Tipperary march into first ever U-21 final
Defending champions Dublin beaten in Tullamore as Tipp seal a first appearance in Under-21 All-Ireland football final
Tipperary’s Colm O’Shaughnessy and Jimmy Feehan celebrate after the final whistle. Photo: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Tipperary 0-14 Dublin 0-12
Injury-time points from Steven O’Brien and Kevin O’Halloran sealed a dramatic first ever Eirgrid All-Ireland U-21 football championship final place for Tipperary at O’Connor Park in Tullamore on Saturday afternoon.
The Munster champions turned in a storming second-half in Tullamore to dump Dessie Farrell’s defending champions out of the competition. In the process, Tipp secured a May 2nd final clash and will hope to cap their maiden appearance at that stage with a famous title.
With several members of the 2011 All-Ireland winning minor team on board, Tipp achieved victory the hard way at O’Connor Park as they trailed the favourites by five points early in the second-half.
In a low scoring game, it seemed a significant lead though Tipp’s response was impressive as they outscored Dublin 0-11 to 0-5 overall in that second period.
The game still wasn’t decided until the dying moments, however, with the teams level twice at 0-9 and 0-12 apiece, the latter after 61 minutes.
O’Brien nudged Tipp ahead again after a quick free and O’Halloran nailed a 62nd minute insurance point from a free to finally settle it.
The strong breeze made it a game of two halves at the midlands venue and Dublin initially appeared to be in control.
They took a 0-7 to 0-3 half-time lead thanks to four points from Conor McHugh. The margin was out to five early in the second-half when Shane Carthy scored his second point.
But from then on it was all Tipperary. Dublin looked nervy and McHugh dragged a relatively easy free-kick wide.
And the sides were finally level again with 11 minutes remaining when Keane pointed to leave it 0-9 apiece.
They would be level at 0-12 apiece in injury-time too but when the need was greatest, Tipp delivered. O’Brien first pointed and then O’Halloran punched the air in delight after converting his 62nd minute free.
Tipperary: E Comerford; K Fahey, J Feehan, C O’Shaughnessy; R Mulcahy (0-1), L Boland, B Maher; S O’Brien (0-2), C O’Riordan (0-2); J Lonergan (0-1), I Fahey, L Casey (0-1); K O’Halloran (0-4, 3f), J Keane (0-3, 3f), P Maher. Subs: D McEnroe for P Maher (59).
Dublin: L Molloy; D Byrne, M Cahalane, R McGowan; A Farrell, E Lowndes, C Mullally; Stephen Cunningham, S Carthy (0-2); N Scully, A Foley, E Murchan; C Basquel (0-1), C Costello (0-4, 3f), C McHugh (0-4, 1f). Subs: Shane Cunningham for Stephen Cunningham (25), S Clayton for Foley (45), E Fletcher for Cahalane (49, B/C), A Byrne for Basquel (49), D Campbell (0-1) for Scully (52).
Referee: J Henry (Mayo).