Tipperary are through to the All-Ireland quarter-finals, as a strong finish saw them beat Cork 2-18 to 1-17.
The Premier looked dead and buried, as the Rebels had overturned a five-point deficit to take the lead with 10 minutes to go. But Jake Morris, just like he had done against Cork at the U20 grade last year, found the Lee-siders’ net with a late strike to swing the contest in Tipp’s favour.
Perhaps learning from their defeat to Limerick, Tipp opted to play with the wind in the first half. Cork struggled to gain significant headway playing into the Clare End at the LIT Gaelic Grounds, but the Premier failed to punish them. In fact, Tipp amassed 12 wides throughout the first-half.
Jason Forde got the scoreboard moving with a succession of frees, as the reigning All-Ireland champions looked to establish a lead at the break which would justify the strong wind with which they played.
But the Lee-siders drew level in the 22nd minute, with a stunning goal from Patrick Horgan. The Glen Rovers star pinched the sliotar from a bunched group on the 65, and turned for goal. Finding open field in front, he backed himself and struck it past Brian Hogan.
Although Tipp steadied with two impressive points from Michael Breen, Cork hung on in the tricky conditions.
Liam Sheedy’s charges took a 0-9 to 1-4 lead, but there were doubts whether two points was a sufficient advantage at the break, given the strong wind.
Reigning Hurler of the Year Seamus Callanan sprung to life after the break with two well-taken points, although Seamus Harnedy responded in kind. Nonetheless, Tipp appeared to improve when facing into the elements.
Jason Forde’s 42nd-minute goal swung the momentum in Tipperary’s favour, as Callanan then stretched the lead to five.
But nonetheless, Harnedy and Horgan kept Cork in touch.
Last week’s man of the match against Dublin, Robbie O’Flynn levelled it in the 58th minute, and a Horgan 65 moved the Rebels into the lead with 10 minutes to go.
However, Tipp found another gear. Substitute Paul Flynn scored an impressive brace of points, and Jake Morris found the net to settle the contest. The young Nenagh Éire Óg forward – not for the first time – dealing late heartbreak to the Lee-siders.
Tipp are through to Monday’s All-Ireland quarter-final draw, and remain on course to retain the All-Ireland title for the first time since 1965.
Tipperary: Brian Hogan; Cathal Barrett, Ronan Maher, Alan Flynn; Niall O’Meara, Brendan Maher, Pádraic Maher; Noel McGrath, Michael Breen (0-5); Dan McCormack (0-2), John McGrath, Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher; Jason Forde (1-6 – 0-5 frees), Seamus Callanan (0-2), Jake Morris (1-0).
Subs: Willie Connors (0-1) for John McGrath (34th minute), Paul Flynn (0-2) for Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher (53rd minute), Paddy Caddell for Noel McGrath (60th minute), Dillon Quirke for Jason Forde (72nd minute).
Cork: Anthony Nash; Damien Cahalane, Colm Spillane, Sean O’ Donoghue; Tim O’ Mahony (0-1), Robert Downey, Mark Coleman; Bill Cooper (0-1), Luke Meade; Seamus Harnedy (0-4), Shane Kingston (0-1), Robbie O’Flynn (0-1); Jack O’ Connor, Declan Dalton (0-1), Patrick Horgan (1-9 – 0-8 frees, 0-1 65).
Subs: Stephen McDonnell for Robert Downey (48th minute), Darragh Fitzgibbon for Declan Dalton (51st minute), Conor Lehane for Jack O’Connor (61st minute), Billy Hennessy for Shane Kingston (72nd minute).
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