Tipp minors end 77-year drought with one-point win over Dublin




Tipperary 3-9 Dublin 1-14, Croke Park

Tipperary were crowned GAA All-Ireland Minor Football champions for the first time in 77 years following a one-point win at Croke Park this afternoon.

Half-time substitutes Colman Kennedy and Philip Quirke had key contributions for the Premier County side, with Kennedy scoring a fantastic 57th minute goal which sealed only Tipp's second ever Tom Markham Cup success.

Kennedy and Quirke struck 1-5 between them, leaving Dublin to rue the 11 wides they amassed, nine of those in the closing 30 minutes.

Tipperary blitzed Dublin in the opening stages to take a 1-1 to 0-0 lead after a minute-and-a-half, with Liam McGrath netting an early goal.

The Premier County captain showed excellent control and composure, despite some hard tackling by Dublin's defence, before sending a powerful shot past goalkeeper Ross O'Hanlon.

However, Tipperary were suddenly on the back foot as the young Dubs took control to hold the Munster champions scoreless over the next 18 minutes, registering 1-7 without reply.

Dublin's only goal arrived in the sixth minute. Jack McCaffrey won clean possession from a kick-out and soloed forward to the edge of the semi-circle.

McCaffrey passed for the inrushing Gavin Ivory and he launched a stunning long range shot into the roof of Evan Comerford's net to give Dublin a 1-2 to 1-1 lead.

Ciarán Kilkenny was immense for the Metropolitans as the dual star registered five first half points, including three during Tipperary's scoreless spell.

Under-18 soccer International Paul Mannion was also in strong form for Dublin with two points, while defender John Small also split the posts in the 13th minute.

Tipp's goal scorer McGrath slotted over a much-needed point for his side to cut the deficit to five points in the 20th minute.

Emmet O'Conghaile became Dublin's sixth player to register a score following his 22nd minute point, but his side failed to build on their lead.

Tipperary were handed a lifeline before the interval with man-of-the-match Michael Quinlivan slotting home an injury-time penalty into the Hill 16 end, after McGrath had been dragged down by net minder O'Hanlon.

However, Dublin bounced back with two pointed frees from Kilkenny to ensure a 1-10 to 2-2 half-time lead.

Tipperary's young manager David Power made two changes at the break, with Quirke replacing John McGrath and Kennedy was introduced in place of TJ Ryan.

Both players proved vital to Tipp in the second half and made an immediate impact. Kennedy and Quirke fired over a point each inside a minute-and-a-half of the restart as they cut the deficit to a goal.

The Premier County continued to cause Dublin's defence huge problems, as further points from Quinlivan and Kennedy made it 1-10 to 2-6 seven minutes into the half.

Tipperary failed to find an equaliser as Dublin dug deep with Kilkenny continuing to play a central role. Defender McCaffrey and Kilkenny added a point each to push the margin back out to three, but their lead could have been greater as they amassed three wides in a short period.

Dessie Farrell's charges held firm control in the midfield sector at this stage, but failed to kick on in terms of scoring as Tipperary hit back with two quick points.

Captain McGrath and substitute Quirke raised successive white flags to cut the deficit to the minimum with 13 minutes remaining.

An Ivory point pushed Dublin into a two-point lead in the 48th minute, but the Metropolitans and in particular Emmet Ó Conghaile misfired in the closing stages.

Tipperary continued to show great heart with Quirke claiming his third score to leave a point between the sides with five minutes of normal time left.

The momentum was with the Munster side late on. With one of the best executed goals seen at Croke Park in recent memory, Kennedy silenced the Hill 16 faithful and nudged Tipp into a sudden two-point lead.

The Loughmore-Castleiney clubman's rising effort, which caught O'Hanlon and his defence out, sent the Tipperary support into raptures and provided a huge confidence booster for his side.

Kilkenny clawed back a point for Dublin in injury-time with his seventh score of a rain-hit afternoon. However, Tipperary were not to be denied silverware and the final whistle brought about scenes of jubilation for the players and management.

TIPPERARY: E Comerford; N O'Sullivan, J Meagher, C O'Sullivan; C O'Riordan, D Fitzelle, S Kennedy; S O'Brien, I Fahey, G Henry, J McGrath, B Maher (0-1); L McGrath (1-2, 0-1f), M Quinlivan (1-1, 1-0 pen), TJ Ryan.

Subs used: P Quirke (0-3) for J McGrath C Kennedy (1-2, 0-2f) for Ryan (both half-time), A Maguire for O'Riordan (43 mins), J Lonergan for Henry (51), J Martin for Maher (55)

DUBLIN: R O'Hanlon; G Hannigan, R McDaid, R Real; E Lowndes, J Small (0-1), J McCaffrey (0-1); P O'Higgins, E Ó Conghaile (0-1); C Costello (0-1), C Kilkenny (0-7, 0-3f), G Ivory (1-1); S Fulham, P Mannion (0-2, 0-1f), C Meaney.

Subs used: D Campbell for Meaney (40 mins), D Byrne for Hannigan (53).

Referee: Paudie Hughes (Armagh)


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