Cork 1-17 Tipperary 0-9
A Mark Sugrue goal was key to Cork winning their third consecutive U21 Munster title in front of a crowd of 1,775 in Semple Stadium last night.
A blistering five-minute blast in which they scored as many points set them on their way to an All-Ireland semi-final against Cavan on Saturday week, having trailed Tipperary by one at half-time.
However, Sugrue’s emphatic 47th minute finish, after some neat work by Luke Connolly and Brian Hurley down the left wing before squaring the ball, put them five ahead and virtually out of Tipperary’s sight.
Cork had looked hasty in the first half but rocked Tipperary between the 34th and 39th minute when they went four ahead with Alan Cadogan and Connolly impressing in a scintillating spell.
Tipperary, via a brace from Shane Leahy, settled themselves and a more composed Billy Hewitt may have beaten David Hanrahan with a close-range shot but then Sugrue’s goal virtually ended the affair.
Cork rubbed further salt in Tipperary’s wounds with Dan Mac Eoin popping over three scores in-a-row to extend their lead to eight.
The home team, who scored four points to Cork’s 1-13 second half tally, could only manage a Liam McGrath free in return.
There was still time for Mac Eoin and substitute Kevin Hallissey to fire shots at Gearóid Slattery’s net. Although they were denied, the points continued to rain over the Tipperary goalkeeper’s head as his team’s heart went out of it.
It was a different Tipperary team in the first half, mind, McGrath’s third free in the second minute of additional time ensuring they went in ahead by one at the break, 0-5 to 0-4.
Given the amount of chances they created, they probably deserved it even though Cork threatened to open them up on several occasions.
Tipperary didn’t score from play until the 27th minute when Jason Lonergan, who had come on for Bill Maher, fired one over.
Lonergan appeared to inject more life into the Tipperary team that had five wides in the opening half.
If Cork were guilty of being too pressing, Tipperary were ponderous and were also dispossessed a number of times.
A McGrath free opened the scoring in the fifth minute and it may have been followed by a Tipperary goal but for Shane Leahy blazing a shot wide when confronted by Hanrahan.
With Clancy’s and John O’Rourke’s surges through the middle causing Tipperary difficulties, Cadogan opened Cork’s account in the eighth minute and was followed by a Sugrue score six minutes later.
Another McGrath free after Michael Quinlivan had been fouled levelled matters in the 17th minute but Tipperary’s inside pair were living on scraps as Alan Cronin dutifully performed the sweeper role for Cork.
A Hurley free, after he had been brought down by Seamus Kennedy, and Clancy’s goal chance, which flew over for a point, doubled Cork’s advantage but the introduction of Lonergan turned things in Tipperary’s favour.
The replacement’s score was the first of three for them with Steven O’Brien flying over an effort, which was laid on by a fine Paddy Dalton run, and then McGrath put Tipperary ahead for the second time in the game after Shane Leahy had been fouled.
It proved to be but a brief advantage for David Power’s side as Cork’s power prevailed.
Scorers for Cork: M Sugrue 1-1; A Cadogan, B Hurley (2f), L Connolly, D Mc Eoin (1f) 0-3 each; T Clancy, J Wall, K Hallissey, T Hegarty 0-1 each.
Scorers for Tipperary: L McGrath 0-5 (frees); S Leahy 0-2; J Lonergan, S O’Brien 0-1 each.
CORK: D Hanrahan; A Cronin, D Cahalane, C Dorman; TJ Brosnan, T Clancy, J Wall; S Kiely, I Maguire; A Cadogan, M Sugrue, J O’Rourke; D Mac Eoin, B Hurley, L Connolly.
Subs: B O’Driscoll for Brosnan (39); K Hallissey for Sugrue (56); K Crowley for Wall (59); T Hegarty for Mac Eoin (60); J Burns for Kiely (62).
TIPPERARY: G Slattery; N O’Sullivan, D Kearney, C O’Sullivan; N O’Meara, S Kennedy, P Dalton; S O’Brien, D Fitzell; B Maher, I Fahey, D Leahy; L McGrath, M Quinlivan, S Leahy.
Subs: J Lonergan for Maher (25); P Quirke for Kearney (41); B Hewitt for Fahey (43); TJ Ryan for Quinlivan (inj 51); M O’Sullivan for O’Meara (58).
Referee: R Moloney (Limerick).