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Championship holders Tipperary suffered a first-round loss to Limerick in the Munster hurling championship.
As a result, they are in the qualifiers where a win will see them advance to the quarter-finals. Cork are the ones standing in their way. The rebels have an extra game played so far. Firstly, they lost to Waterford before going on to beat Dublin. The last time a team won consecutive Championships was when Kilkenny won in 2015. Tipperary left themselves much to do to replicate that feat by going down to Limerick a fortnight ago.
Cork bounced back from their opening defeat to Waterford with a 6 point win over Dubin last weekend. Kieran Kingston’s side were very impressive as they dismantled the DUblin challenge with precision.
It was a game where the sweeper system was on full display. Mark Coleman was Cork’s designated extra defender and he excelled. His positional awareness allowed him to snuff out Dublin attacks and his passing accuracy, in turn, put Cork on the front foot. Kingston may well opt to deploy such a system again against Tipperary given its success.
The Cork wing-forwards, Seamus Harnedy and Robert O’Flynn, proved elusive all day. Their success in the middle third resulted in five direct points and a constant supply line to the inside forwards.
Can the Premier Strike Back?
Last year’s Champions Tipperary looked tame in their first outing against Limerick. Jason Forde’s frees proved to be the main source of scores for them. In addition, they never threatened to stretch the Limerick defence, apart from when Jake Morris found the net in the first half.
Tipperary trailed by nine at half-time. When they began to show signs of a comeback in the second half, Limerick made a duel out of the middle third and their superior conditioning made sure they came out on top.
When John McGrath scored Tipperary’s second goal in the 55th minute, there was still never a real sense of them catching Limerick.
In a similar way, Tipperary lost the Munster Final to Limerick before going on to win the Championship in 2019. So, the holders may be down but they’re certainly not out. If the Premier County can return to playing to their strengths they will be at the business end of the Championship again. But, Cork will provide a tough challenge.
The game is live on Sky Sports Mix on Saturday.
Tipperary are 8/15 favourites with Paddy Power versus Cork’s 15/8. A draw is 9/1.
Prediction: Tipperary. But, Cork will be a tough test of their title credentials.
They meet in the championship for the 88th time, with Tipperary leading 40-38 in wins. There have also been eight draws and one abandoned game.
HOW THEY GOT HERE
Waterford 1-28 Cork 1-24 (Munster semi-final)
Cork 1-25 Dublin 0-22 (All-Ireland qualifier)
Limerick 3-23 Tipperary 2-17 (Munster semi-final)
LAST FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP MEETINGS
2019: Tipperary 2-28 Cork 1-24 (Munster ‘round robin’)
2018: Tipperary 2-20 Cork 1-23 (Munster ‘round robin’)
2017: Cork 2-27 Tipperary 1-26 (Munster quarter-final)
2014: Tipperary 2-18 Cork 1-11 (All-Ireland semi-final)
2012: Tipperary 1-22 Cork 0-24 (Munster semi-final)
Stats and Figures
Patrick Horgan scored a total of 1-16 (1-8 frees, 0-1 ‘65’) for Cork against Waterford and Dublin. Seamus Harnedy and Shane Kingston scored 0-8 each.
Jason Forde on 0-10 (all frees) was Tipperary’s top scorer against Limerick in the semi final.
Cork beat Tipperary two points in this year’s Allianz League.
The winners will play the losers of the Leinster or Munster finals in the All-Ireland quarter -finals.
HURLING ALL-IRELAND SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS 2020
October 24: Dublin 2-31 Laois 0-23, Croke Park.
October 31: Kilkenny 3-20 Dublin 2-22, Croke Park; Galway 1-27 Wexford 0-17, Croke Park Final
November 14: Galway v Kilkenny, Croke Park
Hurling Championship Round 2 Qualifier: Cork vs Tipperary, Saturday, 14th November, 16:00 (LIT Gaelic Grounds).
— The GAA (@officialgaa) November 10, 2020