The South Tipperary team beaten after extra time in the Celtic Challenge final.
In an epic game of hurling played in sweltering heat and which went to extra time, West Cork emerged victors over South Tipperary by the narrowest of margins, 2-17 to 1-19, in the Celtic Challenge Corn John Scott final which was played in O’ Connor Park, Tullamore onSaturday .
Playing with the wind in the first half South Tipperary (comprising of players from the west and south divisions) had early points from Aidan O’ Heney and Darragh Fitzgerald.
A West Cork goal mid-way through the half put them into the lead at a time of the game when South Tipperary shot a number of wides.
The Premier lads eventually found their range and scored 1-5 in the remainder of the first half with the goal coming from Darragh Fitzgerald to leave the half time score South Tipperary 1-7 West Cork 1-3.
A unanswered tally of 1-3 early in the second half from the West Cork was eventually responded to by points from Fitzgerald and Cian Mooney and in a tense second half both sides traded points to finish the game level at full time on a score line of South Tipperary 1-12 West Cork 2-9.
Two 10 minute periods of extra time ensued and again it was West Cork who were first out of the blocks this time with 3 points, all from Padraig Holland.
The impressive Darragh Fitzgerald kept South Tipperary in touch but it was West Cork having played with the wind who had the half time lead in extra time by a margin of 4 points.
South Tipperary rallied as the game went into its final phase and Kevin Grogan levelled matters for them with minutes remaining. A Tommy Ryan point then gave South Tipperary the lead but two late points for West Cork ensured the narrowest of victories.
Best and Fairest: Darragh Fitzgerald (Killenaule)
Commenting after the game South Tipperary mentor Fergus McGrath said that along with the other members of the management team Tom O’ Donnell (Golden Kilfeacle) and Tommy Lyng (Clonoulty Rossmore) that their objective with this group of players at the beginning of the campaign was player development.
He noted that this was a fabulous group of players to work with, that they were a credit to the families and clubs and that they came within seconds of winning an All-Ireland final.
“Of course we are disappointed not to win the game” he said “but as a group we always said that we will win together or we will lose together and this continues to be the case. These players operate by a set of values which were evident out there today in the manner in which they played the game and by which they represented Tipperary.
“These values will see them over this disappointment and hopefully enable them to continue developing, to continue learning and to come back even stronger.”
South Tipperary – Jack Currivan (Golden Kilfeacle), Ciarán O’ Dwyer (Killenaule), Philip Gantly (Cappawhite), Jack Ryan Casey (Clonoulty Rossmore), Daire O’ Brien (Mullinahone), David Fox (Éire Óg Annacarty Donohill), Paudie Clarke (Cashel), Conor Vaughan (Ballingarry), Lorcan Carr (Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams), Aaron Moloney (Cashel), Noel Obilor (Carick Swan), Kevin Grogan (Cahir), Darragh Fitzgerald (Killenaule), Cian Mooney (Éire Óg Annacarty Donohill), Aidan O’ Heney (Emly).
Subs used: Sean Ryan (Clonoulty Rossmore) Tommy Ryan (Clonoulty Rossmore), Jim Quirke (Galtee Rovers), Mark Stakelum (Killenaule), Cathal Kelly (Kilsheelan)
Panelists: Christopher Geraghty (Rosegreen), Conor Farrell (Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams), (Ben Ryan (Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams), Jamie Walsh (Grangemockler Ballyneale), Stephen McDonald (Éire Óg Annacarty Donohill), Jack Murphy (Carrick Swan), Christy English (Skeheenarinky), James Daly (Grangemockler Ballyneale), Conor Farrell (Knockavilla Donaskeigh Kickhams), Mark O’ Meara (Grangemockler Ballyneale),