GAA: Munster Under 17 Hurling Championship Semi-Final
By Denis Hurley at Pairc Ui Rinn
Tipperary’s involvement in the Munster Under 17 Hurling competition came to an abrupt end last night as the Premier County went down by 13 points against Cork in Páirc Uí Rinn with the Rebels finishing with an unanswered 1-7.
Tipp were still in the game with ten minutes left, trailing by 1-15 to 2-9 before Cork’s surge. That scoreline masked a dominance by the home side though and but for some heroics by Tipp goalkeeper Conor Grace, the outcome could have been decided by half-time.
When Brian Roche struck for a well-taken Cork goal in the 42nd minute, it opened up a 1-14 to 1-7 lead but immediately Tipp responded as Ray McCormack got his second goal and Stephen Kirwan’s point then left just three points in it.
That was still the case after Colin O’Brien and Shane Doyle exchanged points, but from there Cork pushed on impressively, building on their 0-16 to 0-6 win away to Limerick last week to set up a final clash with Waterford.
The Rebels led by 0-12 to 1-5 at half-time, with Grace in inspired form as he denied Roche and Owen McCarthy. In the fourth minute, McCormack converted Tipp’s only goal chance of the opening period, ensuring that they stayed in touch throughout.
Captain Daire Connery at midfield impressed for Cork and his long-range free made it 0-12 to 1-3 as half-time approached but Glen Loughnane and Bryan McLoughney were on hand to bring Tipp to within four at the break and Kevin McCarthy cut the gap further on the resumption.
Cork never panicked, with O’Brien extending the lead with a pair of points, the latter after a lovely ball down the line from Conor O’Callaghan, and McCormack’s response for Tipp was answered by Roche’s following Declan Hanlon’s great win in the air.
McCormack ensured that Cork couldn’t get carried away though as he kicked to the net from McCarthy’s pass, and Kirwan pointed then after Shane Doyle’s free hit the post.
With the clock reaching 50, the game still looked like it would go either way as Cork held on to a 1-15 to 2-9 advantage, but the closing stages were all one-way traffic.
Roche, Joe Stack, Connery (two long-rangers, one a free), a pair from Tommy O’Connell and one from O’Callaghan, allied to Hanlon’s goal after he did well to win O’Connell’s delivery.
Man of the Match: Daire Connery (Cork)
Scorers - Cork: Colin O’Brien 0-6 (2 free); Daire Connery 0-5 (4 frees); Brian Roche 1-2, Tommy O’Connell 0-4; Declan Hanlon 1-0; Owen McCarthy 0-2; Sean Twomey, Conor O’Callaghan, Joe Stack 0-1 each.
Tipperary: Ray McCormack 2-1; Bryan McLoughney (1 free), Stephen Kirwan 0-2 each Glen Loughnane, Kevin McCarthy, Shane Doyle (1 free), Mark Downey 0-1 each.
Cork: Luke Donovan; Eoin Roche, Ciarán Nyhan, Ronan Sheehan; Aaron Walsh Barry, Conor O’Callaghan, Jack Hallahan; Daire Connery, Seán Twomey; Declan Hanlon, Colin O’Brien, Tommy O’Connell; Owen McCarthy, Joe Stack, Brian Roche.
Subs: Seán McCarthy for Hallahan (48 inj); Killian Murphy for O McCarthy (53), Kian Farmer for Hanlon (60), Kevin Finn for Stack (60).
Tipperary: Conor Grace (Toomevara); Darragh Flannery (Kiladangan), Zach Jackson (Moycarkey-Borris), Josh Ryan (St Mary’s); Paul Devlin (Éire Óg Annacarty, Capt), Barry McGrath (Na Sairséalaigh Óg), Brendan Murphy (Cappawhite); Glen Loughnane (Roscrea), Eoghan Connolly (Cashel King Cormacs); Michael Nally (Holycross-Ballycahill), Bryan McLoughney (Kiladangan), Kevin McCarthy (Toomevara); Mark Downey (Rosegreen), Raty McCormack (Borris-Ileigh), Stephen Kirwan (Burgess).
Subs: John Ryan (Boherlahan-Dualla) for Connolly (21), Shane Doyle (JK Brackens) for McLoughney (35), Éanna McBride (JK Brackens) for Loughnane (42), Seán McAdams (Kilruane MacDonaghs) for McCarthy (49).
Referee: Thomas Walsh (Waterford)