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‘We know we have potential. It’s about getting consistency,’ insists Rebels boss Pat Ryan, as Cork on the rise

May 23rd, 2024 11:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

‘We know we have potential. It’s about getting consistency,’ insists Rebels boss Pat Ryan, as Cork on the rise Image
Cork's Niall O'Leary is challenged by Tipperary's Jake Morris during the Munster SHC clash at Semple Stadium. (Photos: George Hatchell)

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Tipperary 1-21

Cork 4-30


CORK’S Munster SHC round-robin campaign has concluded, with the county in a strange state of limbo until Sunday evening.

In the five-team group, Cork’s ‘bye round’ is the final one, meaning that the results of this weekend’s Limerick-Waterford and Tipperary-Clare will determine the final placings and whether the Rebels qualify.

Having lost their opening two matches, Cork’s response with wins over Limerick and now Tipp – with Alan Connolly scoring three goals – has been excellent. There is, however, a chance that it may not be enough. Of the nine possible combinations of results this week, two of them – a Limerick-Waterford draw combined with a Clare-win or else a pair of draws – would leave Cork in fourth place and eliminated once again.

Cork's Luke Meade lays the ball off as he is confronted by Tipperary's Ronan Maher.


While happy to have seen his side play well in recording the county’s biggest championship win over Tipperary since 1898, manager Pat Ryan is keen to see further improvement if the campaign is allowed to continue.

‘We know we have potential,’ Ryan said, ‘we’ve had potential for the last four or five years but just haven’t been able to bring it through. It’s about getting that consistency. Everyone can see that, on a given day, Cork can put in any performance.

‘The really good teams – the Limericks, the Kilkennys of the past, the Dublins, all those teams they performed – whatever the level is, it might be below their level, but they’re performing every day.’

Cork were rampant in the second half, with the second of Connolly’s goals putting them 2-17 to 1-14 in front. From there, eight unanswered points made sure of the outcome and Connolly and Patrick Horgan added further goals while the latter was unlucky to pulled for a square ball for another.

In the first half, Cork conceded a goal by Tipp’s Mark Kehoe in the opening minute, but it didn’t unduly affect them.

‘We knew that Tipperary would do that,’ Ryan said, ‘they’ve great runners from behind. Conor Bowe normally plays on the right wing but he was playing on the left, we kind of got caught with that, and he had a great win to create a goal chance.

‘Our lads settled down but, in fairness, I thought Tipperary put it right up to us in the first half. I thought they’re puckouts were very good, Barry Hogan was getting some great puckouts off and they had great movement.

‘We got in at half-time and were able to solve that a small bit, in fairness to Donal O’Rourke he tweaked a couple of things and that seemed to work for the second half. We got a couple of scores and that made life easier for us.’

They got on top with Darragh Fitzgibbon, Shane Barrett and Niall O’Leary all shining and it was Barrett who set up Connolly for the goal to send them in leading by 1-15 to 1-12 at half-time.

The Blackrock man’s second goal – a turnover he forced himself – was the dam-buster and sub Shane Kingston helped them to move clear, firing over four consecutive points.

Luke Meade, on as a first-half sub for the injured Ethan Twomey, was outstanding and he was the architect for Connolly’s hat-trick goal. The scores flowed after that as Cork emptied the bench while Tipp struggled to make any inroads into the growing deficit. They are now eliminated with a game to spare but may still have a say in who progresses. For Cork and Ryan, it’s a case of playing the waiting game, with the schedule affording a chance of a light week.

‘Obviously, I don’t think there’s any chance we  can get to the Munster final,’ he said, ‘so wouldn’t be playing until the 15th of June or something like that.

‘We’ll do a gym and recovery session tomorrow, probably train Thursday and give the lads the weekend off.’


Tipperary: Jason Forde 0-6 (3f); Jake Morris, John McGrath (3f) 0-3 each; Mark Kehoe 1-0; Darragh Stakelum, Gearóid O’Connor, Noel McGrath 0-2 each; Ronan Maher (1f), Alan Tynan 0-1 each.

Cork: Patrick Horgan 1-9 (4f, 1 65); Alan Connolly 3-1; Shane Kingston 0-4; Séamus Harnedy, Darragh Fitzgibbon 0-3 each; Shane Barrett, Brian Hayes, Robert Downey 0-2 each; Niall O’Leary, Declan Dalton, Conor Lehane, Luke Meade 0-1 each.

Tipperary: Barry Hogan; Cathal Barrett, Michael Breen, Craig Morgan; Bryan O’Mara, Ronan Maher, Conor Bowe; Alan Tynan, Eoghan Connolly; Gearóid O'Connor, Jason Forde, Noel McGrath; Mark Kehoe, Darragh Stakelum, Jake Morris.

Subs: Paddy Cadell for R Maher (31-half-time, temporary), Conor Stakelum for Connolly (half-time), Dan McCormack for Barrett (41), John McGrath for Forde (45), Patrick Maher for D Stakelum (48), Seán Hayes for Gearóid O’Connor (56).

Cork: Patrick Collins; Niall O’Leary, Eoin Downey, Seán O’Donoghue; Tim O’Mahony, Rober Downey, Mark Coleman; Ethan Twomey, Darragh Fitzgibbon; Declan Dalton, Shane Barrett, Séamus Harnedy; Patrick Horgan, Alan Connolly, Brian Hayes.

Subs: Luke Meade for Twomey (31, injured), Shane Kingston for Dalton (45), Ger Millerick for O’Donoghue (52, temporary), Conor Lehane for Harnedy (59), Jack O’Connor for Barrett (62), Tommy O’Connell for Fitzgibbon (64), Seán Twomey for Connolly (68).

Referee: Thomas Walsh (Waterford).

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