Winters rescues draw for Dublin Minors

Tipperary 2-13 Dublin 1-16

Winters rescues draw for Dublin Minors

Tipperary 2-13 Dublin 1-16

Tipperary and Dublin must meet again to decide who will take the All-Ireland MHC title after sharing the spoils at Croke Park this afternoon.

In a thrilling contest, Tipperary looked on course to a first title since 2007 but a brace of Paul Winters points ensured Dublin lived to fight another day.

A replay date has yet to be confirmed, owing to the involvement of four of the Dublin Minor panel in the upcoming Minor Football final against Meath.

The sides were level on eight occasions including at the full-time whistle, but it was Dublin who began this game at a lightning pace.

The Metropolitans gave Tipperary no scoring chance inside their own half in the opening five minutes.

Shay Boland's charges were pretty flawless upfront, with quick scores from Paul Winters, defender Eoghan O'Donnell and half-forward Conor McHugh setting the early tone.

Cormac Costello claimed a wide for the Metropolitans inside those frantic opening stages, but the Whitehall Colmcille midfielder would firmly make amends with Dublin's only goal in the 17th minute.

Costello's green flag came only after a strong Tipperary surge with the sides level on three occasions between the 10th and 15th minutes.

All of the Premier County scores came from midfielder John McGrath, brother of Senior star Noel, with the Loughmore-Castleiney clubman's 10th-minute goal from a free tieing the game for the first time.

Deadlocked at 1-3 to 0-6,Tipperary looked like making inroads, but were hit by a Costello sucker-punch for his first goal of the Championship.

Dublin held the lead until the interval, despite the best endeavours of McGrath.

Tipperary pressed hard with the likes of Seán Maher, Tadhg Gallagher, Mark McCarthy and McGrath trying to sniff out a goal.

However, Dublin were resolute in defence in the second quarter with superb blocks from captain Cian O'Callaghan, Cian MacGabhann and Shane Barrett ensuring the Premier County forwards were kept at bay.

McGrath brought his and Tipperary's tally to 1-5 late in the half, with Dublin holding a 1-8 to 1-5 interval lead.

Both goalkeepers came to the fore in the second half as the respective net-minders were forced to pull off magnificent blocks within the opening minute after the restart.

Tipperary custodian Paul Maher forced to keep out an Oisín O'Rorke shot, and at the opposite end Cian Mac Gabhann sending a Mark McCarthy effort out for a 65 which McGrath converted.

William Maher's charges held momentum at this stage and cut the gap to minimum with half-forward Sean Maher claiming the first score not to come from McGrath.

Mark McCarthy's goal-scoring efforts finally bore fruit in the 35th minute, after he beat Barrett for pace and powered the ball past MacGabhann to give Tipperary a 2-7 to 1-8 lead.

Dublin battled back as a Cian Boland point and an excellent score from half-back Sean McClelland tied the game for the fourth time in the 39th minute.

A brace of pointed frees from McGrath brought his tally to 1-8 and pushed Tipperary to a two-point lead, but again a tight final quarter was in store.

Dublin's quest for a first title in 47 years wasn't going to end without a fight and again little separated the sides.

A brace of Winters frees tied the game for the fifth time, but once more Dublin failed to push in front.

A great combined move with Sean Maher and Steven O'Brien finished with a powerful shot from Gallagher in the 49th minute, but Dublin keeper MacGabhann pulled off a fine save to force the ball out for a 65 which McGrath had no hesitation in converting.

Again Dublin tied the game with Donal Gormley claiming his only point, but once again McGrath pushed Tipperary in front to lead by 2-11 to 1-13 with eight minutes remaining.

But there was no stopping Dublin's resolve as Costello put over a vital score for Dublin.

Poor side-line cuts were systematic of Dublin's play late on with Tipperary more clinical when the stakes were at their highest.

McGrath and Sean Maher pointed Tipperary to a 2-13 to 1-14 lead in the 57th minute, but once again the Metropolitans failed to give up.

Winters showed his cool late on to ensure a replay for the first time since William Maher featured for Tipperary in a minor showpiece in 1996.


Tipperary: J McGrath (1-9f, 2 '65) 1-11; M McCarthy 1-0; S Maher 0-2.

Dublin: M Winters (6f) 0-7; C Costello 1-2; C Boland, C McHugh 0-2 each; D Gormley, E O'Donnell, S McClelland 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: Paul Maher; Ronan Maher, Michael Breen, Jack Peters; Tom Fox, Tomás Hamill, Barry Heffernan; Bill Maher, John McGrath; Sean Maher, Jack Shelly, Tadhg Gallagher; Stephen Cahill, Steven O'Brien, Mark McCarthy. Subs: Sean Ryan for Shelly (HT); Kevin Slattery for Gallagher (51); Conor Lanigan for McCarthy (61).

DUBLIN: Cian Mac Gabhann; Shane Barrett, Cian O'Callaghan, Eric Lowndes; Eoghan O'Donnell, Robert Murphy, Seán McClelland; Cormac Costello, Colm Cronin; Conor McHugh, Donal Gormley, Caolán Conway; Paul Winters, Cian Boland, Oisín Ó'Rorke. Subs:Chris Bennett for Conway (51)

REFEREE: Colm Lyons (Cork).

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