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Long walks tall for Tipp minors

TIPPERARY 2-12 CORK 0-16 A LATE Tipperary surge carried them to victory over Cork in the Munster MHC final at Thurles yesterday.

After a game which reached a very exciting climax following a rather pedestrian start, Tipperary completed a hat-trick of provincial titles at this level but for a long time Cork looked the likely winners.

However, Tipperary's Shane Long grabbed two goals at vital stages and it was these which eventually decided the destination of the title.

Cork were the better side in a low-key first half. Aided by the breeze, they picked off their scores constantly but a Shane Long goal for Tipp in the 12th minute kept the champions in touch as they struggled to get to the pace of the game.

Tipperary suffered a setback with the loss of full-back Sean Ryan through injury in the eighth minute. At half-time, Cork led 0-8 to 1-3 and they continued to have the better of things early in the second half, retaining a four-point lead as the game entering the last quarter.

Then, Long pounced for Tipperary's second goal to spark a rally which saw them edge ahead by a point in the 21st minute. Cork came again, however, with points from Brendan Barry and Barry Coleman to grab the lead three minutes from time.

However, Tipperary held their nerve. Long levelled it and in the last minute Richie McGrath hit a great 90-metre point for the lead.

In injury time, Richie Ruth added another point from a free for a thrilling Tipperary victory.

The manner in which Tipperary stuck to their task all through will have pleased their management. Long's two goals were crucial as were the displays of Conor Hayes, Paddy Stapleton, David Shepherd, Richie McGrath and sub Shane O'Brien.

Cork's best were Niall Horgan, Michael Aherne, Brendan Barry, Brian Canty and Mattie Foley.

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SCORERS - Tipperary: S Long 2-1; R Ruth 0-4; D Sheppard and S O'Brien 0-2 each; R McGrath, D Young, D Morrissey 0-1 each. Cork: A O hAilpin 0-5; B Barry 0-3; M Allen and B Canty 0-2 each; B Ring, M Ahern, D Lucey, B Coleman 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY - D Egan; I Delaney, S Ryan, C Hayes; N Teehan, P Stapleton, R McGrath; K Bergin, J McCarthy; D Sheppard, D Young, J Woodlock; S Long, R Ruth, D Morrissey. Subs: D McGrath for Ryan, M Heffernan for McCarthy, S O'Brien for Woodlock, B O'Sullivan for Bergin, P Ryan for Young.

CORK - C de Barra; E O'Sullivan, N Horgan, M Foley; S O'Neill, M Ahern, B Clifford; M Harrington, D Lucey; K Canty, B Coleman, B Canty; B Barry, A O hAilpin, M Allen. Subs: B Ring for Lucey, S Cronin for Harrington, M O'Sullivan for Allen.

REF - D O'Driscoll (Limerick).


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