Cork’s scoring threat could tip under-20 final in their direction

Galway are looking for their first title at this level in 10 years

All-Ireland under-20 hurling final: Cork v Galway, Thurles, Wednesday, 7.30 – Live on TG4

This year’s under-20 final has come hurtling around, just weeks after the 2020 iteration was won by Cork. It would have been quicker but for the Covid outbreak in the Cork camp, which forced a postponement.

Galway manager Jeff Lynskey acknowledged, though, on Galway Bay FM, that the county had their own cases and "were fortunate that the game was called off when it was".

Galway’s narrow defeat by Dublin in the 2020 championship in June was a setback for the county and manager, who had such a good record at minor and hoped to build those cohorts into successful under-20s.

That defeat was avenged in last month’s Leinster final and now they are back, one match away from a first title at the grade for 10 years when it was under-21 and Galway were still representing Connacht.


They had a good tussle with Dublin in Portlaoise and their greater number of surviving players, half the team, from the previous season told in a good performance, which saw off a Dublin challenge that didn't go away. Goals by Oisín Flannery and John Cooney, son of Joe, underwrote the win.

Cork came out on top after the traditional fireworks in Munster at this grade. Their final against Limerick was a high-scoring affair that saw them have to survive a threatening comeback that ran out of road just two points short.

Their scoring threat was jointly driven by Pádraig Power and Darragh Flynn, who came up with 1-17 between them – Flynn's free taking supplemented by an accurate five points from play.

The county is tonight hoping to nail down a first All-Ireland treble since Kilkenny in 2008 with the minor and senior final coming this weekend, again against Galway in the minor and obviously Sunday’s Liam MacCarthy finale with Limerick.

Both Lynskey and his Cork counterpart Pat Ryan make one change from the provincial finals. Diarmuid Kearney comes into the Cork team for Dáire O'Leary, who was injured in the Munster final and for Galway, Greg Thomas replaces Jason O'Donoghue.

Cork’s scoring power can get them home.

CORK: Cathal Wilson; Eoin Downey, Ciarán Joyce, Cormac O'Brien; Kevin Moynihan, Ethan Twomey, Brian O'Sullivan; Sam Quirke, Diarmuid Kearney; Darragh Flynn, Daniel Hogan, Brian Hayes; Robbie Cotter, Pádraig Power, Jack Cahalane.

Subs: Cian Long, Piaras O' Halloran, Cillian O'Donovan, Conor O'Leary, Colm McCarthy, Micheál Mullins, Seán Desmond, Ben Cunningham, Luke Horgan.

GALWAY: Paddy Rabbitte; Eoin Lawless, Eoghan Geraghty, Christy Brennan; Shane Quirke, Seán Neary, Evan Duggan; Ian McGlynn, Diarmuid Kilcommins; Greg Thomas, Seán McDonagh, John Cooney; Niall Collins, Donal O'Shea, Oisín Flannery.

Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick).

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times