Wins for Tipp and Cork in Munster U-20 HC:
O’Neill’s Munster U20 Hurling Championship
TIPPERARY 3-26 WATERFORD 3-13
LIMERICK 0-21 CORK 1-19
Jack Leamy and Peter McGarry fired Tipperary into the Munster U20 semi-final despite being pushed most of the way by an already eliminated Waterford team.
Limerick’s one-point loss to table-toppers Cork means it’s Clare who will travel to FBD Semple Stadium to take on the Premier in the semi-final. Those two have already drawn in their last meeting in the Munster opener.
The 13-point margin of defeat didn’t do justice to the Déise, who demonstrated creditable spirit and skill even as they lined up without senior stars Patrick and Mark Fitzgerald.
They had two stunning goals from Jack Twomey (2-1) and were as close as four points with three minutes to play. But Tipperary had the greater legs and deeper bench. They scored the final 2-3 with both goals from Leamy.
Leamy did the late damage to end with 2-6 (2-1 from play) but it was McGarry who did the heavy lifting in the first half, scoring 1-4 from a floating role.
Captain Darragh Stakelum also impressed with 0-5 from midfield and speedster Eddie Ryan contributed 0-4 but Brendan Cummins will be keen to address a defence that was too open for long stretches.
After Jason Forde’s sideline went direct to the net last Sunday, Tipp’s U20s suffered that same fate after five minutes; Charlie Treen (1-8) with the cut that deceived Jason O’Dwyer.
They were level seven times thereafter in a high-scoring first half, with Twomey’s first goal pushing Waterford back ahead before McGarry’s 28th-minute strike helped Tipp into a 1-16 to 2-9 half-time lead.
Tipp looked like burning Waterford off as they moved seven ahead but Twomey brought the visitors right back into it with a sensational overhead flick to lob the sliotar to the net. As with his first goal, Evan Foley supplied the final pass.
That gap remained at four until the closing stages, with Ciarán McCormack and Darragh McCarthy scoring off the bench.
Leamy’s goals ended it; one teed up by McGarry, the other rebounded to the net after an attempted point came back off the post.
Limerick needed a win to join them in the semi-final but they were denied by a strong finish from 14-man Cork, who were already guaranteed their berth in the final.
The Treaty led from the off, fuelled by the scoring of Patrick O’Donovan, who ended with 0-11 (8 frees). Senior stars Adam English (0-3) and Shane O’Brien (0-2) also added to their cause.
They were ahead 0-11 to 0-6 when Diarmuid Healy slotted the game’s only goal after some hard work from David Cremin to bring Cork back to life.
It was 0-12 to 1-6 at the halfway mark but Cork worked their way into contention. Adam O’Sullivan had clipped 0-3 in the first half and William Buckley picked up the running with three of his own after the break.
When Ben Cunningham converted a long-range free, they were back level entering the final quarter.
Centre-back Ben O’Connor was sent off for a second yellow card as O’Donovan and English twice levelled late on but Cunningham’s eighth point proved the winner.