CORK’S five-in-a-row Munster U21 football championship dream was dashed by Tipperary after a thrilling provincial final in Semple Stadium on Thursday night.
Tipp edged a pulsating final, 1-15 to 3-8, to win this title for just the second time and deny Sean Hayes’ Rebels an historic fifth title on the bounce at this particular grade, despite a strong finish by Cork when a Cian Dorgan goal left just a point between the teams in an epic finish.
Cork had started slow and trailed 0-7 to 0-1 after 20 minutes before they picked up the pace, helped by a Peter Kelleher goal, while Cathal Vaughan looked dangerous in attack. Tipp led 0-8 to 1-4 at half time.
Another Kelleher goal early in the second half didn’t signal a major turning point, instead it was Tipp who responded well, with an Ian Fahey goal, and they led 1-11 to 2-5 heading into the final quarter.
Captain Brian O’Driscoll and sub Cian Dorgan inspired a late comeback as the gap was narrowed from five points to one, but in those closing moments the equaliser Cork craved never came.
Tipperary: Kevin O’Halloran 0-6 (5f); Ian Fahey 1-0; Jason Lonergan, Paul Maher, Josh Keane (1f), Colin O’Riordan 0-2 each; Steven O’Brien 0-1.
Cork: Peter Kelleher 2-0; Cian Dorgan 1-1; Cathal Vaughan 0-4 (2f); Brian O’Driscoll (1f), Sean O’Donoghue, Darragh Murphy 0-1 each.