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U21 Football: Tipp through to first-ever final

Saturday, April 18, 2015

EIRGRID ALL-IRELAND U21 FOOTBALL SEMI-FINAL: TIPPERARY 0-14 DUBLIN 0-12

Steven O'Brien capped an incredible display with one of the two late scores that secured Tipperary a first-ever Eirgrid All-Ireland U21 football final place.

The midfielder was outstanding and swooped in injury-time along with the team's top scorer Kevin O'Halloran for the winning points in Tullamore.

Report: Tyrone too strong for Roscommon

In the process, the Munster champions dumped holders and favourites Dublin out of the competition.

The shock result at O'Connor Park hung in the balance throughout a tense second-half that Tipp largely dominated but didn't close out until the dying moments.

Dessie Farrell's Dublin will kick themselves at failing to advance to the May 2 All-Ireland final having enjoyed a five-point lead early in the second-half.

But they were poor from then on and only drew level late on when they enjoyed a brief spell of dominance.

It was a tight and tense opening and with 21 minutes on the clock there'd been just five scores exchanged. Dublin held a narrow 0-3 to 0-2 lead, though Tipp were arguably the happier as they played into the teeth of a stiff breeze.

The Dubs crucially finished the half strongly with four points before the interval to finally put some daylight between the teams. They outscored Tipp by three points in this period to take a 0-7 to 0-3 half-time lead.

Conor McHugh weighed in with four first-half points in total while fellow seniors Shane Carthy and Cormac Costello also dissected the posts.

It was a significant burst as Dublin had found themselves behind in the second-half of all three of their previous games in the Leinster championship - against Laois, Longford and Kildare.

Still, their four-point cushion was tempered by having to play into the wind after the break. They coped with it well in initially, moving five clear after another Carthy point.

But Tipp's response was impressive and four points without reply signalled their intent to battle all the way.

Josh Keane, senior star Colin O'Riordan, O'Brien and Liam Casey were all on the mark. Dublin looked nervy and McHugh pulled a relatively easy free kick wide.

Tipp had strong momentum on their side and finally drew level in the 49th minute at 0-9 to 0-9 when Keane converted his third free of the afternoon.

Dublin had their chances but their attack was poor and Farrell rang the changes.

But Tipp continued to press their advantage and back to back O'Halloran points moved them two clear with nine minutes remaining.

Dublin did draw level at 0-12 apiece thanks to points from Costello and sub David Campbell. But Tipp weren't to be denied and scores from O'Brien and O'Halloran in the 61st and 62nd minutes sealed a famous win.

***

Scorers for Tipperary: Kevin O'Halloran 0-4 (0-3f), Josh Keane 0-3 (0-3f), Colin O'Riordan 0-2, Steven O'Brien 0-2, Liam Casey 0-1, Jason Lonergan 0-1, Ross Mulcahy 0-1

Scorers for Dublin: Conor McHugh 0-4 (0-1f), Cormac Costello 0-4 (0-3f), Shane Carthy 0-2, Colm Basquel 0-1, David Campbell 0-1

DUBLIN: Lorcan Molloy; David Byrne, Martin Cahalane, Ross McGowan; Aonghus Farrell, Eric Lowndes, Conor Mullally; Stephen Cunningham, Shane Carthy; Niall Scully, Andy Foley, Eoin Murchan; Colm Basquel, Cormac Costello, Conor McHugh. Subs: Shane Cunningham for Stephen Cunningham (25), Shane Clayton for Foley (45), Eoin Fletcher for Cahalane (49, BC), Aaron Byrne for Basquel (49), David Campbell for Scully (52).

TIPPERARY: Evan Comerford; Kevin Fahey, Jimmy Feehan, Colm O'Shaughnessy; Ross Mulcahy, Luke Boland, Bill Maher; Steven O'Brien, Colin O'Riordan; Jason Lonergan, Ian Fahey, Liam Casey; Kevin O'Halloran, Josh Keane, Paul Maher. Sub: Dean McEnroe for P Maher (59).

Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo).

***

Report: Paul Keane




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