At a glance: the championship weekend

Updated: Saturday, 16 Aug 2014 20:28 | Comments

Tipperary edged past Cork in the 2012 Munster semi-final - the last time the counties met in the championship
Tipperary edged past Cork in the 2012 Munster semi-final - the last time the counties met in the championship

By James McMahon

Age-old rivals Cork and Tipperary do battle for the right to meet Kilkenny in the All-Ireland hurling final on 7 September.

1530 Cork v Tipperary (All-Ireland SHC semi-final)

Live on RTÉ Two, Sky Sports 3. Also live on RTÉ Player and worldwide on GAAGO

Live radio coverage on RTÉ Radio 1 on Sunday Sport from 1400.

Sunday is set be cool and breezy at Croke Park with the threat of showers. Let's hope we won't have the thundery downpours that made conditions difficult for Limerick and Kilkenny last weekend.   


Cork v Tipperary, Croke Park, 3.30pm

Familiar foes in the battle for Munster supremacy, but now it's all about a place in the All-Ireland decider against the Cats.

A huge crowd is expected for this first-ever championship meeting of the counties at Croke Park.

What can we expect?

The common view is that it will be close and with the weather set to be more benign than was the case in the first semi-final, the scoreboard operator could have a busy afternoon.  

Cork were within seconds of winning last year's All-Ireland final, despite playing second fiddle for much of the drawn encounter with Clare. There is no doubt that the side is much stronger this year and the addition of Aidan Walsh, Damien Cahalane, Mark Ellis and Alan Cadogan has made them a more potent force.

JBM's side deservedly regained the Munster title on 13 July after a gap of eight years. An important step taken in their quest to land Liam MacCarthy for the first time since 2005.

Many pondered over Tipperary's well-being during the League, but they roused themselves sufficiently to reach the final. There was no shame in losing out by a point  to Kilkenny after extra-time.

However, vultures circled again when Limerick's late burst ended their interest in the Munster battle.

At one point in their subsequent clash against Galway, it looked defeat was to be their lot. Two seasons without a championship win. Surely not!

The Premier tide did eventually rise and Galway were left floundering at the end of 70 minutes at Semple Stadium.

Comfortable wins over Offaly and Dublin followed. They are now 70 minutes away from a fourth championship meeting in five years against the Cats.

Tipperary have players that tasted All-Ireland success in 2010 and this season have built up a nice momentum since the loss to Limerick.

However, you get the sense that Cork desperately want to make up for last year and now have a squad that is well-equipped to go that extra step.

Verdict: Cork

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