advantage of a slip by Robert Downey.

Cork looked shell-shocked, but managed to settle with points from a Patrick Horgan free and two from Lehane who, after a poor start against Morgan, was now getting completely on top of the Kilruane man.

Lehane would actually have 0-6 on the board by half-time, at which stage Cork had taken complete control of the game, leading 2-14 to 1-9 and Cathal Barrett now trying to rope down the rampant Midelton flier.

Cork’s first goal arrived in the eleventh minute, just seconds after a Noel McGrath penalty ricocheted off the town-end post, Downey having fouled Kehoe under a long Dan McCormack delivery.

Seconds later, the ball was in the Killinan-end net, Alan Connolly the scorer, shrugging two Tipp defenders aside before firing low past Barry Hogan after taking a ball from Robbie O’Flynn.

That six-points swing had Colm Bonnar’s men clearly shaken and they suffered another hammer blow on fifteen minutes, Darragh Fitzgibbon being allowed run 50 yards up the Kinane Stand before drilling another low finish under the Tipp goalkeeper who will have been disappointed not to make the save.

That made it 2-5 to 1-4 in Cork’s favour and the Rebels took complete control from there, winning the remainder of the half 0-9 to 0-5 to go in at the break with that commanding eight points advantage.

Lehane was proving unplayable in his roaming role and, with Cork’s half-back line now dominating the Tipp half-forwards, it was hard to see a way back for the home team whose captain, Maher, picked up a booking for a foul on Patrick Horgan.

Cork’s movement when in possession and their work-rate without the ball was proving far too potent a combination for a Tipp team already now clear in the knowledge that their championship was about to end.

There was no let-up after the resumption, Cork just in cruise control now and substitute, Tim O’Mahony, put the perfect signature on their day with a third goal on 63 minutes, firing first-time to the net after a brilliant flicked Fitzgibbon delivery from Fitzgibbon.

SCORERS:

Cork – C Lehane 0-8 (0-1 free), P Horgan 0-5 (0-3 frees, 0-1 65), S Kingston 0-4, A Connolly and T O’Mahony 1-1 each, R O’Flynn and S Harnedy 0-3 each, M Coleman 0-3 (0-1 free), D Fitzgibbon 1-0, J O’Connor 0-2.

Tipperary – N McGrath 0-13 (0-12 frees), J Forde 0-5, J Morris 1-2, D Quirke, C Stakelum and P Maher 0-1 each, R Maher 0-1 free.

TEAMS

CORK: P Collins, N O’Leary, R Downey, S O’Donoghue, D Cahalane, C Joyce, M Coleman, D Fitzgibbon, L Meade, R O’Flynn, P Horgan, C Lehane, S Kingston, S Harnedy, A Connolly. Subs – T O’Mahony for Horgan (45 mins), T O’Connell for Meade (57 mins), J O’Connor for O’Flynn, G Millerick for Downey (66 mins), S Barrett for Lehane (66 mins).

TIPPERARY: Barry Hogan, C Barrett, R Maher, C Morgan, D Quirke, S Kennedy, B Heffernan, C Stakelum, D McCormack, G Browne, N McGrath, M Breen, J Forde, M Kehoe, J Morris. Subs – A Flynn for Heffernan (half-time), P Maher for Browne (half-time), J Quigley for Barrett (40 mins), C Bowe for Breen (47 mins), G O’Connor for McCormack (69 mins).

Referee – S Stack (Dublin).


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