His time in blue and gold may only be in its infancy, but Jake Morris is pretty certain there’ll never be a week to top the one just finished.
Yesterday morning, 20-year old Tipperary hurler Morris put out a tweet which contained four gold medal emojis, signifying the four All-Ireland medals — across four different grades — he has pocketed during his four years on the inter-county scene.
Two of those medals were secured during an incredible six-day period last week, Morris featuring in both of Tipperary’s All-Ireland senior and U20 final victories.
Minor🥇, u20🥇, u21🥇, Senior🥇. What a week🔷🔶 pic.twitter.com/ShrCNd5UV6— Jake Morris (@Jakemorris131) August 26, 2019
As he did against Wexford in the All-Ireland semi-final, Morris found the target when introduced off the bench in the senior decider against Kilkenny, while in last Saturday’s U20 final, the Nenagh Éire Óg sharpshooter split the posts on eight occasions, four of those from open play. He also provided the assist for Tipperary’s second goal in the 5-17 to 1-18 rout of Cork, with his 0-8 haul at the LIT Gaelic Grounds bringing his total for the U20 championship to 2-29 (an average of just below 0-9 per game).
“I don’t think I can sum that week up. It is something you dream of when you are a young lad. Like, to have done the double is absolutely unbelievable, unreal. It is what dreams are made of. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to top this week. It has been the best week of my life,” said Morris.
I have the four medals now — minor, U20, U21, and senior — and I am absolutely delighted with that. I hope a famine doesn’t come for me. I was very privileged to be part of two unbelievable groups this year, headed up by Liam Cahill and Liam Sheedy. I count myself very lucky, to be honest with you, as many players go through their careers without winning any.
Morris, who withdrew from the Liam MacCarthy celebrations on the Monday after the game, was urged by senior teammates Pádraic Maher, Brendan Maher, and Noel McGrath to strain every sinew to make sure he tasted double glory, three players who were speaking from experience having been part of the 2010 senior/U21 double.
“They were telling us on Sunday night and throughout Monday that if we could get a win in the U20 that it would be an absolutely special week. They weren’t wrong either. When it came to Monday morning after the senior final, and even though the celebrations were only kicking off in Tipperary, my focus shifted to the U20s. I wasn’t going to let this group down, I don’t think I did anyway.
“I wouldn’t dream of comparing this weekend and last weekend. Winning an All-Ireland medal is an All-Ireland medal. It doesn’t matter what level or grade, or what crowd is there.
“The senior game had opened up by the time I got on so there was a nice bit of space. It was lovely to get on, get a score, and help the team bring back Liam MacCarthy to Tipperary.
I really enjoyed this U20 final because this is my group of friends, I’ve known these lads for years, and so it probably was that bit sweeter today, yeah.
Morris said Tipperary’s explosive start in Limerick, which included four goals in the opening seven and a half minutes, had its roots in the coaching of Mikey Bevans and Liam Cahill.
“Any time we go out with this Tipperary team and the elusive forwards we have, you always target goals. Mikey Bevans has drilled into us about taking on our men and off the shoulder running. Look, it just all came together in those first 10 minutes.
“Liam Cahill, I’ve been working with him for four years and he is constantly telling us how important it is to start well. Thankfully, we started well here and I don’t think Cork could get to grips with us after that.”
Having featured in all eight of Tipperary’s games en-route to Liam MacCarthy glory, among the scorers in five of them, Morris’ target for 2020 is to nail down a starting berth as the Premier men chase back-to-back glory for the first time since 1965.
“For me, I’ll be hoping to push on and secure a starting spot on the senior team next year under Liam Sheedy and do back-to-back All-Irelands. And I also think this group of U20 players will definitely be pushing to win the U20 championship again next year as there is a nice few of this team underage again next year.”