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.
Four Tipp points in a row from Josh Keane, O'Riordan, O'Brien and Liam Casey signalled their intention to battle back.
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).