This is a repeat of last year’s decider which was a marvellous advertisement for vocational inter-county hurling. Tipp were the defending champions then and will be keen to reverse that result.
This grade was once played as a curtain-raiser to the National hurling League final but higher authority dictated it should be moved from its privileged position.
However, that won’t detract one iota from the efforts of both teams. Any time a Cork and Tipp hurling team come face to face you can expect a lively hour and the inclusion of a couple of county minors will add to the occasion.
Cork were taken to a replay by Galway before they emerged winners by the narrowest of margins. Both games were tense affairs, and the defending champions will surely have benefited from those matches.
Not unexpectedly, Cork have given a vote of confidence to the team which beat Galway for tonight’s final. It will include five current county
minors in Danny O’Callaghan, John O’Callaghan, Darragh Mulcahy, Darren Crowley and Gavin Riordan.
Ross Cashman and David Lynch who will also play, both were county minors last year while goalkeeper Richard Cunningham is playing in his third All-Ireland final in a row.
Team captain Danny O’Callaghan didn’t play against Galway in the replay because of his club commitments and his return will strength Cork’s challenge.
Defensively Cork are very solid with Darragh Mulcahy and Ross Cashman the pick of the backs; Attack wise Cork are well served by Danny O’Callaghan, Darren Crowley and Chris O’Donovan, who have been doing the bulk of the scoring.
Tipp’s county minor on the team is wing back Eoin Hogan but they also include three county minor footballers, David Buckley, Paddy Codd and Damien McCormack. A 2-14 to 1-11 victory over Offaly in the semi-final should have Tipp in the perfect frame of mind, but there should be no need of any motivation when it comes to playing Cork particularly in an All-Ireland final.
Their victory over Galway, who have a phenomenal record at this level with 18 titles to the credit which includes eight wins in a row (1980-1987), will make the Leesiders favourites, but expect Tipp to push them every inch of the way.
R. Cunningham; D. Lynch, D. Mulcahy, D. Ryan; K. Lane, R. Cashman, J. O’Callaghan; D. O’Sullivan, G. O’Riordan; J. McCarthy, T. Mullane, E. Clancy; D. Crowley, C. O’Donovan, M. Hickey.
J. King; D. Buckley, S. Fitzgerald, B. Cahalan; E. Hogan, P. Codd, L. Mackey; D. O’Connor, S. Kelly; E. Gleeson, D. O’Meara, M. Heffernan; D. McCormack, D. Darcy, M. Costelloe.