Thursday 13 December 2018

Mark Coleman inspires as Cork capture Under-21 title to seal perfect week

Cork 2-23 Tipperary 1-13

Cork players, from left, Eoghan Murphy, Mark Coleman and David Griffin celebrate
Cork players, from left, Eoghan Murphy, Mark Coleman and David Griffin celebrate

John O'Shea

A long gap was bridged on Leeside by an impressive young group of hurlers who stormed to a comprehensive victory over Tipperary in the Munster U-21 hurling championship final.

Denis Ring's side were slick and efficient in front of the posts throughout and produced a fantastic display overall to win the county's first title at the grade since 2007.

It adds to what has been a memorable few days for hurling on Leeside, following the victory of the senior hurlers in their Munster decider a few days earlier.

The next few years look to offer much promise from a Cork point of view based on the current state of affairs.

The Rebels got off to a perfect start. They set their stall out from the outset, with Shane Kingston and Declan Dalton slotting over early scores.

And that impressive opening was capped off by their opening goal midway through the first half.

After some good work by Tim O'Mahony to put the ball into his path, Robbie O'Flynn finished clinically to the back of the net.

Although Tipp did get early scores of their own through Darragh Woods and Ger Browne, it was Cork that were in the ascendency, with Kingston and Dalton, with a fantastic sideline cut, adding further well-taken points.

Cork were well and truly in the groove and Liam Healy also pointed before the break with a brilliant effort from out wide.

Mark Coleman also got in on the scoring act and was a number of members from the Cork senior hurling on show on the night.

Tipperary looked to mount some sort of fightback on the restart and they pointed through Lyndon Fairbrother.

But Cork put any hopes of a comeback to a shuddering halt, when Jack O'Connor slammed the ball home for the second Rebel goal of the contest.

Declan Dalton and Shane Kingston popped over further  points for Cork moments after Ger Browne scored for Tipperary.

The damage had essentially been done in the first half of play, but Cork continued to show neat interplay on occasions in the second half as well.

One such move was when Conor Cahalane, Daire Connery and Robbie O'Flynn were all involved in a move which culminated in Kingston rifling over another point.

Tipp senior Jake Morris did get a point in the latter stages, but his side were unable to get him involved often enough.

Mark Coleman capped off a sensational individual display with a well-taken score, which proved to be one of the last of the game.

It is Cork who march on and, based on this showing, they will take some stopping in the All-Ireland series this term.

Scorers – Cork: D Dalton 0-7 (4f); J O'Connor 1-2; R O'Flynn 1-1; S Kingston 0-4; M Coleman 0-3 (1f); L Healy 0-2; T O'Mahony, C Cahalane, E Murphy, A Myers 0-1 each. Tipperary: L Fairbrother 0-5 (4f, 1'65'); G Browne 0-4; S Neville 1-0; J Cahill 0-2; D Woods, J Morris 0-1 each.

Cork – G Collins; D Lowney, D Griffin,  N O'Leary; E Murphy, M Coleman, B Hennessy; S Smyth, D Fitzgibbon; R O'Flynn, D Dalton, S Kingston; L Healy,  T O'Mahony, J O'Connor. Subs: C Cahalane for Fitzgibbon (22), D Connery for Smyth (45), A Myers for O'Flynn (55), C O'Leary for Dalton, M O'Halloran for Healy (both 56).

Tipperary – C Barrett; P Campion, B McGrath, K O'Dwyer; C Flanagan, P Cadell, D Quirke; G Browne, C English; J Cahill, P Feehan, M Kehoe; D Gleeson, J Morris, D Woods. Subs: C Morgan for Campion (24 ), L Fairbrother for Gleeson, C Darcy for Woods (both h-t), S Neville for English (44), C Stakelum for Kehoe (54).

Ref – J Murphy(Limerick)

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