Ruthless Rebels lift the U21 title in style to bridge a gap to 2007

Ruthless Rebels lift the U21 title in style to bridge a gap to 2007
Cork captain Shane Kingston raises the trophy after defeating Tipperary. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Cork 2-23

Tipperary 1-13

WITH their senior players leading by example Cork eased past Tipp in the Munster U21 hurling final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh last night.

Shane Kingston, Mark Coleman and Darragh Fitzgibbon, who all started in the seniors win over Clare were joined by subs, Robbie O’Flynn, David Griffin, Tim O’Mahony and Jack O’Connor in the starting line-up and all played their part.

But there was more to this win than just them, with the likes of Declan Dalton and David Griffin also outstanding. Dalton must have run Mark Coleman close for the man-of-the-match award.

Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Right from the start, you could see this side were determined the cup was staying in Cork and not heading back up the road to Tipp.

They started at massive pace and never let up all through, even when Fitzgibbon had to go off after 22 minutes, feeling the effects of last Sunday.

Conor Cahalane came on in his place and to his credit, Fitzgibbon wasn’t really missed, as he slotted in smoothly.

It has been 11 years since Cork have won the U21 title and Kingston had the honour of lifting the cup at the end of the tie.

But they could meet Tipp again in the All-Ireland series as both go through to the semi-finals.

Dalton opened the scoring for Cork with a magnificent long-range free, with Darragh Woods equalising at the other end. With four minutes gone Tipp were awarded a penalty, when Griffin, very harshly, was adjudged to have fouled Jake Morris. But Woods effort was superbly saved by Ger Collins, diving low to his right to deny him.

Ger Collins saves a penalty. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Ger Collins saves a penalty. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Coleman put Cork back in front, from a sideline, with points from O’Connor and Kingston increasing their lead. Dalton scored from a free, with 12 minutes gone, to make it 0-5 to 0-1 as the Rebels were dominating all over the pitch.

Cork took a real grip on the game, with 14 minutes gone, when O’Mahony played a superb ball to O’Flynn and he coolly slotted home.

Robbie O'Flynn hammers home his goal. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Robbie O'Flynn hammers home his goal. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Woods got Tipp’s second, but at this point they were second best all over the pitch.

Kingston and Dalton increased Cork’s lead, with Ger Browne replying at the other end, to make it 1-7 to 0-3, with 21 minutes gone.

Dalton showed he is as good as Coleman from sideslines, knocking over one from distance, with O’Connor and Liam Healy adding to Cork’s tally to put them 1-10 to 0-3 up with 25 minutes gone.

Jerome Cahill and Browne reduced the deficit but another free from Dalton, along with a point from Healy in injury saw the Rebels well in control at half-time, as they led by 1-12 to 0-5.

Lyndon Fairbrother got the first score of the second-half, but the Rebels showed they had no intention of letting up, when Dalton played a brilliant ball to O’Connor who found the back of the net, to make it 2-12 to 0-6 and with just three minutes of the second-half gone the game was effectively over as a contest. Browne pointed for Tipp, with Kingston and Dalton keeping the scoreboard ticking over for Cork.

Fairbrother was on target again and with 42 minutes gone Paudie Feehan had a goal chance for Tipp, but Collins was quickly off his line to deny him.

Fairbrother scored with two frees, with O’Mahony replying for Cork.

Points from Dalton, Cahalane, Eoghan Murphy and Kingston kept Cork well in front, as they led 2-20 to 0-11, with five minutes to go.

Fairbrother pointed from a 65 in injury-time and a goalmouth scramble led to Neville kicking the ball over the Cork line for Tipp’s goal, to make it 2-21 to 1-13.

But it was fitting that Coleman got the last two scores of the night, the first from a free and the second from the re-start as the Rebels made it a second Munster title in four days and on this performance they are going to take some stopping.

Scorers for Cork: D Dalton 0-7 (0-3 f, 0-1 sl), J O’Connor 1-2, R O’Flynn 1-1, S Kingston 0-4, M Coleman 0-3 (0-1 f, 0-1 sl), L Healy 0-2, T O’Mahony, C Cahalane, E Murphy, A Myers 0-1 each.

Tipperary: S Neville 1-0, L Fairbrother 0-5 (0-4 f, 0-1 65), G Browne 0-4, D Woods 0-2, J Cahill, J Morris 0-1 each.

CORK: G Collins; S Smyth, D Griffin, N O’Leary; D Lowney, E Murphy, B Hennessy; M Coleman, D Fitzgibbon; R O’Flynn, D Dalton, S Kingston; L Healy, T O’Mahony, J O’Connor.

Subs: C Cahalane for D Fitzgibbon (inj), D Connery for S Smyth, A Myers for R O’Flynn, M O’Halloran for L Healy, C O’Leary for D Dalton.

TIPPERARY: C Barrett; P Campion, B McGrath, K O’Dwyer; C Flanagan, P Cadell, D Quirke; G Browne, C English; J Cahill, P Feehan, M Kehoe; D Gleeson, J Morris, D Woods.

Subs: C Morgan for P Campion, C Darcy for D Woods, L Fairbrother for D Gleeson, S Neville for C English, C Stakelum for M Kehoe.

Referee: Johnny Murphy, (Limerick).

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