By Brian McDonnell at Páirc Uí Chaoimh
NOEL McGrath, following a display which saw the Loughmore-Castleiney man fire 1-4 from play, was named the RTÉ man of the match on Sunday.
A McGrath point gave Tipperary an initial advantage, but it was his goal in the 46th minute which re-claimed the lead (1-15 to 0-16) for the Premier men at a vital stage - Patrick Maher won a clearance and passed to John O’Brien. O’Brien then found Corbett who sucked in three Cork defenders before finding McGrath and Noel made no mistake.
“Yeah, Bonner played it on and I think Larry gave the pass there and I was just lucky to be in the right place. It could be someone else the next day and that’s just the way it is. You play the ball to the right man and do the best thing for the team,” Noel McGrath told the Tipperary Star.
“That was just one hell of a performance,” an obviously thrilled Noel McGrath said.
“We knew coming down here what a task we were facing and we’re just delighted to get out of here with the win.
“That was a serious performance from us, down to 14 and everybody that came on made a difference. And, that’s just what it’s about at the end of the day.”
Tipperary, of course, were also forced to play the last 24 minutes with 14 men following the dismissal of Toomevara’s John O’Brien for a second bookable offence.
“You have to be prepared for everything that happens,” Noel McGrath added.
“Some days different things happen. Today Johnno was sent off alright, but, look, we will have him back the next day. Everybody who came on made a difference, everybody battled away and I thought the backs held up brilliantly in the second half. The forwards worked very hard and overall we’re just delighted to get out of here with the win.”
Tipp’s poor record at Páirc Uí Chaoimh had been highlighted prior to this encounter, but Noel McGrath admitted that such statistics did not feature in his preparations: “those things don’t really come into your mind when you’re playing. You go out on the day to try and get the best result that you can.
“That’s what we were doing coming down here today. We wanted to put in the best performance that we could and to get the result.
“We’re delighted to be through. I’m really thrilled because it was such a hard-working performance. We have put in serious work since the Limerick match. We have been training very hard with everybody in the gym and on the field. Now we’re just delighted to get out of here today.”
McGrath also indicated that Tipperary’s recent under-21 win over Cork inspired the senior team: “they battled back to get ahead of Cork right at the very end and that gave us a boost to come down here and gave us the belief that we could come down here and win”.