Tipperary Snippets ahead of Cork

June 19, 2012
Tipperary PRO Ger Ryan has outdone himself once more with his latest batch of snippets ahead of Tipperary's Munster SHC semi-final against Cork.

9 in a row
2012 will be the 9th year in a row that Tipperary and Cork will meet in the Senior Hurling Championship which is a record. The 2000 Munster Final was their previous meeting before 2004 and prior to 2000 their last meeting was in 1992. In another era, consecutive meetings stretched from 1949 (draw & replay) to 1954 -a total of seven games in six years. Earlier on, eight games were played in the seven year period 1907 to 1913. Two of those games were played in the calendar year 1908.

Hurling League rivalry
Tipperary and Cork have played 56 times in the National Hurling League. Cork have 28 wins to 23 for Tipp and 5 Draws.

Oldest and Youngest
Brendan Cummins, who was born on May 11th 1975, is the oldest player on the Tipperary SH panel while Sean Curran, who was born on the September 15th 1991, an honour he took this year from Noel McGrath who remains second youngest on the panel.

Family Ties
Captain Paul Curran and his brother Sean are both on the panel as are Shane and Donagh Maher. John Coghlan's brother Hugh is vice-captain on the senior football panel. Noel McGrath's brother John is on the minor hurling and football panels. Their first cousins Liam and Aidan McGrath are also on the under 21 hurling panel and Liam captained the Tipperary minor football team to All Ireland success last year. Padraic Maher's brother Ronan is on the minor hurling panel and his first cousin, Denis Maher is on the under 21 hurling panel. Patrick Maher's brother Willie, Tom Stapleton's brother Brian and Brian O'Meara's brother, Niall are all on the under 21 hurling panel. Pa Bourke and Johnny Ryan on the senior panel are first cousins as are Gearóid and Adrian Ryan.

Average Age
25 is the average age of the Tipperary senior hurling panel at present. There are seven players over 30 on the panel and none under 20.

Better born earlier in the year?
Adrian Barnett, a research fellow at Queensland University of Technology examined the birthdays of Australian Football League (AFL) players and observed that a disproportionate share of them were born in the first 3 months of the year, while much fewer than expected were born in the last 3 months. There is some support for the theory in the birth dates of the Tipperary panel - 11 of 32 were born in the first 3 months while only 7 were born in the last 3 months. However there is an even split of 16 each between the first and second 6 months of the year!

South Captains
The South Division in Tipperary is often viewed as a football stronghold and only twice have captains from the Division brought home All Ireland hurling cups to the county - Eoin Kelly brought the Liam MacCarthy Cup to Mullinahone in 2010 and his now brother-in-law and minor team manager, William Maher brought the Irish Press Cup to Ballingarry in 1996. However, the South Division has 3 captains of Tipperary hurling teams this year - Paul Curran (Mullinahone) is senior captain, John "Bubbles" O'Dwyer (Killenaule) is under 21 captain and Bill Maher (Kilsheelan Kilcash) is minor hurling captain. Time will tell if the teams they lead will be good enough to bring titles to Tipperary in 2012.

Take your goals
It is hard to believe that the old tradition of scoring more goals than points, in championship hurling, was witnessed as recently as July 1st 1973 , when a late four goal scoring burst saw Tipperary turn a 1-9 to 1-4 deficit into a 5-4 to 1-10 victory, over a shocked Cork team in a Munster semi-final meeting at Limerick .Prior to that, it happened in the 1957 semi-final when Cork beat Tipperary by 5-2 to 1-11 also at Limerick.

Goal free
Cork's failure to score a goal against Tipperary in the 2011 championship meeting was only the ninth occasion this occurred. Those championship years were; 1888, 1900, 1906, 1911, 1961, 1965, 2000 and 2009. The only time that Cork beat Tipp without scoring a goal, was the 2000 final, when Joe Deane's ten points helped them to a narrow 0-23 to 3-12 victory, at Semple Stadium. Cork's worst day scoring wise was on May 27th 1888, when they failed to raise any flag and Tipp won by 2-1 to nil.

Tipperary failed to find the Cork net on four occasions- the 1897 semi-final , the 1900 opener, the 1969 final and the 2010 first round game.

White was the colour
The counties failed to produce a goal between them only once, in the 1900 championship opener, played at Dungarvan on November 4th 1901. Tipperary won by 0-12 to 0-9.

Hot shots
Leading marksmen for both teams in the past twenty meetings

Tipperary Cork
2011 Eoin Kelly 1-7 Patrick Horgan 0-13
2010 Eoin Kelly 0-7 Patrick Horgan 2-2
2009 Seamus Callanan 1-3 Ben O' Connor 0-11
2008 Eoin Kelly 1-7 Ben O' Connor 1-3
2007 Willie Ryan 2-3 Niall Ronan 1-2 & Joe Deane 0-5
2006 Eoin Kelly 0-7 Joe Deane 0-8
2005 Paul Kelly 0-7 Ben O' Connor 0-6
2004 Eoin Kelly 0-9 Joe Deane 0-7
2000 Eugene O' Neill 1-5 Joe Deane 0-10
1992 Declan Ryan 1-1 Tony O' Sullivan 0-7
1991 Michael Cleary 1-7 John Fitzgibbon 2-1 (Replay)
1991 Michael Cleary 0-8 Ger Fitzgerald 2-0 (Draw)
1990 Michael Cleary 1-5 Mark Foley 2-7
1988 Nicky English 0-9 Pat Horgan 1-4
1987 Pat Fox 0-11 John Fenton 0-13 ( Replay)
1987 Pat Fox 0-9 John Fenton 0-12 (Draw)
1985 Nicky English 2-3 John Fenton 1-6
1984 Seamus Power 1-6 John Fenton 0-7
1982 Noel O' Dwyer 1-1 Tony O' Sullivan 0-7
1980 Tommy Butler 1-4 John Fenton 0-7

Dungarvan trivia
On two occasions, the 1898 and 1916 Finals, Tipperary failed to score a point, but still managed to avoid defeat to Cork, by scoring enough goals! The Rebels also found the white flag elusive in the 1915 first round game at the same venue but they too avoided defeat! The last of the ten championship meetings between the counties in the West Waterford town saw Tipp winning a Munster semi-final by 7-5 to 2-7 on August 31st 1924.

Top dogs
Tipperary's most dominant era, against Cork, extended from the Munster Semi Final on June 22nd 1958 to the Munster final on July 21st 1968. During those eleven seasons, Tipperary won all seven championship meetings between the counties. The Premier county also won the All Ireland title on five occasions during that time.

Cork had their longest run of supremacy over Tipperary, between the Munster semi-final on June 13th 1976 and the final on July 7th 1985, during which they had won all six games. They won four All Ireland titles during those ten seasons.

Impressive Munster haul
Two players have won ten Munster Senior Hurling Championship medals - current Cork Bainisteoir Jimmy Barry Murphy (St Finbarrs & Cork ) and the late John Doyle RIP (Holycross-Ballycahill & Tipperary). The Cork genius won his medals in 1975, 76, 77, 78, 79, 82, 83, 84, 85 and 86. Tipperary's Team of the Millennium man was victorious in 1949, 50, 51, 58, 60, 61, 62, 64, 65 and 67.

A trio to remember
The last player to score three goals in a Tipp /Cork championship match was Willie Walsh. The Youghal centre forward rattled the Tipp net three times (twice in the first half ) during the 1969 Munster Final, at Limerick. The Leesiders recorded their first championship win over Tipp, since the 1957 semi-final, by a convincing nine point margin -4-6 to 0-9.

New horizons
When Tipperary and Cork faced each other in the Munster Final, at the Cork Athletic Grounds on July 12th ,1942, there was an unique feature to the contest. It was the first time in championship hurling that the All Ireland Champions (Cork) met provincial champions (Tipperary) in the following year's championship. The explanation was that Tipperary had to withdraw from the 1941 Munster Championship, because of the foot and mouth epidemic. Cork won the All Ireland title in September but when the Munster final was subsequently played, Tipperary beat the Leesiders in Limerick on October 26th by 5-4 to 2-5. The All Ireland champions, captained by Jack Lynch, were easy winners on a 4-15 to 4-1 scoreline.

The scenario was repeated in Leinster fifty eight years later, when the 1998 All Ireland champions, Offaly, faced the Leinster title holders, Kilkenny, in the 1999 Provincial final at Croke Park. The Noresiders won comfortably and Offaly have not beaten them in the championship since the 1998 All Ireland final.

Cork (All Ireland Champions) and Waterford ( Munster Champions) made it a trio, when they met in the Munster Semi Final, at Semple Stadium ,on May 22nd, 2005. The Rebels won that game by two points and confirmed their superiority in the All Ireland Quarter Final at Croke Park on July 24th.

Hurling Immortals
Tipperary and Cork were honoured in two selections of all time Hurling greats. In 1984, the Centenary Year of the GAA, a Hurling Team of The Century was selected. It included four Tipperary players - Tony Reddin, John Doyle, Jimmy Finn and Jimmy Doyle respectively. Cork had two Glen Rovers men chosen - Jack Lynch and Christy Ring.

In 2000, the GAA Hurling Team of the Millennium showed a 'balancing' of membership, with Ray Cummins ( Blackrock), selected in place of Nicky Rackard (1984), bringing the Cork total to three. Tipperary's 'loss' of Jimmy Finn (1984) to Brian Whelehan reduced their number to three and there it stands until the next review!

Twice beaten
In the six championship campaigns after winning the 2001 League, Munster and All Ireland titles , Tipperary lost two championship games every year. That trend included one defeat in Munster, followed by another in the All Ireland or Qualifier series. During those years, seven counties enjoyed championship victories over Tipperary, although in defence of the blue and gold, they only lost six of those games by a goal or less and three of the second defeats were to the eventual All Ireland champions. The worst year was 2003, with losses to Clare, by 9 points and to Kilkenny, by 12 points. The most regretted campaign was in 2007, which despite tremendous endeavour produced a 3 point loss to Limerick, in the third game and a 2 point loss to Wexford, in the All Ireland Quarter Final. During those six seasons, Cork defeated Tipperary in the 2004 Qualifier and the Munster Finals of 2005 & 2006 respectively.

Loyal followers
Tipp v. Cork Munster championship games are always spoken of with a great sense of anticipation. This arises from their intense rivalry and the many great players who have been involved in the legendary epics between the counties. The crowds have followed their meetings with great loyalty, producing an official attendance record (60,177) for the 1961 Munster final (gate receipts £7,469-15-5) at Limerick's Gaelic Grounds. It is also a matter of record that several thousand more gained free entry when gates were opened as patrons departed due to the oppressive heat and discomfort.

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