Impressive Cork crowned BGE All-Ireland U-20 Hurling Champions
Bord Gáis Energy All-Ireland U-20 Hurling Final
CORK 4-19 GALWAY 2-14
By John Fallon at Semple Stadium
Cork began their quest for an All-Ireland treble this week with a powerful performance delivering another All-Ireland U-20 title when they scored a deserved eleven points win over Galway in Thurles.
Cork, who won the delayed 2020 final just last month, had to withstand a strong rally from Galway in the third quarter but they took over again to land their 13th crown in the grade.
The same counties will meet again in Thurles next Saturday in the minor final when they will hope to continue their quest for the treble.
They were good value for this win and they raced into a 1-4 to 0-0 lead after ten minutes with Darragh Flynn firing home a penalty to get them off the mark after three minutes after Galway goalkeeper Paddy Rabbitte was penalised for fouling Jack Cahalane.
They were dominant in most positions and reeled off five points before Donal O’Shea got Galway off the mark with a free after 14 minutes. He followed with another free directly afterwards but then Galway failed to clear their lines and Cahalane pounced to bat the ball home to lead by 2-5 to 0-2 at the first water break.
O’Shea’s third pointed free reduced the margin but Cork’s Padraig Power took his haul to three points with two rapid efforts and when Greg Thomas pulled back a point for Galway, Daniel Hogan responded to make it 2-8 to 0-4 after 25 minutes.
Robbie Cotter and O’Shea swapped points and it took a superb save from Galway goalkeeper Rabbitte to deny Hogan a third Cork goal as the Rebels went in leading by 2-9 to 0-5 at the interval.
The gap would have been much bigger had Cork not shot 13 wides, although Galway were also wasteful from less possession and hit half a dozen wides.
Galway made a very good start to the second-half. John Cooney got them rolling with a point and two more frees from O’Shea and one from play from Sean McDonagh cut the margin to 2-9 to 0-9 after 35 minutes and the Galway fans began to find their voice.
Then they cut the gap to three when O’Shea turned and got in for a goal for Galway after 37 minutes but almost immediately Cork struck for their third goal with Power blasting home after being set up by Brian Hayes.
Sean McDonagh and Ben Cunningham, son of former Cork goalkeeper Ger, exchanged points for the Rebels to lead by 3-10 to 1-10 after 42 minutes and there were six between them at the second water break when Flynn and Sean McDonagh swapped scores.
But Cork took over from there.
Gavin Lee and O’Shea managed points for Galway but Cork picked off seven and they sealed the win when Hayes fired home after being set up by Cunningham.
Alex Connaire pulled back a late goal for Galway but their quest for a first title in the grade since 2011, during which time they have won six minor titles, goes on.
Scorers for Cork: Padraig Power 1-5, Darragh Flynn 1-5 (1-0 pen, 4f), Brian Hayes 1-2, Jack Cahalane 1-1, Ben Cunningham 0-2, Daniel Hogan 0-1, Sam Quirke 0-1, Robbie Cotter 0-1, Luke Horgan 0-1.
Scorers for Galway: Donal O’Shea 1-7 (7f), Alex Connaire 1-0, Sean McDonagh 0-3 (1 sideline), Gavin Lee 0-2, John Cooney 0-1, Greg Thomas 0-1.
CORK: Cathal Wilson; Eoin Downey, Ethan Twomey, Cormac O'Brien; Kevin Moynihan, Ciaran Joyce, Brian O'Sullivan; Sam Quirke, Diarmuid Kearney; Jack Cahalane, Darragh Flynn, Brian Hayes; Robbie Cotter, Padraig Power, Daniel Hogan. Subs used: Ben Cunningham for Kearney (39), Luke Horgan (Glen Rovers) for Cotter (48), Micheal Mullins for Hogan (55), Cillian O'Donovan for Moynihan (57), Colm McCarthy for Quirke (59).
GALWAY: Paddy Rabbitte; Eoin Lawless, Eoghan Geraghty, Christy Brennan; Shane Quirke, Sean Neary, Evan Duggan; Ian McGlynn, Diarmuid Kilcommins; Greg Thomas, Niall Collins, John Cooney; Sean McDonagh, Donal O’Shea, Oisin Flannery Subs used: Jason O’Donoghue for McGlynn (29), Gavin Lee for N Collins (ht), Liam Collins for Flannery (45), Oisin Salmon for Duggan (47), Alex Connaire for Thomas (47).
Referee: Johnny Murphy (Limerick)