They had a narrow escape against Waterford in the first round, so Tipperary know they’ll need a major improvement when they take on Cork in the Munster U-21 Hurling Semi-Final at Semple Stadium at 7.30 on this Friday night (15th).
Tipp, the holders, made heavy weather of beating Waterford by 4-12 to 1-16 in that quarter-final in Thurles on June 1st. They played against 14 men for much of the second half, when Waterford’s Owen Whelan was sent off 10 minutes after the re-start, but struggled to put away a battling Decies team who cut Tipp’s lead of 8 points back to just 2 deep into stoppage time.
They were only sure of the win when Clonoulty’s John O’Neill, one of four senior panellists in the starting team, scored his second goal in the fifth minute of additional time, although Waterford felt they should have had a free moments earlier for a foul on Maurice Shanahan 25 yards from goal.
The team is captained from midfield by Noel McGrath and also includes several other survivors from last year’s All-Ireland winning team, including Nenagh’s Paddy Murphy, Killenaule’s John O’Dwyer, Kevin O’Gorman of Thurles Sarsfields and Brian “Buggy” O’Meara (Kilruane).
Murphy and O’Meara are also on the senior panel.
This year’s team is again managed by former senior boss Ken Hogan and his selectors are TJ Connolly (Cashel King Cormacs) and William Maher (Ballingarry).
Clare play Limerick in the other semi-final at Cusack Park, Ennis on Thursday, July 21st.
The final is fixed for Wednesday, 3rd August at either Cusack Park or Limerick’s Gaelic Grounds.