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Galway crowned All Ireland U21 champions against Cork

For the fourth time since 2002, the Tribesmen have emerged on top in the U21 football grade.

Galway players celebrate after the match.
Galway players celebrate after the match.
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Galway 1-14
Cork 1-11

GALWAY REAFFIRMED THEIR status as masters of the U21 football grade again tonight in the Gaelic Grounds when they claimed the county’s fourth title at this level since 2002.

The Tribesmen were left celebrating under the floodlights at the Limerick venue as they withstood a late Cork rally to claim a three-point success.

In the process they ensured they were champions for the second time in three years at this grade with captain and man-of-the-match Fiontan O Curraoin having been a member of both of those sides.

In difficult conditions for football as the players coped with a wet surface, the 4,324 patrons were treated to a fine and entertaining encounter. There was some excellent football produced on both sides but Galway had match winners in O Curraoin, Cathal Mulryan and Ian Burke which helped them take the spoils.

Defeat was bitterly disappointing for Cork as a number of their players had lost the 2010 All-Ireland minor final to Tyrone and suffered All-Ireland U21 semi-final reversals the past two years.

Ultimately Cork’s charge for success came too late as Galway had made the running for long stages. The winners lead by 0-9 to 0-5 at the break after leading by 0-6 to 0-2 by the 22nd minute mark.

It took Cork a while to get going in the scoring stakes with their danger men Brian Hurley and Dan McEoin impressing before the break but sublime long-range points by Burke, Mulryan and Adrian Varley ensured the Connacht outfit retired with a four-point advantage.

Hurley gave Cork an early boost with two quick points but then Galway took over and pounced for a decisive score in the 39th minute when wing-forward Damien Comer hammered the ball to the roof of the net.

When corner-back David Cunnane pointed moments later, Galway were gone 1-14 to 0-8 clear with 18 minutes remaining. But remarkably they failed to score for the rest of the game and were forced to withstand severe pressure.

Cork’s cause was boosted by a magnificent left-footed goal by Hurley while Alan Cadogan, Cathal Vaughan and McEoin all notched points. With 14 minutes remaining they had the gap down to three points yet that was the end of the scoring sequence as Galway held on to triumph.

Galway’s Cathal Mulryan and Luke Connolly of Cork
Pic: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Scorers for Galway: Ian Burke, Shane Walsh (0-4f) 0-4 each, Cathal Mulryan 0-3, Damien Comer 1-0, David Cunnane, Paul Varley, Adrian Varley 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cork: Brian Hurley 1-4 (0-1f), Dan McEoin 0-4 (0-1f), Damien Cahalane (0-1 ’45), Alan Cadogan, Cathal Vaughan 0-1 each.

GALWAY: Thomas Healy (Corofin); Eoin Walsh (Moycullen), James Shaughnessy (Ballinasloe), David Cunnane (St Michael’s); Mark Loughnane (St Gabriel’s), Daithi Burke (Corofin), Paul Varley (Cortoon Shamrocks); Tom Flynn (Athenry), Fiontan O’Curraoin (Micheal Breathnach); Cathal Mulryan (Cortoon Shamrocks), Sean Moran (Claregalway), Damien Comer (Annaghdown); Shane Walsh (Kilkerrin-Clonberne), Adrian Varley (Cortoon Shamrocks), Ian Burke (Corofin).

Subs: James Healy (Annaghdown) for Healy (inj) (46), Philip Ezergailis (Moycullen) for Cunnane (49), Shane Maughan (St Michael’s) for Varley (59), Garry Kelly (Williamstown) for Burke (59).

CORK: David Hanrahan (Douglas); Conor Dorman (Bishopstown), Damien Cahalane (Castlehaven), Alan Cronin (Nemo Rangers); Brian O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh), Tom Clancy (Clonakilty), Jamie Wall (Kilbrittain); Sean Kiely (Ballincollig), Ian Maguire (St Finbarr’s); Alan Cadogan (Douglas), Mark Sugrue (Bandon), John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers); Dan MacEoin (Ilen Rovers), Brian Hurley (Castlehaven), Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers).

Subs: Jamie Burns (St Finbarr’s) for Kiely (36), Cathal Vaughan (Iveleary) for Sugrue (40), TJ Brosnan (Newmarket) for Wall (43), Kevin Hallissey (Eire Og) for Cadogan (56).

Referee: David Gough (Meath)

As it happened: Galway v Cork – All Ireland U21 football final

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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