A dogged and spirited performance from the Premier county saw Tipperary earn a deserved replay against Cork in the Bank of Ireland Munster Football Final in Thurles. This final was expected to be a one sided contest with Cork the odds-on favourites to take the title and think about bigger fish. But it was Tipperary who took the early lead in the opening minutes with points from Peter Lambert and Declan Browne (2), which gave them a three point advantage.
Cork finally got a point on the scoreboard after six minutes, Nicholas Murphy reducing the score to two points. But the Cork defence could not handle the lively Browne, who added another point for Tipp before Lambert added his second. The Cork midfield could not hold possession and the home supporters began to wonder what the result might be, before a point from Corkery and a scrappy goal from Brendan Ger O'Sullivan levelled the match.
The match began to change in Cork's favour with Tipperary trying to slow the pace of the game. But Tipp failed in their attempt as Cork went ahead for the first time with points from Murray and Clifford. The underdogs fought back and reduced Cork's lead to a single point, England the scorer for Tipperary.
It took Cork five minutes to add to their tally, Murray with his second point of the match before Corkery also with his second point gave them a three-point lead. The strangest of goals came after 32 minutes when O'Sullivan's low-weak shot went passed Ryan in the Tipp goal. Browne added his fourth and fifth points of the match for Tipp before the break, but it was Cork who lead the match 2-06 to 0-08 at half-time.
Cork added to their advantage early in the second-half with a wonderful point from Corkery. But Tipp's dogged spirit continued and Browne added his sixth point of the match before Paul Cahill reduced the deficit to three points. But the game changed in the most dramatic way after 43 minutes, Browne adding another point before Bennie Hickey scored a great goal to put Tipperary ahead.
Lambert added another for Tipp before Browne with his eighth point added to his teams' clear advantage. The deficit was reduced to two points, Colin Corkery fighting for the Rebels with fifteen minutes to play. The match turned into a cliff hanger when Corkery put Cork within a point of Tipperary with ten minutes to play.
The Rebels looked determined to get the equaliser and it came through Corkery, his third successive point from a free-kick. The same player grabbed another vital point to put Cork ahead with minutes remaining before Naill Kelly fisted an amazing equaliser for the Premier County to earn a richly deserved draw for the underdogs.
Cork 2-11 Tipperary 1-14
Filed by James Shortt