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Sunday 24 September 2017

Rebel ambush stuns Premier

Cork 2-27 Tipperary 1-26

Cork’s Seamus Harnedy falls to his knees as Cork supporters rush onto the pitch in Thurles to celebrate a famous victory over Tipperary. Pic: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Cork’s Seamus Harnedy falls to his knees as Cork supporters rush onto the pitch in Thurles to celebrate a famous victory over Tipperary. Pic: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

"Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown".

Neither Shakespeare nor Henry IV were spotted in Thurles yesterday but the words rang true!

Cork, given little chance before the game, executed a great ambush of All-Ireland champions Tipperary in yesterday's superb Munster SHC first round clash at Semple Stadium.

Manager Kieran Kingston was rewarded by giving youth it's chance when second half goals from his son Shane and Michael Cahalane saw the Rebels stun the Premier County.

Substitute Cahalane crashed home a crucial late goal in the 68th minute after he gathered a Darragh Fitzgibbon delivery before drilling to the net.

Tipperary reduced the deficit to two points after that but Cork finished out on top with Luke O'Farrell and Seamus Harnedy sealing their four-point success.

The Cork boss and his selectors handed five players their championship debuts in this thriller.

"We're very happy with the win obviously," said manager Kingston afterwards.

"We weren't picking on age, we were picking on form and that form was dictated to us to a degree by the league campaign, challenge games, internal games and training.

"It's easy to say it now but if we lost I wouldn't be saying anything different. We asked for a performance, we got a performance and with the performance came the result."

What a difference a year makes in hurling as Cork reversed last year's nine-point drubbing at the hands of Tipp.

But manager Kingston was not going to get ahead of himself as the Rebel boss knows the Premier County are still most likely to have a big say in the race of the Liam Mac Carthy.

"Last year is gone and we're not going to get carried away because we won one game today either.

"But, like I said last year all through the year, that this was a process, we had a programme in place.

"It's easy to say it now but, look, people can either believe it or they choose not to, that's up to themselves.

"We're just trying to do the best we can, trying to develop for the future.

"We've stuck to that game-plan, we've stuck to it from the start. We learned a lot from last year and I think we put it into play today."

Scorers - Cork: C Lehane 0-10 (0-4f, 0-1 '65'), S Kingston 1-4, P Horgan 0-4, M Cahalane 1-0, L Meade, A Cadogan 0-3 each, S Harnedy 0-2, L O'Farrell 0-1. Tipperary: M Breen, S Callanan (0-4f) 0-6 each, J McGrath 1-1, N McGrath, D McCormack 0-3 each, J O'Dwyer (0-1 sideline), Bn Maher 0-2 each, P Maher, Nl O'Meara, S Curran 0-1 each.

Cork: A Nash; C Spillane, D Cahalane, S McDonnell; C Joyce, M Ellis, M Coleman; B Cooper, D Fitzgibbon; L Meade, C Lehane, S Kingston; A Cadogan, S Harnedy, P Horgan. Subs: L O'Farrell for Cadogan (57), M Cahalane for Meade (66), L McLoughlin for Fitzgibbon (70).

Tipperary: D Gleeson; C Barrett, J Barry, J O'Keeffe; S Kennedy, R Maher, P Maher; B Maher, S Curran; D McCormack, M Breen, N McGrath; J O'Dwyer, S Callanan, J McGrath. Subs: N O'Meara for Curran (51), J O'Dwyer for Kennedy (58), A Flynn for Barrett (inj, 64).

Ref: J Owens (Wexford).

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