Tipperary claim Munster minor crown

The Tipperary minors beat the defending Munster champions Cork, 3-11 to 1-09, on Sunday to pile more heartbreak on the Rebel County just before the senior panel were beaten by Kerry in Killarney.

Liam McGrath, cousin of the Tipp senior hurling hero Noel McGrath, lifted the cup after beating the two top teams, Kerry and Cork, who have dominated the Munster minor championship for so long, on their way to the top.

The Premier County had to come from 11 points behind to beat Kerry in the semi final but Sunday’s victory over Cork saw their second half performance pull away from the Rebels after being neck and neck for the first period of the game.

Despite an unfortunate injury in the sixth minute to full back Kieran Crowley, who was replaced by Conor Dorman, Cork impressed in the opening stages with Dan MacEoin getting the first goal for Cork in the 24th minute and putting them two points ahead at 1-07 to 1-05 following the game’s opening goal, scored by Captain McGrath in the 15th.

Brian O’Driscoll was strong in defence for Cork and helped keep Tipperary at bay while MacEoin scored another three points in the first half to take his tally for the game to 1-3.

Despite O’Driscoll’s best efforts at maintaining the Cork rearguard, Tipperary scored three points before the half time break to level things up, courtesy of two from TJ Ryan and another from Greg Henry, and put them in a more comfortable position going into the second half; the scores standing at 1-07 all.

Tipp came flying out of the traps for the second half, scoring two goals and four points while managing to limit Cork’s scoring to just two points after the break, thanks to the sterling efforts of 16 year-old Colin O’Riordan and Conor O’Sullivan in defence.

Tipperary’s assault on the Cork goal was the difference in the second half when wing-forward Henry opened the floodgates with a great goal in the 38th minute and Michael Quinlivan made it three for Tipp with a penalty in the 50th minute.

Tipp’s second half performance deserved to win the game and the eight point difference by the end of the game was a reflection of their dominance; strong in defence, Stephen O’Brien and Ian Fahey seemed to be first to every ball in midfield and Ryan and co up front put the points on the board.

The last time a Tipperary minor team had won the Munster minor championship was 16 years ago and the David Power’s squad will now meet the runners-up of the Leinster minor final, either Dublin or Meath.

Sportsnewsireland.com will have live score updates on all GAA Championship matches over the summer.

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