Some last-ditch defending by Tipperary goalkeeper Barry Hogan and defenders Killian O'Dwyer and Brian McGrath (right) during Sunday's All-Ireland U-21 Hurling Championship Final against Cork
Loughmore/Castleiney’s Brian McGrath, whose defensive solidity played a key role in Tipperary’s defeat of Cork in Sunday’s Bord Gais Energy All-Ireland U-21 Hurling Championship Final, was delighted with the team's overall performance.
“We knew if we got the performance we were looking for, we were in with a serious chance, and everyone just gave it 110% out there.
“We just took it half by half. We got a great start in the first half.
“For the first ten, fifteen minutes we were right in it, but we slackened off in the last fifteen minutes (of the first half).
“When we went in at half time we were happy enough, for where we were, but we knew there was more in us, that we had to start the second half strongly and by God did everyone give it 110%”.
Brian, who looks a good bet to follow in the footsteps of older brothers Noel and John and play senior hurling for the county, agreed that it was some turnaround from their heavy defeat in the Munster Final.
“I suppose we had to rectify stuff from the Munster Final. That just wasn't us and we knew that.
“We had to sit down and chat in Dr. Morris Park a few days after the Munster Final, and we rectified a few things.
“We started off against Galway (in the semi-final), we knew there was still more in us, and by God did it come out of us today.
“We knew Cork were going to get a purple patch (which they did before half time, scoring 1-6 without reply), at some stage, but we said when they get that we'll just have to grind it out, whether it was for 10 or 15 minutes.
“Everyone stuck to the plan, stuck to the process and it paid off”.