/ GAA

Tipp beat Dubs in minor football final

Updated: Sunday, 18 Sep 2011 15:00

Liam McGrath - Goaled early on for the new All-Ireland champions
Liam McGrath - Goaled early on for the new All-Ireland champions

Tipperary won their first All-Ireland Minor Football Championship title since 1934 with a sensational 3-09 to 1-14 comeback win over Dublin at Croke Park.

Dublin led by six points at one stage, and appeared to be headed for a comfortable victory.

But Tipperary, managed by 28-year-old David Power, displayed remarkable courage and character to produce a stunning second-half display.

Substitutes Philip Quirke and Colman Kennedy were the heroes, coming off the bench to hit a combined total of 1-05 as the Munster champions turned a memorable minor decider on its head.

Kennedy’s winning goal three minutes from the end was the best of four magnificent strikes which illuminated a wonderful contest that produced a fairytale ending for the hurling stronghold of Tipperary.

Tipperary made a sensational start, stunning Dublin with a wonderful goal in the second minute when John McGrath’s perfectly timed pass sent skipper Liam McGrath in to drill a low shot to the corner of the net.

Four points behind, Dessie Farrell’s team kick-started their challenge in dramatic fashion, cutting swathes through their opponents’ defence to hit 1-07 without reply.

With Patrick O’Higgins working tirelessly in midfield and centre-back John Small pushing forward at every possible opportunity, they began to pick off the scores, with Paul Mannion knocking over a couple of points.

Then came a memorable goal, blasted to the top corner by Gavin Ivory from Jack McCaffrey’s penetrating run.

Ciaran Kilkenny began to find the range for Dublin, hitting five first-half points from play and frees off both feet, and even the best efforts of defenders Nialll O’Sullivan and Dylan Fitzelle couldn’t contain a fast-moving Dublin attack.

Emmet O’Conghaile shot Dublin into a 1-08 to 1-02 lead, but Tipperary grabbed a lifeline in the 30th minute when Michael Quinlivan slotted home the perfect penalty after Liam McGrath had been fouled by goalkeeper Ross O’Hanlon.

However, the Metropolitans finished the half strongly with two more Kilkennny points to take a 1-10 to 2-02 lead into the break.

Tipp subs Colman Kennedy and Philip Quirke made an immediate impact, hitting points within two minutes of the restart.

Kennedy’s second free reduced the deficit to a single point, but the Dubs - now playing into the Hill 16 end - recovered their composure to get back on the attack, with McCaffrey charging forward to boot over a point, before Cormac Costello’s vision helped Costello clip over his sixth score of the afternoon.

Stephen O’Brien lifted his game in midfield as Tipperary dragged themselves back into a game that had once again appeared to be slipping away from them.

And when Liam McGrath and Quirke both fired over quality points, the Dublin lead was trimmed back to a point once again.

Then came the defining moment, three minutes from the end. Possession was turned over, and Kennedy grasped the ball, the moment and the opportunity, and sent a screaming shot to the roof of the net.

It was all over for Dublin, and Tipperary were in dreamland.

Dublin: R O’Hanlon, G Hannigan, R McDaid, R Real, E Lowndes, J Small (0-01) J McCaffrey (0-01) P O’Higgins, E Ó Conghaile (0-01), C Costello (0-01), C Kilkenny (0-07, 0-03f), G Ivory (1-01), S Fulham, P Mannion (0-02), C Meaney.

Subs: D Campbell for Meaney, D Byrne for Hannigan, N Scully for Fulham

Tipperary: E Comerford, N O'Sullivan, J Meagher, C O'Sullivan, C O'Riordan, D Fitzelle, S Kennedy, S O'Brien, I Fahey, G Henry, J McGrath, B Maher (0-01), L McGrath (1-02, 0-01f), M Quinlivan (1-01, 1-00 pen), TJ Ryan.

Subs: P Quirke (0-3) for J McGrath, C Kennedy (1-2, 0-2f) for Ryan, A McGuire for O’Riordan, J Lonergan for Henry, J Martin for Maher

Referee: P Hughes (Armagh)

Live!