Fintan O’Toole reports from Gaelic Grounds
A DRAMATIC FINALE propelled Tipperary into the winners’ enclosure as they pounced for a late spree of scores to snatch the Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U21 hurling title from Cork’s grasp this evening.
Tipperary captain Colin English lifts the trophy.
After being soundly beaten in the Munster decider, Tipperary exacted revenge when substitutes Conor Stakelum and David Gleeson grabbed the crucial late scores for Liam Cahill’s men.
Stakelum seized on a mistake in the Cork defence to rob possession, cut through and manage to scramble home a goal that put Tipperary in front by two. Gleeson tapped over an insurance point soon after and fetching a long delivery with their rearguard repelling Cork’s advances at the other end to seal a famous underage success.
The opening half was divided into two separate sections of dominance, underpinned by both teams hitting the net. Tipperary set the terms of engagement early on and were full value for the 1-5 to 0-1 lead they had established by the 15th minute.
Jake Morris fires home a goal from a penalty for Tipperary.
Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO
That included a scoring spree of 1-4 without reply, Jake Morris knocking home a penalty in the 15th minute after Mark Kehoe’s run was halted by a foul from Mark Coleman.
But despite hurling against a fierce breeze and being outplayed in various sectors, Cork turned the match around before half-time. They amassed 1-6 between the 16th and 25th minutes, while simultaneously holding Tipperary scoreless in that time frame.
The goal was a gem, Conor Cahalane latching onto a break and accelerating through the Tipperary defence, swerving past challengers and holding his nerve to finish off his left past goalkeeper Barry Hogan.
Conor Cahalane celebrates his first-half goal for Cork.
By the break Cork were in front 1-9 to 1-7 with the tallies from Cahalane (1-2) and Robbie O’Flynn (0-3) responsible in shaping that position. Tipperary remained in the hunt as Morris and Jerome Cahill spearheaded their scoring drive.
And it was the Premier outfit who looked energised upon the resumption as they picked off four of the first five points of the second half. They were still in the ascendancy at 1-12 to 1-10 by the 48th minute before Cork rallied with a pair of points from Darragh Fitzgibbon and Cahalane.
Then it appeared as if Tipperary had struck a decisive blow with midfielder Stephen Nolan finding a route down the heart of the defence and he finished clinically to the net in the 54th minute.
Cork countered to enjoy one of their best scoring spells of the game. Declan Dalton, Brian Turnbull, Dalton again and then Tim O’Mahony in the 62nd minute nudged them in front.
It placed them in a winning position but Tipperary’s spirit and resilience surfaced as they battled on to claim the spoils.
Scorers for Tipperary: Jake Morris 1-4 (1-0 pen, 0-3f), Conor Stakelum, Stephen Nolan 1-0 each, Jerome Cahill 0-3, Cian Darcy 0-2, Ger Browne, Colin English, Paudie Feehan, David Gleeson 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cork: Conor Cahalane 1-3, Declan Dalton 0-5 (0-5f), Robbie O’Flynn 0-3, Darragh Fitzgibbon, Shane Kinston, Tim O’Mahony, Jack O’Connor, Brian Turnbull 0-1 each.
1. Barry Hogan (Kiladangan)
2. Eoghan Connolly (Cashel King Cormacs)
3. Brian McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
4. Killian O’Dwyer (Killenaule)
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5. Podge Campion (Drom-Inch)
6. Robert Byrne (Portroe)
7. Dillon Quirke (Clonoulty-Rossmore)
8. Stephen Nolan (Drom-Inch)
9. Ger Browne (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams)
10. Colin English (Fr Sheehy’s — captain)
11. Jerome Cahill (Kilruane MacDonaghs)
12. Paudie Feehan (Killenaule)
13. Jake Morris (Nenagh Éire Óg)
14. Mark Kehoe (Kilsheelan-Kilcash)
15. Cian Darcy (Kilruane MacDonaghs)
17. Conor Stakelum (Thurles Sarsfields) for Feehan (29)
20. David Gleeson (Ballinahinch) for Darcy (41)
22. Craig Morgan (Kilruane McDonaghs) for O’Dwyer (49)
19. Paddy Cadell (JK Brackens) for Campion (52)
18. Lyndon Fairbrother (JK Brackens) for English (61)
1. Ger Collins (Ballinhassig)
2. David Lowney (Clonakilty)
3. David Griffin (Carrigaline)
4. Niall O’Leary (Castlelyons)
5. Eoghan Murphy (Sarsfields)
6. Mark Coleman (Blarney)
7. Billy Hennessy (St Finbarrs)
21. Conor Cahalane (St Finbarr’s)
9. Darragh Fitzgibbon (Charleville)
10. Robbie O’Flynn (Erins Own)
11. Declan Dalton (Fr O’Neills)
12. Shane Kingston (Douglas — captain)
13. Liam Healy (Sarsfields)
14. Tim O’Mahony (Newtownshandrum)
15. Jack O’Connor (Sarsfields)
22. Brian Turnbull (Douglas) for Healy (39)
8. Ger Millerick (Fr O’Neill’s) for O’Connor (56)
Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow)
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