History will be made next Tuesday evening when Tipperary take on Cork in the Munster Under-20 Hurling Final at Semple Stadium, throw in 7.30pm.
It will be historic in the sense that it will be the first year that its an Under -20 final replacing the old Under-21 championship which came to an end last year.
When accounting for Cork at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick last August, the win was historic in the sense that Tipperary won this particular All-Ireland , the last under-21 while ironically they won the first ever All-Ireland Under-21 final when defeating Wexford in 1964.
When the two sides met in last year’s Munster Under-21 final, Cork produced a great display when defeating Tipp with ease. It was a nightmare evening for Liam Cahill and his men but they regrouped first claiming the scalp of Galway before downing the Rebels in the All-Ireland final, a victory seen as one of the great victories for the Blue and gold.
Since then eight of the winning team has gained promotion to the Tipp senior panel Barry Hogan, Paddy Cadell, Robert Byrne, Ger Browne, Jerome Cahill, Mark Kehoe, Jake Morris and Cian Darcy are now part of the Tipp senior panel with Morris, Byrne, Kehoe, Cahill getting some action through the Munster senior campaign and the All-Ireland quarter final win over Laois last Sunday.
From that final Niall O’Leary, Mark Coleman, Darragh Fitzgibbon and Tim O’Mahony were part of the Cork senior panel that lost to Kilkenny last Sunday in Croke Park.
Path To Final
Cork have two games under their belt on route to next Tuesday evening’s game as Eoin Roche and Daire Connery used the experience of last year’s under-21 campaign to lead the team with big wins over Limerick and Clare.
First on July 3 they defeated Limerick 1-20 to 0-16 in the quarter final at Pairc Ui Rinn with Shane O’Regan and Brian Turnbull the key men in attack. One week later they accounted for Clare with a storming last twenty minutes steering them to a 0-24 to 0-15 win.
Meanwhile Tipperary, sporting Eoghan Connolly, Paddy Cadell, Jerome Cahill, Jake Morris and Craig Morgan from last year’s All-Ireland win, proved much too good for a poor Waterford side and won by 3-23 to 0-10 at Semple Stadium.
The win highlighted the number of players that have to be unearthed as Gearoid O’Connor and Conor Bowe emerged as talented players and the pair scored 2-4 from play with Bowe’s goals the stand out moments of the game which was rather one sided affair.
Craig Morgan is the team captain of the team that in my view is a stronger side than last year’s outfit and I feel they will edge out a narrow victory
Next Tuesday night’s game will be the 35th meeting at Under-21/20 level with Tipp winning 17 wins two more than Cork. Three games needed a replay.