Tipperary strike at the death to deny Cork in cracking U-20 Munster hurling final
Bord Gáis Energy Munster U-20 hurling final: Tipperary 3-15 Cork 2-17
Jake Morris fired an added-time winner as Tipperary claimed the Bord Gáis Energy U-20 Munster hurling title with a stylish come-from-behind victory against Cork at Semple Stadium.
Tipperary looked dead and buried on a handful of occasions in front of 9,117 spectators in Thurles, but particularly when Cork substitute Evan Sheehan crashed a ground stroke to the net with one minute of normal time remaining to give Cork the lead.
Darragh Woods cut the deficit straight away at the other end, before Brian Turnbull hit back, but Morris’s crisp shot beat Ger Collins in the 63rd minute to give Tipp a memorable victory.
All is not lost for Cork, who now go on to face Leinster champions Kilkenny in the All-Ireland semi-final, while Tipperary will meet Wexford at the same stage.
"It was a great performance from our fellas to pull it out of the fire in the end. A never say die attitude is great to see," said Tipperary manager Liam Cahill.
"It fell to the right man in Jake Morris. He might have had a quiet game tonight by his standards, but he’s a lethal player when he gets the chance."
Goals at each end of the first-half also proved crucial for Tipperary with a well struck effort from Conor Bowe on the turn and another from substitute Kian O’Kelly keeping them in touch.
Between the tenth and 18th minutes Cork experienced their best period of the game when they scored six of the seven points scored in that time. It mainly stemmed from the ability of their defence to win the high ball in front of the Tipp forwards, while at the other end Shane O’Regan, Sean Twomey and Craig Hanifin kept the scoreboard rolling.
The introduction of O’Kelly was a key move for Tipperary and after his arrival, the ball began to stick a bit better up front. Morris added a couple of frees and Gearoid O’Connor pointed after Cork failed to clear their lines, but O’Kelly’s excellent individual goal just before the break meant the teams were level at 2-7 to 1-10.
With Robert Downey making an impression after his move to the forward line, Cork opened up a three-point lead after the break with Turnbull, Twomey and Hanifin on target, but Tipp hit back with three of their own to level the game again in the 46th minute.
The next two scores came from Tipperary’s Bryan O’Mara and Bowe, but after Padraig Power squared the game seven minutes from time Cork looked likeliest winners.
A great point on the turn from Bowe put Tipp ahead a minute from time, but when Sheehan crashed his ground stroke past Aaron Browne, victory looked to be Cork’s, only for Morris to step up with the winner.
Scorers – Tipperary: C Bowe 1-4, J Morris 1-3 (2f), K O’Kelly 1-0, A Ormond 0-2, B Seymour 0-1, J Cahill 0-1, G O’Connor 0-1, C Connolly 0-1, B O’Mara 0-1, D Woods 0-1
Cork: S Twomey 1-2, C Hanifin 0-4 (3f), S O’Regan 0-3, E Sheehan 1-0, D Connery 0-2 (1f), B Turnbull 0-2, T O’Connell 0-1, R Walsh 0-1, P Power 0-1, E Roche 0-1.
Tipperary: A Browne; C McCarthy, E Connolly, C Morgan (c); M Purcell, B O’Mara, P Cadell; J Fogarty, J Cahill; C Connolly, J Morris, G O’Connor; B Seymour, A Ormond, C Bowe.
Subs: K O’Kelly for Fogarty (19), N Heffernan for Purcell (half-time), J Ryan for Seymour (45), D Woods for O’Kelly (52), R McCormack for Ormond (63).
Cork: G Collins; C O’Callaghan, J Keating (c), E Roche; R Downey, G Millerick, S O’Leary Hayes; D Connery, R Walsh; T O’Connell, C Hanifin, S Twomey; B Turnbull, S O’Regan, L O’Shea.
Subs: S Kennefick for O’Shea (half-time), E Sheehan for O’Regan (47), P Power for Downey (50), B Murphy for Hanifin (56).
Ref – Thomas Walsh (Waterford).