It was Dublin against Tipperary in the All-Ireland minor hurling final replay and we were live from Croke Park with all the action.
RESULT: Tipperary 2-18 Dublin 1-11
Welcome to Croke Park for round two of the All-Ireland hurling finals for 2012. First up it’s the meeting of Dublin and Tipperary in the replay of the minor showdown. The weather conditions are not too favorable in Croke Park and the floodlights have already been turned on but we’re looking forward to a great afternoon’s hurling.
Duublin dual stars Cormac Costello and Eric Lowndes picked up slight knocks in the minor football decider last Sunday but concerns about their fitness were downplayed by the Dublin management during the week.
Conor McHugh and Donal Gormley, who also starred in the footballers’ win against Kerry, came through unscathed and will have their sights on the second part of a remarkable double.
Here’s the Dublin team.
DUBLIN: Cian Mac Gabhann (Kilmacud Crokes); Eric Lowndes (St Peregrine’s), Cian O’Callaghan (Cuala), Shane Barrett (Na Fianna); Eoghan O’Donnell (Whitehall Colmcille), Robert Murphy (Kilmacud Crokes), Sean McClelland (Lucan Sarsfields); Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille), Colm Cronin (Cuala); Conor McHugh (Na Fianna), Cian Boland (St Oliver Plunkett’s-Eoghan Ruadh), Donal Gormley (Ballinteer-St John’s); Caolan Conway (Kilmacud Crokes), Oisin O’Rorke (Kilmacud Crokes), Paul Winters (St Brigid’s).
For Tipperary, boss Willie Maher has made just the one change in personnel with Dylan Fitzelle coming into the team at centre-forward as Stephen O’Brien is the player to make way. Although most of the panel kept sharp with club action last weekend, Maher has no fresh injury concerns.
The only new face in the Premier panel is 16-year-old Colin O’Riordan, a member of the minor football team which stunned the Dubs in the 2011 final. The JK Brackens youngster sat out much of the spring with injury but comes in to add further depth to an already-strong Tipperary squad.
Here’s the Tipperary team.
TIPPERARY: Paul Maher (Moyne-Templetuohy); Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), Michael Breen (Ballina), Jack Peters (Kilruane McDonaghs); Tom Fox (Éire Óg-Annacarty), Thomas Hamill (Killea), Barry Heffernan (Éire Óg Nenagh); Bill Maher (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), Stephen Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields); John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), Dylan Fitzelle (Cashel King Cormacs), Sean Maher (Clonoulty-Rossmore); Tadhg Gallagher (Kildangan), Jack Shelly (Mullinahone), Mark McCarthy (Toomevara).
Both minor teams are currently out on the pitch in Croke Park, undergoing their warm-ups. Some interesting team news reaching us as regards today’s senior clash, it looks like Galway’s James Skehill will be ruled out through injury with Fergal Flannery deputizing instead in goal.
The players are taking up their positions and we’re getting ready for this battle between Dublin and Tipperary.
Dublin 0-1 Tipperary 0-0: 1 mins – Dublin move into an early lead with Paul Winters, their hero in the drawn game with that leveling score, firing over a long-range free.
Dublin 0-1 Tipperary 0-1: 3 mins – But the teams are now level with John McGrath firing over a free after Stephen Cahill was fouled. The drawn match was largely a scoring battle between Winters and McGrath, is this replay going to follow the same script.
Tipperary 0-2 Dublin 0-1: 5 mins – And John McGrath swings over another free, this time from the right wing, to ensure Tipperary are in front for the first time in the game.
Tipperary 0-3 Dublin 0-2: 7 mins – The first score from play arrives from Dublin wing-back Eoghan O’Donnell and it’s a terrific long-range shot. But Tipperary reply instantly with McGrath smashing over a free from 20 yards.
Goal for Tipperary!
Tipperary 1-4 Dublin 0-2: 11 mins – Tipperary strike a decisive blow with Mark McCarthy, who has found the net in their last two games, raising a green flag again. He picked up the ball 45 yards out, soloed through the defence as the space opened up before him and after his initial attempt at a shot was hooked, he whipped on the ball on the ground to send it decisively past Cian MacGabhann in the Dublin goal. John McGrath has just converted a ’65 and Tipperary are five points clear.
Tipperary 2-4 Dublin 0-4: 13 mins – Dublin reply with two quick points by James Roche but Tipperary then pounce for another goal. This time it’s Tadhg Gallagher who sprints through and shows the composure to finish to the net.
Tipperary 2-5 Dublin 0-4: 15 mins – And Tipperary move further ahead courtesy of a point by Sean Maher. They are playing some excellent stuff here and are in control.
One change I neglected to mention earlier before throw-in was James Roche from Ballyboden-St Enda’s starts in attack for Dublin instead of Caolan Conway.
Tipperary 2-5 Dublin 0-5: 18 mins – Winters taps over a free for Dublin to cut the gap to six points. Those two Tipperary goals could be crucial scores though.
Tipperary look that bit sharper all over the pitch at the moment. Their form is improved from the drawn game and more in keeping with their early performances in this season’s championship.
Tipperary 2-6 Dublin 0-5: 22 mins – Superb interplay by Tipperary’s Ronan Maher, Bill Maher and Stephen Cahill culminates in Cahill lobbing over a stylish point.
Tipperary 2-7 Dublin 0-5: 25 mins – Tipperary are opening up a sizable advantage here with John McGrath just after slotting over his fifth point of the game, the latest score from a free.
Tipperary 2-10 Dublin 0-5: 27 mins – The Premier county are really starting to impose themselves on this game. John McGrath clipped over a point from play, then Mark McCarthy raised a white flag with a sublime score before McGrath knocks over a free for his seventh point of the day. It’s all one-way traffic here and the game is slipping away from Dublin.
HALF-TIME: Tipperary 2-10 Dublin 0-5: And that’s it at the break, Tipperary in complete control as they possess an eleven-point advantage. The early goals from Mark McCarthy and Tadhg Gallagher set them on their way and Dublin now have a mountain to climb. Here are the scorers from the first-half of today’s clash and we’ll be back shortly with all the second-half action.
TIPPERARY: John McGrath 0-7 (0-5f, 0-1 ’65), Mark McCarthy 1-1, Tadhg Gallagher 1-0, Sean Maher, Stephen Cahill 0-1 each.
DUBLIN: Paul Winters (0-2f), James Roche 0-2 each, Eoghan O’Donnell 0-1.
The players are back out for the second-half action with Kevin O’Flynn into the Dublin team for Robert Murphy.
Tipperary 2-11 Dublin 0-5: 31 mins – And Tipperary get off to an ideal second-half start with John McGrath floating over a wonderful point.
Tipperary 2-11 Dublin 0-6: 34 mins – Cormac Costello smashes over a point for Dublin from play to cut the deficit.
Tipperary 2-11 Dublin 0-7: 39 mins – Paul Winters converts a free for Dublin as they bring on Caolan Conway for Conor McHugh in attack.
Tipperary 2-12 Dublin 0-7: 40 mins – Tadhg Gallagher notches a point to keep Tipperary in the ascendancy. Dublin need goals if they are going to find a route back into this game.
Tipperary 2-13 Dublin 0-7: 42 mins – And Gallagher is on target again with a lovely point from the right wing. That brings the Kildangan player’s tally for the day to 1-2.
Tipperary 2-14 Dublin 0-8: 44 mins – Dublin grab a point through Winters from a free but Tipperary quickly cancel it out when Sean Maher raises a white flag. Sean Treacy on the Dublin team for James Roche.
Tipperary 2-15 Dublin 0-8: 47 mins – Another Tipperary point and it’s a classy effort by captain Bill Maher as he races through the defence. They are now 13 points clear and surely set to claim honors here.
Tipperary 2-16 Dublin 0-8: 50 mins – Centre-forward Dylan Fitzell makes a brilliant catch and offloads to Mark McCarthy who whips on the ball on the air and flashes it over the bar.
Tipperary 2-16 Dublin 1-9: 52 mins – A goal for Dublin as Oisin O’Rorke lashes the ball to the net. Just before that Paul Winters tapped over a free for Dublin but they are still trailing by ten points and time is running out. Stephen O’Brien is on the Tipperary side for Sean Maher.
Tipperary 2-16 Dublin 1-10: 54 mins – Another pointed free for Dublin from Paul Winters.
Tipperary 2-16 Dublin 1-11: 56 mins – Half a goal chance for Dublin but Oisin O’Rorke’s shot flies over the bar. Tipperary are bringing on Sean Ryan for Stephen Cahill.
Tipperary 2-17 Dublin 1-11: 57 mins – John McGrath registers another free for Tipperary to bring his personal return to 0-9 for the day. His marksmanship over the two games has been fantastic and his team look set to be celebrating in a few moments as this game peters to its inevitable conclusion.
Tipperary substitution sees Conor Lanigan on for Tadhg Gallagher while Ross Tierney replaces the injured Cian O’Callaghan for Dublin.
Tipperary 2-18 Dublin 1-11: 61 mins – Another free for McGrath for Tipperary as they replace Mark McCarthy with Jack Loughnane.
That’s it, Tipperary are All-Ireland minor hurling champions for 2012.
FULL-TIME: Tipperary 2-18 Dublin 1-11: A hugely impressive performance by Tipperary as they took control early on and proved far too strong for Dublin. That’s all from us for this minor game, thanks for joining us. We’ll be back shortly with the build-up to the senior encounter.