A Darragh Woods goal two minutes from the end of the second period of extra-time had the look of a winner about it, the Tipperary sub scooping the sliotar across the line on 78 minutes after Cork keeper Ger Collins had dropped Paddy Cadell’s delivery. Woods tallied 1-4 of Tipperary’s 1-5 during extra-time and when Willie Barry edged them 2-18 to 0-21 in front, that appeared to be that.
Referee Rory McGann allowed play continue and Cork were presented a lifeline in the guise of a 25-metre free. Evan Sheehan was handed responsibility and his dead-ball effort lodged into the Tipperary net to set up a replay at Páirc UÍ Rinn tomorrow (1pm).
The first period of extra-time produced two points at either end. First, Woods sniped a pair of points. Back came their opponents, with Declan Hanlon and Daire Connery (free) levelling matters for a fifth occasion.
Having been outplayed, outhurled and outthought in the 12 minutes after the interval break, during which Tipperary outscored Cork by 0-5 to 0-1 to move 1-12 to 0-9 in front, the visitors looked to have forced extra-time when Robert Downey levelled proceedings three and a half minutes into second-half stoppages.
The full-forward’s effort was Cork’s sixth point without reply, with Denis Ring’s charges having wrestled momentum from the reigning champions during a hugely entering closing quarter. Tipperary were the architects of their own slip-up during these closing stages, with a number of poor decisions taken close to Ger Collins’ goal. There was also a Ray McCormack goal chance kept out by a superb last-ditch hook, while three Anthony McKelvey frees failed to find the target.
But just as the crowd of 4,254 settled in for extra-time following Downey’s equaliser, the excellent Paddy Cadell stole possession in the middle of the field, the sliotar was worked to Jake Morris and he fired Tipperary back in front – this was their first score in 21 minutes of play.
The clock showed 64 minutes and 10 seconds had elapsed. And with Rory McGann having signalled for four additional minutes, we expected the final whistle to sound from the resulting restart.
It never arrived. Cork swept downfield and it was Downey who again proved their saviour, splitting the posts from the tightest of angles.
The first-half had finished with Tipperary in front by 1-7 to 0-8. Cork, thanks to four points from the lively Turnbull, spent most of the opening period holding the inside lane. But they would fail to score between the 18th and 32nd minute, during which Liam Cahill’s troops notched 1-3 without reply.
Points from Cadell and McKelvey (free) brought Tipperary within a point of their opponents, 0-7 to 0-6, and they hit the front when Ray McCormack, set-up by a superb Conor Bowe catch, produced the opening goal on 27 minutes. A Cadell point thereafter completed the Tipperary purple patch.
Daire Connery, with his third of the half, ended Cork’s barren period in first-half stoppages. The county’s wait for a first Munster minor final appearance since 2008 extends for another 48 hours but better that than to be waiting another 12 months.
They’ll be glad of the second chance. They fairly earned it.
A McKelvey (0-8, 0-7 frees); D Woods (1-4, 0-3 frees); R McCormack (1-0); P Cadell (0-3); J Morris (0-2); W Barry (0-1);
B Turnbull (0-9, 0-5 frees); D Connery (0-7, 0-5 frees); E Sheehan (1-0, 1-0 free); R Downey (0-2); L O’Shea, D Linehan, D Hanlon (0-1 each).
G Collins (Ballinhassig); C O’Callaghan (Dromtarriffe), S O’Leary Hayes (Midleton), E Roche (Bride Rovers); J Keating (Kildorrrery), G Millerick (Fr O’Neill’s), R Howell (Douglas); D Connery (Na Piarsaigh), D Linehan (Ballyhooly); C Hanafin (Na Piarsaigh), L O’Shea (Lisgoold), B Roche (Bride Rovers); E Sheehan (Na Piarsaigh), R Downey (Glen Rovers), B Turnbull (Douglas).
A Walsh Barry (Carrigtwohill) for Howell (30); B Murphy (Castlelyons) for O’Shea (39); C O’Brien (Churchtown/Liscarroll Gaels) for Hanafin (48); D Hanlon (Blarney) for Sheehan (50 mins); L O’Shea for Murphy (64); D Jones (Dromina) for O’Brien (70); E Sheehan for B Roche (77).
E Collins (Drom & Inch); K Breen (Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams), M Feehan (Sean Treacys), M Purcell (Na Sairsealaigh Óg); R Quirke (Cappawhite), C Morgan (Kilruane MacDonaghs), B O’Mara (Holycross-Ballycahill); J Cahill (Kilruane MacDonaghs), P Cadell (JK Brackens); C Bowe (Moyne-Templetuohy), J Morris (Nenagh Éire Óg), R McCormack (Borris-Ileigh); N Hoctor (St Mary’s Clonmel), A McKelvey (Moycarkey-Borris), C Bourke (Clonoulty-Rossmore).
A Ormonde (JK Brackens) for Bourke (38); K McCarthy (Toomevara) for Hoctor (58); B Seymour (Kiladangan) for O’Mara (60); D Woods (Holycross-Ballycahill) for Ormonde (60); E Connolly (Cashel King Cormacs) for Quirke (60); B O’Mara for Bowe (60); C Bowe for McKelvey (69); W Barry (Cappawhite) for McCormack (74).
R McGann (Clare).