/ GAA

MHC: Tipperary 3-14 Cork 2-11

Updated: Monday, 03 Sep 2007 04:20

Brendan Maher holds aloft the cup Tipp's Sean Carey celebrates after one of his two goals Tipp clebrate at the final whistle
Brendan Maher holds aloft the cup Tipp's Sean Carey celebrates after one of his two goals Tipp clebrate at the final whistle

Tipperary won back-to-back All-Ireland minor hurling titles today with a measured win over Cork.

Clinical Tipp reigned supreme at Croke Park with Sean Carey (2) and Michael Heffernan sharing out their goals.

Munster runners-up Cork burst into a 0-05 to 0-01 lead with Ryan Clifford particularly prominent. Tipp bounced back as Carey swapped goals with Cork's Robert White.

In front 1-09 to 1-06 at half-time, Heffernan's 31st-minute strike shot Tipp further ahead and Carey netted again before Luke O'Farrell grabbed a consolation goal for Cork.

There were four points to spare when Tipp beat Cork in July's Munster decider, but Rebels boss Don Cronin was hoping the introduction of some new players to his panel would provide the difference this afternoon.

It was nip and tuck in the first half of the Munster final, but this afternoon saw Cork fly out of the traps as they ghosted 0-05 to 0-01 clear. Midfielder Brendan Maher landed the opening point for Tipp before Cork hit a rich vein of form.

Clifford, who was sought out in the corner with diagonal balls, chopped over a free and Michael Bowles then played Michael O'Mahony in for what looked a decent goal chance but the wing-forward opted to take his point instead.

Cork goalkeeper Darren McCarthy parried a shot from Patrick Maher before O'Mahony doubled his tally and Clifford landed two excellent scores from the left flank to move Cork four points ahead.

It was then Tipp's turn to take the game by the scruff of its neck - Patrick Maher sniped through for a point which just grazed over the crossbar, Brendan Maher, the Tipp captain, struck a lovely point on the run and a Seamus Hennessy free and Noel McGrath point from play had the sides level, 19 minutes in.

McGrath's point was the best of the opening quarter as he took a neat pass from Brendan Maher before striking over at the Canal End.

John O'Neill then shot Tipp in front for the second time and while Clifford pinged over a free, a brilliant scoring burst from the Premier County youngsters - they scored 1-02 without reply - saw them take control just before the interval.

Seamus Hennessy first knocked over a free for a 0-07 to 0-06 lead and then Heffernan laid off, making use of a slip in the Cork defence, for Carey to rifle home to the left corner of the Cork net in the 24th minute.

Heffernan tagged on a point which was replied to by White, who swooped on to a loose ball to bulge the Tipp net three minutes later, before a Hennessy free allowed Tipp go in at the break with a one goal lead.

Tipp's midfield dominance was key in the opening half, with both Brendan Maher and Noel McGrath excelling, but the champions' attack was a little wayward shooting eight wides to Cork's four.

Former senior star Declan Ryan, in his first year as Tipp minor manager, obviously discussed the wides factor as his charges came straight out for the second half and shot an immediate 1-01.

Lively corner-forward Heffernan ended a pacy run with a stinging shot which left Cork stopper Darren McCarthy with no chance as Tipp moved 2-09 to 1-06 ahead just 50 seconds after the resumption.

Tipp's lead was stretched to seven points when Hennessy raised another white flag and Cork were in danger of being overrun. All credit to them, Cronin's side kept in touch by notching the next three scores - two from star man Clifford and another from Padraig Gould.

Goalkeeper McCarthy was also on hand to deny Tipp a third goal but it was not to be for a determined Cork outfit. Tipp continued to take their scores with aplomb - Hennessy, Heffernan, Brendan Maher and O'Neill (free) all rattled over efforts to effectively put the result beyond doubt at 2-14 to 1-09.

A kicked goal from Carey put the icing on the cake, and while O'Farrell replied with a last-gasp major, there was no denying Tipperary their 18th All-Ireland title at this grade.

Cork: D McCarthy; C Hurley, A Kearney, C Murphy; L McLoughlin, J Herlihy, C O’Donovan; S Farrell, D O’Sullivan; P Gould (0-02), M Bowles, M O’Mahony (0-03); L O'Farrell (1-00), R White (1-00), R Clifford (0-06, 0-03f).

Subs used: S McDonnell for Farrell (24 mins), G O'Connor for Kearney (30+2), D Stack for Bowles (half-time), C McCarthy for Stack (52).

Tipperary: TJ Logue; K O’Gorman, P Maher, S O’Brien; J Barry, J Coghlan, M Cahill; B Maher (0-03), N McGrath (0-01); S Hennessy (0-04, 0-03f), C Lorrigan, S Carey (2-00); J O’Neill (0-02), P Maher (0-01), M Heffernan (1-02).

Subs used: P Murphy (0-01) for P Maher (32 mins), J Gallagher for O’Gorman (52), D O’Brien for Lorrigan (59), D O’Connor for Hennessy (60+2).

Referee: James Owens (Wexford).

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