Galway's minors win All-Ireland title with devastating goal-fest in second half

By Eoghan Cormican, Croke Park

Galway 4-13 Tipperary 1-16

A blistering four-minute spell early in the second-half – in which Galway hit an unanswered 2-2 – secured the westerners a 10th All-Ireland minor crown.

Deadlocked at 1-8 to 0-11 on 37 minutes, Galway churned out two green flags in the ensuing four minutes to move out of Tipperary’s reach.

An Evan Niland free from well over 65-metres tapered the fuse on Galway’s spell of productivity, their second goal arriving less than 60 seconds later.

Brian Concannon put through Liam Forde and with his first touch of the game, the Galway sub buried to the net.

Another Niland free followed and Jeff Lynskey’s charges had one hand on the Irish Press Cup when Cianan Fahy blasted to the net on 40 minutes.

Galway’s third goal left the scoreline reading 3-10 to 0-11 and though Tipperary kept plugging away until the death, Tommy Nolan landing a late goal, their faith was sealed when sub Michael Lynch struck Galway’s fourth green flag in stoppages.

Tipperary efforts to claw back the deficit in the final quarter were frustrated by the hard-working Shane Bannon, Ciarán Connor and Seán Loftus.

The latter, though wearing 15, spent the entire game in his own back line – a most effective sweeper.

The sides were level on seven occasions in the first-half, and, indeed, returned down the tunnel at the interval deadlocked at 1-7 to 0-10.

Two apiece from full-forward Evan Niland (both frees) and Jack Coyne had the westerners off the mark, Lyndon Fairbrother (0-2), Tommy Nolan and a Brian McGrath ’65 keeping Tipperary on level footing.

Liam Cahill’s young charges were desperately unlucky not to register the opening goal of the contest after 12 minutes, ‘keeper Darragh Gilligan producing a flying save to keep out Garry Ryan’s drive.

The Munster champions edged in front at the end of the first quarter with Fairbrother slotting his second free, but then arrived the key moment of the opening half, Tipperary corner-back James Quigley failing to deal with a Jack Coyne delivery; Evan Niland pounced and buried the sliotar off the right post and into the net.

Tipperary, to their credit, responded with quick points from Alan Tynan and Tommy Nolan to level matters for the fourth time, 1-4 to 0-7.

It was point for point from there to the break, with Galway making the decisive break seven minutes into the second period to lay the foundations for the county’s 10th All-Ireland minor crown.

Scorers for Galway: E Niland (0-9, 0-8 frees); B Concannon, C Fahy, M Lynch, L Forde (1-0 each); J Coyne (0-2); S Loftus, T Monaghan (0-1 each).

Scorers for Tipperary: T Nolan (1-2); L Fairbrother (0-5, 0-4 frees); C Darcy (0-2 free), B McGrath (0-1 ’65), S Quirke (0-2 each); D Peters (0-1 ’65), M Connors, A Tynan (0-1 each).

Galway: D Gilligan (Craughwell); C Connor (Kilnadeema-Leitrim), J Fitzpatrick (Killimordaly), S Bannon (Clarenbridge); C Mulry (Abbeyknockmoy), I O’Brien (Clarenbridge), A Greaney (Craughwell); J Coyne (Castlegar), J Grealish (Gort); C Fahy (Ardrahan), T Monaghan (Craughwell), F Burke (St Thomas’); B Concannon (Killimordaly), E Niland (Clarenbridge), S Loftus (Turloughmore).

Subs: L Forde (Ardrahan) for Burke (37 mins), C Salmon (Clarenbridge) for Fahy (55), C McDaid (Craughwell) for O’Brien (55), M Lynch (Kilnadeema-Leitrim) for Concannon (59), R Malone (Oranmore) for Greaney (62).

Tipperary: P Hayes (Ballingarry); E Heffernan (Clonoulty-Rossmore), E Moloney (Drom & Inch), J Quigley (Kildangan); K Hassett (Drom & Inch), B McGrath (Loughmore Castleiney), D Peters (Kilruane MacDonaghs); L McCutcheon (Templederry Kenyons), A Tynan (Roscrea); G Ryan (Borriskeane), S Quirke (Moyle Rovers), C Darcy (Kilruane MacDonaghs); T Nolan (Drom & Inch), D Gleeson (Ballinahinch), L Fairbrother (JK Brackens).

Subs: R Mulrooney (Portroe) for McCutcheon (20 mins), J Skehan (Holycross Ballycahill) for Ryan (43), M Connors (Drom & Inch) for Fairbrother (44), S Neville (Lattin Cullen) for Gleeson (56).

Referee: P O’Dwyer (Carlow).

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