Tipperary 1-22 Clare 0-25 (aet; Tipperary win 3-0 on penalties)
Tipperary have been crowned Munster minor hurling champions for the 41st time after edging past rivals Clare in the most dramatic of fashions following a penalty shoot-out on Wednesday evening.
High in unforced errors but equally plentiful when it came to skill, endeavour and application, the Munster minor hurling final drew a midweek crowd of 4,371 to the TUS Gaelic Grounds. The spectators left Limerick city enthralled following a very exciting conclusion which included extra-time and penalties, a showing produced by the 17-year-olds from Clare and Tipperary that won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
In what was the ninth meeting between the counties in the provincial minor hurling decider since 1932, this was surely among the most memorable and was the first to be decided via a penalty shoot-out.
Despite losing captain Sam O’Farrell, who had already chipped in with 0-2, to a second bookable offence on 46 minutes, it appeared as if Tipperary’s bench had done enough to seal victory in normal time. Through their subs, they amassed 1-3, Sam Rowan raiding for the goal on 52 minutes minutes after midfielder Adam Daly set him through.
Accompanied by a thundering Banner roar, substitute Dylan Keane Hayes fired the all-important equaliser on 65 minutes to send the game to extra-time.
That brought Tipperary back to a full complement with Tom Delaney returning to the field of play. The tit-for-tat nature continued on the resumption with the sides trading scores on two occasions to remain deadlocked at half-time in extra-time. Oisín Whelan pointed twice to swing the tie in Clare’s favour but Jack O’Callaghan and a nail-biting free from Paddy McCormack ensured a penalty shoot-out.
James Woodlock’s charges were far superior when it came to penalties, Eoin Horgan, Paddy McCormack and Adam Daly all expertly dispatched their attempts to the net while unfortunately for Clare, their three shots from Oisín Whelan, James Hegarty and Cian Neylon were saved or went wide of the posts.
TIPPERARY: Eoin Horgan; Chris O’Donnell, Aaron O’Halloran, Jack Quinlan; Sam O’Farrell (0-2), Tadhg Sheehan, Jack O’Callaghan (0-2); Ciarán Foley (0-2, one free), Adam Daly; Paddy Phelan, Joe Egan (0-2), Conor Martin (0-1); Tom Delaney, Paddy McCormack (0-3, one free), Damien Corbett (0-5, four frees).
Subs: Sam Rowan (1-0), for Martin (45 mins), Darragh McCarthy (0-3, one free) for Corbett (49), Cathal English (0-1) for Foley (50), Jamie Ormond (0-1) for Delaney (60), Evan Morris for O’Donnell, Jack Hayes for Delaney ( both 70), Conor Martin for Rowan (76)
CLARE: Mark Sheedy; Fionan Treacy, John Cahill, Eoghan Gunning; Seán McMahon, James Hegarty (0-1), Riain McNamara; Piaras Ó Sé (0-1), Matthew O’Halloran; Michael Collins (0-2), Jack O’Neill (0-5), James Organ (0-4); Sam Scanlon (0-1), Oisín Whelan (0-9, eight frees, one 65), Cian Neylon (0-1).
Subs: Dylan Keane Hayes (0-1) for Collins (51 mins), Eoin O’Regan for O’Halloran (55), Fred Hegarty for Neylon (59).
Referee: Nicky Barry (Waterford).