/ GAA

Cork 2-18 Tipperary 0-10

Updated: Thursday, 14 Jun 2007 15:51

James Masters scores his first goal at the Gaelic Grounds this afternoon
James Masters scores his first goal at the Gaelic Grounds this afternoon

James Masters continued his impressive scoring form at the Gaelic Grounds as he goaled twice in Cork's Munster SFC semi-final win over Tipperary.

Masters tallied up 2-07 as the Rebels set up yet another mouth-watering provincial decider against old rivals Kerry on 1 July.

Points from Declan Browne (0-02), Damian O'Brien and Barry Grogan had Tipperary level at 0-04 apiece before Masters netted twice in the final five minutes of the first half.

2-05 to 0-04 ahead at half-time, three points from Masters, who struck 1-07 against Limerick last time out, moved Cork into a lead they would not relinquish.

The win, Cork's 29th success in 43 SFC meetings with Tipp, sees them remain on course to retain the Munster title for the first time since 1995.

In the sides' first Munster championship encounter since 2002, Tipperary began well with their star forward Declan Browne converting a third-minute free.

Cork were quickly on terms, with wing-forward Conor McCarthy bisecting the posts from play. Indeed, there was little between the teams in the opening half-hour of a match which was played out in front of a disappointingly low turnout.

Tipp corner-forwards O'Brien and Grogan looked lively and added their names to the scoresheet, but the Cork defence, marshalled well by goalkeeper Paddy O'Shea and full-back Graham Canty, were strong throughout.

Another key man for the Rebels, giant full-forward Michael Cussen, claimed an assist for the defending champions' first goal as he laid off for Masters to blast to the roof of the net.

Just three minutes later, a well-worked team move saw Masters bulge the net again, moving his side 2-05 to 0-04 ahead.

Cork's Fintan Goold and Colin Morrissey of Tipp, both on as second half substitutes, exchanged points on the resumption before three points from Masters, bringing his personal haul to 2-04, had Billy Morgan men's 2-09 to 0-05 ahead.

Cork had little difficulty in seeing out the win over the closing 20 minutes, with Derek Kavanagh amongst a number of players to raise white flags.

Browne brought his individual tally to 0-05, but it was not enough to inspire a Tipp side that was leaking far too many scores.

Cork have now scored 4-32 in two championship matches and will take on Kerry with renewed confidence, especially with Masters, last year's Munster final replay hero, in their armoury.

Cork: P O'Shea; M Shields (0-01), G Canty, K O'Connor; N O'Leary, G Spillane, A Lynch; D Kavanagh (0-02), N Murphy; C McCarthy (0-01), P O'Neill (0-02), K McMahon (0-01); J Masters (2-07, 4f, 1 '45'), M Cussen, D O'Connor (0-03, 1f, 1 '45').

Subs used: F Gould (0-01) for McCarthy (h-t), J Miskella for O'Leary (53 mins), S O'Brien for McMahon, B Collins for Cussen (both 60), A Cronin for Masters (65).

Tipperary: P Fitzgerald; M O'Brien, P King, M Phelan; P Morrissey, C Maher, E Connolly; G Hannigan, P Johnson; W Wallace, H Coghlan, B Mulvihill; D O'Brien (0-02), D Browne (0-05, 2f), B Grogan (0-02).

Subs used: K Mulryan for M O'Brien (24 mins), C Morrissey (0-01) for Maher (h-t), C Aylward for P Morrissey, B Coen for Wallace (both 40), P Brennan for Coghlan (69).

Referee: Eugene Murtagh (Longford).

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