All Ireland MHC Final
By Larry Cooney
At Croke Park
Galway minors made it a hurling ‘double’ for the Tribesmen with an inspirational two-point victory over Cork at Croke Park, and in doing so set the tone.
The young Tribes boys claimed their 11th Irish Press Cup after getting off to the worst possible start but Jack Canning, nephew of Joe, turned the tables early in the second half with a magnificent individual display as well as scoring 2-2.
A closely contested affair was anticipated prior to throw-in and both sets of players didn’t disappoint. First half goals from impressive corner-forwards Brian Turnbull and Evan Sheehan helped establish a 2-7 to 0-10 halftime advantage for Cork.
The team in red and white – who were chasing a first All- Ireland title at this grade since 2001- got off to a dream start when Turnbull – who raised 13 white flags in the semi-final win over Dublin – found the back of the Tribesmen’s net after just eight seconds of play.
Sheehan then struck for a brilliant goal in the 16th minute and the Chill Insurance sponsored outfit were 2- 3 to 0-4 to the good at that stage.
There was one change to the Galway starting 15 with Donal Mannion coming in at the expense of the injured Conor Molloy and first-half points from Sean Bleahene and Conor Molloy kept them within touching distance of their opponents.
Despite being well shackled in the first half Canning finished with 2-2 to his name. Mannion teed him up for his first goal 90 seconds after the restart and his second, which arrived in the 39th minute, parachuted the eventual winners into a 2-13 to 2- 10 lead.
The man-of-the-match then fielded a high delivery and showed great strength before producing a finish from close range.
There was, however, a hint of a square ball infringement about it and a defining moment of the game arrived three minutes later when Cork had a goal ruled out after Robert Downey was deemed to have been inside the square.
Canning’s full-forward line colleague Bleahene was also in fine form in front of the posts and he contributed five points from play to his team’s cause. Turnbull top scored for the Denis Ring managed Munster champions with 1-7 but his efforts proved to be in vain as their late rally came up short.