Cork claimed the 2020 Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U20 hurling title after they started well and then resisted a Dublin fightback at UPMC Nowlan Park on Saturday evening.
Having scored 1-04 without reply in the opening eight minutes, Cork held that seven-point advantage at the first-half water-break and at half-time, but Dublin came back at them in the third quarter and reduced the deficit to four points when Darragh Power pointed on 47 minutes.
However, any notions of an upset looked to have been nipped in the bud as Cork replied with a point from Alan Connolly and then a goal from Pádraig Power, set up by Brian Roche. That made it 2-16 to 0-14 and sub Brian Hayes followed that up with a pair of points to put them ten ahead.
Dublin refused to yield though and Liam Murphy had his fifth point, goalkeeper Eddie Gibbons landed a long-range free and then Dara Purcell had his fourth of the night to make it 2-18 to 0-17. Then, when Dublin won a 20m free, Gibbons' shot was stopped on the Cork line but sub Like McDwyer was on hand to fire home and four points was the difference again as injury time dawned.
Cork were shaken, as evidenced by a couple of wayward shots, but Jack Cahalane settled them with a point and though Murphy had his sixth in response, Pat Ryan’s side prevailed for their first All-Ireland at U21/U20 grade since 1998, having lost the last two deciders – the final U21 and first U20 – to Tipperary.
Despite not having played since beating Tipp in the Munster final on 23 December, Cork had a rip-roaring start, with Power, Connolly and Shane Barrett hitting points in the opening minute and a half. After Daire Connery put them four in front, they struck for a goal, Connolly's mazy run setting up Power, whose shot was saved by Gibbons only for Seán Twomey to pop home the rebound.
Murphy eventually got Dublin up and running by Cork still led by 1-06 to 0-02 at the water-break and it was 1-11 to 0-07 at the interval. Dublin began the second half well, with Micheál Murphy sending over a pair of excellent points, and they ate into the Cork lead bit by bit.
While the Rebels looked to have quelled the uprising, Dublin asked one last question but Cork had the answer.
Cork: Eoin Davis; Conor O’Callaghan, Eoin Roche, Aaron Walsh Barry; Daire Connery (0-03, 0-02f), Ciarán Joyce, Dáire O’Leary; Brian Roche, Tommy O’Connell (0-02); Darragh Flynn (0-02), Shane Barrett (0-03), Seán Twomey (1-00); Colin O’Brien (0-02, 0-01sl), Pádraig Power (1-01), Alan Connolly (0-03, 0-02f).
Subs: Jack Cahalane (0-01) for Colin O’Brien (39), Eoin Carey for Twomey (41), Brian Hayes (0-02) for Connolly (49), Shane O’Regan for Flynn (53), Cormac O’Brien for Barrett (58).
Dublin: Eddie Gibbons (0-02f); Alan Murphy, Andrew Dunphy, Iain Ó hEither; Enda O’Donnell, Kevin Burke, Tommy Kinnane; Darragh Power (0-01), Mark Sweeney; Darach McBride, Micheál Murphy (0-03), Lee Gannon; Dara Purcell (0-04), Kevin Desmond (0-02), Liam Murphy (0-06, 0-03f).
Subs: Brian Sheehy for Kinnane (10-11, temporary), Donal Leavy for O’Donnell (39), Ciarán Foley for Sweeney (46), Luke McDwyer (1-00) for McBride (48), Sheehy for Kinnane (55), Pádhraic Linehan for Power (56).
Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow).