In last Friday evening’s Hastings Cup Shield semi-final played in Crettyard, the U-21 footballers of Tipperary and Laois produced a cracking contest before Tipperary finally emerged deserving winners by 2 points after extra time.
In what will be an all-Munster final, Tipperary will play Kerry next Saturday afternoon, February 14, at a Limerick venue.
Tipperary appeared to be coasting at times with six, five and four-point leads built up at different stages over the eighty minutes, only to see Laois claw their way back. While they overcame the setbacks Tipp will certainly have to deal better defensively in closing out games to have any chance of progressing in the upcoming championship, in which they’ll meet Limerick or Clare in the Munster semi-final on March 18.
Setting the pace right from the throw-in Tipp made the perfect start with 1-3 inside the opening ten minutes, with two points by Paul Shanahan while corner forward TJ Ryan chipped in with a point and a smashing goal after a great run by Dean McEnroe opened up the Laois defence.
The next twelve minutes saw Tipp lose their way as Laois, winning more ball, hit back with four points to put themselves well in contention.
A Dean McEnroe point and a further Laois point left Tipp ahead at the break by 1-4 to 0-5.
Laois got the second half off to a flyer and continued where they left off with 1-2 inside the opening ten minutes before Tipp regained control, reeling off 1-5 with points by Liam Casey (1), Paul Shanahan (2) and 1-1 by Josh Keane to hand them a four-point advantage with six minutes remaining.
A Laois pointed free narrowed the gap but when Tipp gave away possession in a good attacking position in front of the Laois goal, the ball was swiftly worked up the field and finished to the Tipp net with a minute remaining.
Paul Maher had an opportunity to wrap up the game but his goal-bound shot was well saved when a fisted point might have been the better option and extra time beckoned.
Level at 2-9 each, substitute Michael Meagher made his mark straight away in the first period of extra time with 1-1 and a Josh Keane pointed free had Tipp five clear and it appeared there was no way back for Laois.
However the Laois boys weren’t finished and lapses in concentration saw Tipp punished as Laois hit back with 1-2
to tie up the game at 3-11 each at the end of the first period.
The second period saw Tipp hold the opposition scoreless. Ross Mulcahy, with a super point having soloed over sixty metres and a further Josh Keane point ensured a Tipp victory and a place in the Hastings Cup Shield Final.
Tipperary - Gearoid Slattery (Cashel King Cormacs), Michael O’Connor (Cahir), Jimmy Feehan (Killenaule), Colin O’Shaughnessy (Ardfinnan), Luke Boland (Moyle Rovers), Ross Mulcahy (Moyle Rovers 0-1), Kevin Fahey (Clonmel Commercials), Liam Casey (Cahir 0-1), Paul Shanahan (Upperchurch Drombane 0-4, 2 frees), Mark Russell (Lattin/Cullen), Niall McKenna (Cahir), Dean McEnroe (JK Brackens 0-1), TJ Ryan (Rockwell Rovers 1-1, 0-1 free), Josh Keane (Golden/Kilfeacle 1-4, 0-2 frees) and Paul Maher (Kilsheelan/Kilcash).
Substitutes - Michael Meagher (Grangemockler 1-1) for Mark Russell, Gerry Cronin (Ardfinnan) for Niall McKenna, Tommy Sweeney (Ballyporeen) for TJ Ryan, Dominic Walsh (Moyle Rovers) for Liam Casey, Pearse Richardson (Arravale Rovers) for Michael O’Connor.
West U-21 A Football
Cashel King Cormacs 2-7
Cashel and Golden played their opening round game of the McGrath Oil West Under-21 A Football Championship at a foggy New Inn on Sunday.
Cashel performed very poorly in the opening half, kicking just 2 points while Golden notched up 1-7. The second half saw Cashel play a more direct game. However they had too much leeway to make up and Golden added two goals to give them a convincing win.
Golden-Kilfeacle - Niall Fogarty, Dale Collins, Alan Wade, Cian O’Connell, Ethan Rodgers, Shane O Connell (1-0), David Wade, Joshua Keane (0-3), James Casey (1-1), Daniel Currivan (1-1), Keith Landy (0-1), Matthew O’Keeffe (0-2), Johnny Wade, Seanie O’Halloran (0-2), Thomas Wade.
Cashel King Cormacs - Gary O’Dwyer, Pat Muldoon, Cormac Ryan, Niall Anglim, Adam Kennedy, James Cummins, Shane Murphy, Dylan Fitzell, Cathal Minogue 1-0, Mark Wallace, Simon Delaney 0-1, Jonathan Walsh, Joe Hennessey 1-1, Gearoid Slattery 0-3, Adrian O Dwyer. Subs - James Heffernan 0-2 for Adrian O Dwyer, Niall Laffan for Cathal Minogue and Thomas Caulfield for Mark Wallace. Referee - Fergal Horgan (Kickhams).
The third game in the A competition, between Galtee/Emly and Aherlow Gaels at Cappawhite on Sunday afternoon, was abandoned by the referee after nine minutes of the second half due to fog.