Date Published: 01-Jun-2011
TIPPERARY may not have retained the All-Ireland senior hurling title since 1965, but the odds against the Premier county finally emulating that feat this year have tightened after their hard earned victory over Cork in the provincial quarter-final at Thurles last Sunday. The reigning champions didn’t perform consistently over the course of a high tempo match, but still had eight points to spare at the finish.
The crisis time came for Tipperary with about 14 minutes remaining after Cork had drawn level in retrieving an eight point deficit. The momentum and the wind were with the Rebels but, significantly, the title holders responded to the challenge in a clinical and unflustered style. Lar Corbett, the Hurler of the Year in 2010, displayed his leadership with a critical point, while half-forwards Noel McGrath and Seamus Callanan burst back into life again.
The outcome, however, still wasn’t settled until Patrick Maher robbed Cork full back Eoin Cadogan before releasing substitute Benny Dunne for his team’s third goal in the 66th minute. Undoubtedly, the margin of victory flattered Tipperary in the end and their backline wasn’t entirely convincing, but nothing happened in Thurles last Sunday to suggest that Declan Ryan’s squad still aren’t the team to beat this summer.
Having been ambushed by Cork 12 months ago, Tipperary had a score to settle with their great provincial rivals and despite stretching into an early lead, it was already clear that the men in red were not daunted in the slightest by the task ahead. Denis Walsh and his mentors fielded a largely young team, backboned by the likes of the long serving John Gardiner, Niall McCarthy and Ben O’Connor, with the latter pair picking off six points from play between them.
In fact, Cork could have raised two green flags in the opening minutes, Firstly, Paudie O’Sullivan was bravely denied by Brendan Cummins before the excellent Pat Horgan whizzed his effort just wide of the opposition ‘keeper’s left hand post. Still, Tipperary had eked out a 0-5 to 0-2 lead by the 15th minute with the revitalised Callanan picking off two of those, including a glorious effort from the sideline on the old stand side of the field.
But Cork hadn’t come to Thurles to genuflect to the champions as they reeled off five of the next six points with McCarthy, O’Connor, Horgan (two) and Cian McCarthy all finding the range. By the 21st minute, the teams had been level for the fifth time only for Tipperary to make the decisive break on the approach to half-time. Two goals in the space of three minutes from that deadly duo of Eoin Kelly and Corbett help to power the home team into a comfortable 2-11 to 0-10 advantage.
They were far from out the gap, however, as Cork would have the advantage of the strong wind on the resumption. Tipperary did hit early second-half points from Callanan and John O’Brien, but the Rebels gradually built up a head of steam as Gardiner, Horgan, O’Connor and Niall McCarthy landed some wonderful points. Pa Cronin was also winning a lot of primary possession around midfield and by the 56th minute, Cork was level, their players were visibly animated and the team’s supporters could sense an upset.
Tipperary should have been well rattled, but they didn’t look it. Instead, in a calm and nearly methodical fashion, they regained their grip on the exchanges in impressively outscoring Cork by 1-7 to 0-2 over the remaining 15 minutes. The introduction of Conor O’Mahony helped to shore up their defence as well with Dunne’s opportunist strike the highlight of Tipp’s strong finish. At the other end, the Cork full forward line played too far out the field as Cummins fielded a number of wasteful long range efforts with not a red jersey in sight.
Overall, however, this was an encouraging effort from Cork. Walsh was justified in going with the youth even if the decision to replace Horgan near the end of the match was baffling. They weren’t overawed at facing Tipperary and while the personnel may have changed, Cork still strung together some excellently crafted team points which were a hallmark of their successful outfit in 2004 and ’05. They will be dangerous opposition in the qualifiers.
Naturally, Declan Ryan will be relieved that his squad have surmounted this difficult opening summer hurdle. It’s not easy to take over a team which are All-Ireland champions, but the new Tipperary management aren’t lacking in either ambition or organisation. Some of their defenders were occasionally caught out by Cork’s traditional craft and support play, but they will surely get better as the campaign drags on. Clare are up next for Tipperary and that should prove a relatively routine challenge for the title holders.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.
Appeal for information following Portumna crash
Date Published: 08-May-2013
Gardai are appealing for witnesses following a single vehicle crash at the Portumna bridge this morning.
The road from Nenagh to Loughrea reopened shortly after 11 this morning following the completion of a technical exam.
Four men were travelling in a van when they hit the Portumna bridge around 6:30 this morning.
Gardaí, ambulance and two units of Portumna fire services rushed to the scene, and one of the men was taken to Portiuncula hospital in Ballinasloe.
He is being treated for head injuries, which have been described by Gardaí as serious.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Portumna Garda station on 09-097-42060
President Higgins among GMIT’s first ever honorary fellowships
Date Published: 10-May-2013
GMIT is to honour seven outstanding individuals including President Michael D Higgins with Honorary Fellowships at a special ceremony later this month.
It’s the first time in the 40 year history of the Institute the Governing Body of GMIT has decided to award honorary fellowships.
The GMIT Honorary Fellowships will be conferred at the g Hotel in the city this day two weeks Friday 24 May at 2.30pm in front of 200 invited guests.
Galway commuters hold their breath as LRC intervenes in bus strike
Date Published: 13-May-2013
Galway commuters are holding their breath as there has been a potential breakthrough in the Bus Eireann dispute, as both sides have agreed to talks at the Labour Relations Commission.
The LRC intervened this afternoon, on day two of strike action that has seen 95 per cent of bus services disrupted across the country.
The LRC’s Director of Conciliation Services, Kevin Foley, says the National Bus and Rail Union and the company have agreed to meet for mediated talks at 8 this evening.