By Shane Brophy
TIPPERARY SHOWED resolve beyond their years as they rescued victory over Galway in this thrilling All-Ireland Minor Hurling Semi-Final at the TUS Gaelic Grounds Limerick on Sunday.
Despite forging six points clear at one stage of the second half, Tipp fell behind in the second minute of added time to a fifth Rory Burke point, as Galway looked to be timing their run perfectly.
However, Tipperary weren’t willing to throw in the towel with Adam Daly producing the levelling score before Joe Egan slotted over the lead point, with sub Senan Butler putting the seal on the win with a last ditch goal, all in ninety second spell deep in injury time.
It was a high-quality game, with the sides shooting four points each by the eighth minute, with the latest from Rory Burke following a save from Eoin Horgan. Tipp enjoyed the first purple patch with a four-point run with Conor Martin to the fore.
Galway responded and hit Tipp for a two-goal blast in the 20th minute, with Rory Burke provider in both goals for Aaron Niland and Conor Dolphin. Burke was a real thorn in the Tipperary side with four first half points from play.
However, Tipperary responded well and struck for a goal on 25 minutes with Adam Daly finishing from close range, but Galway enjoyed the better of the play coming up to half time and Niland free gave them a slender 2-11 to 1-13 advantage at the break.
It was Tipperary who took control in the third quarter with Tom Delaney and Paddy McCormack becoming more prominent in attack shooting ten points from play between them, and when Joe Egan goaled in the 43rd minute, it put them in a strong position.
However, they became a little tentative and Galway took full advantage with rising star Aaron Niland top scoring with 2-11, his second goal on 58 minutes setting up a grandstand finish.
It looked as if they were going to snatch victory when Rory Burke scored his fifth from play but as they had done in the Munster Final, Tipperary had other ideas and set-up a final showdown with Offaly in two-weeks-time.
Scorers for Tipperary: Tom Delaney 0-6; Joe Egan, Adam Daly 1-3 each; Paddy McCormack 0-4; Damien Corbett 0-3 (1 free, 1 65); Senan Butler 1-0; Conor Martin 0-2; Tadhg Sheehan, Cathal English, Ciaran Foley (free) 0-1 each.
Scorers for Galway: Aaron Niland 2-11 (0-7 frees); Rory Burke 0-5; Conor Dolphin 1-2; Cillian Trayers, Orin Burke 0-1 each.
Tipperary: Eoin Horgan (Knockavilla Kickhams); Chris O’Donnell (Ballylooby/Castlegrace), Aaron O’Halloran (Carrick Swan), Jack Quinlan (Fethard); Sam O’Farrell (Nenagh Eire Og, Capt), Tadhg Sheehan (St Mary’s), Jack O’Callaghan (Portroe); Ciaran Foley (Borrisokane), Adam Daly (Knockavilla Kickhams); Joe Egan (Moycarkey/Borris), Conor Martin (Cappawhite), Cathal English (Fr Sheehys); Damien Corbett (Gortnahoe/Glengoole), Tom Delaney (Cahir), Paddy McCormack (Borris-Ileigh).
Subs: Paddy Phelan (Upperchurch/Drombane) for English (44); Darragh McCarthy (Toomevara) for Martin (49); Jamie Ormond (JK Brackens) for Foley (60); Senan Butler (Kilsheelan/Kilcash) for Corbett (60+3).
Galway: Donagh Fahy (Ardrahan); Luke McInerney (Loughrea), Sean Murphy (Clarinbridge), Darragh Counihan (Clarinbridge); Gerry Carr (Oranmore/Maree), Oscar O’Gorman (Kilconieran), Jack Lonergan (Turloughmore); Cillian Trayers (Turloughmore), Paddy Mac Carthaigh (Sarsfields); Orin Burke (Padraig Pearses), Rory Burke (Oranmore/Maree, Capt), Conor Lawless (Athenry); Cullen Killeen (Loughrea), Aaron Niland (Clarinbridge), Conor Dolphin (Mullagh).
Subs: Ryan O’Donnell (Oranmore/Maree) for Lawless (HT); Aaron Doyle (Oranmore/Maree) for Killeen (47); Vince Morgan (Loughrea) for Mac Carthaigh (51); Ben O’Donovan (Gort) for O’Gorman (56); Conor Gilligan (Craughwell) for Dolphin (60+2).
Referee: Patrick Murphy (Carlow).