All-Ireland Minor Football Final – Tipperary 3-9 Dublin 1-14

Slievenamon in full cry as Tipp storm home 

All-Ireland MFC Final: Dublin 1-14 Tipperary 3-09

By Fintan O’Toole for the Irish Examiner newspaper

TIPPERARY’S minor football campaign this year was a stirring tale long before yesterday’s All-Ireland decider in Croke Park. Washing away 16 years of heartache in the provincial arena and toppling a series of established counties ensured 2011 would be recalled with fond memories, whatever the outcome of the decider. And yesterday David Power’s charges ensured their season concluded in a dream fashion as they claimed an astonishing victory over Dublin in a blaze of late drama.

It was an game where Dublin enjoyed a large level of superiority and deservedly led as the clock ticked down. Their two-point advantage with five minutes remaining was not reflective of the level of control they had exerted but they still looked set to secure silverware. However Tipperary have displayed a fearless streak in their play this season and they remained in contention, undaunted by the deficit they faced. They were rewarded for that bravery and grit with their two half-time subs stepping forward late on to make pivotal contributions. Moyle Rovers player Phillip Quirke provided aerial power when introduced at centre-forward and his point-kicking was also hugely impressive. He raised his third white flag in the 55th minute to cut the gap to one before Clonmel Commercials youngster Colman Kennedy demonstrated his super sub credentials moments later.

An errant pass by Dublin goalkeeper Ross O’Hanlon was seized on by hard-working captain Liam McGrath and when the ball fell to Kennedy, he unleashed a stinging 20-yard drive to the net. It was a sensational strike, given the simple option was to tap over a point and tie the game. But Kennedy was rewarded for taking a daring approach and in a frenetic finale Tipperary’s defence only leaked a point when Ciarán Kilkenny converted a free.

Dublin had their chances to secure a replay, yet the wretched shooting that blighted their second-half display surfaced again in injury-time. Tipperary grimly protected their advantage and referee Padraig Hughes full-time whistle delivered their first title at this grade since 1934. That prompted riotous celebrations on the pitch and vociferous renditions of Slievenamon by the large band of Premier supporters congregated in the upper tier of the Hogan Stand. This was a crown to cherish, achieved courtesy of defeats this season over the Big Three in Munster (Cork, Kerry and Limerick), the Big Two in Leinster (Meath and Dublin), and the Connacht champions Roscommon.

It will take Dublin time to fathom how they lost this game. In the first-half they were excellent, hitting the high notes that had been evident throughout their march to this juncture. John Small and Patrick O’Higgins gave them a physical edge around the middle, wing-back Jack McCaffrey was in stellar form while Ciaran Kilkenny starred as he orchestrated Dublin’s attacking movements. Kilkenny kicked five points in that opening period with his pace and poise proving problematic for the Tipperary rearguard. Paul Mannion also got in on the scoring act while Gavin Ivory bounded clear for a terrific sixth minute goal after great work by McCaffrey.

Dublin led 1-10 to 2-2 at the interval yet there was enough in their own first-half display to sustain Tipperary’s hopes at the break. Liam McGrath showed how the Dublin defence could be prised apart, tearing through for a wonderful individual goal in the second minute and then forcing the foul in the 30th minute that lead to Tipperary being awarded a penalty. Facing into a Hill 16 packed with ardent Dublin fans, Michael Quinlivan kept his cool to tuck the ball into the bottom corner of the net.

In the second-half Tipperary plugged the gaps at the back, benefitted from the impact of substitutes like Quirke and Kennedy, and significantly made a purposeful opening. They shot over the first four points after the restart through Kennedy (2), Quirke and Quinlivan, and that burst of scores brought them back into contention. Dublin resumed control in the middle period of the second-half yet tellingly they could never put Tipperary away and the greatest margin they enjoyed on the scoreboard was three points. Tipperary were always within touching distance and when the chances arose late on, they pounced for a famous triumph.

Scorers for Tipperary: C Kennedy (0-2f), L McGrath (0-1f) 1-2 each, M Quinlivan 1-1 (1-0 pen), P Quirke 0-3, B Maher 0-1.

Scorers for Dublin: C Kilkenny 0-7 (0-3f), G Ivory 1-1, P Mannion 0-2 (0-1f), J Small, J McCaffrey, E Ó’Conghaile, C Costello 0-1 each.

Subs for Tipperary: P Quirke for J McGrath (half-time), C Kennedy for Ryan (half-time), A McGuire for O’Riordan (43), J Lonergan for Henry (51), J Martin for Maher (55).

Subs for Dublin: D Campbell for Meaney (40), D Byrne for Hannigan (53), N Scully for Fulham (59).

Referee: Padraig Hughes (Armagh)

Power looks to a bright future for the Premier

Tipperary reaction: Fintan O’Toole for the Irish Examiner newspaper

HE was fresh from steering Tipperary to a rare All-Ireland football triumph but in the midst of the euphoric celebrations in Croke Park yesterday, David Power was already thinking of the future. The Tipperary minor boss believes this victory can be the springboard for the county to enjoy greater days ahead. “We’re after winning a minor All-Ireland and it’s huge,” he said. “It sends home a message that we can back up all the talk. We’re going to enjoy this for the next couple of weeks but the work only begins now. The launchpad is there for us and hopefully after this team winning, the U21s and senior team will take confidence from the achievement. “It’s going to help all the super coaches that are coaching U14, U15, U16 and U17 squads. It’ll give them an extra incentive to do it. “I’m fortunate to lead a great management team and set of players. It’s a whole network. John Evans has been a great help to me. Alan O’Connor my physical coach, my three selectors Pat Murphy, Tadhg Duggan and Fergal McDonnell, and the county football board.”

Power praised the battling qualities of his players who once again persevered until the finish. “At half-time we were up against it again. Something like the Kerry game if not by quite as much. There is great fighting spirit in this team and they never give up. We kept plugging away and our backs were outstanding. Dublin have some great forwards too like Ciaran Kilkenny and Gavin Ivory. We’re after beating a very good team.” Tipperary’s self-belief has been key in pulling them through games this year and Power also revealed that some fathers of the Tipperary players were rewarded for the punt they took on their All-Ireland chances earlier in the year. “A couple of fathers after the Kerry game, I think they got us at 66-1 to win the All-Ireland. It’s brilliant. “I said the three things I always do at half-time before they go out — win the throw-in, get the first score and win the second half. “We didn’t win the throw-in but we got the first score and had no choice but to win the second half. Self-belief got us through.”

The contribution of Tipp’s substitutes was invaluable. Power espoused the virtues of his panel all season and that was reflected in the dazzling scoring of Phillip Quirke and Colman Kennedy. Yet the decision of match-winner Kennedy to attempt that late goal took his manager by surprise. “I’ll be honest I was hoping he’d go for the point. If he’d missed it I would have killed him. But he scored a goal like it against Kerry too. It’s all about the panel of 34. I said we’d need five subs and by God we did.” Meanwhile captain Liam McGrath paid tribute to camaraderie in the Tipp football camp and believed it was key to their success this year. “The panel is unbelievable, there’s a real family atmosphere there. Everyone knows each other and has the craic together. For myself, it’s just incredible to win a football medal. At home in Loughmore, football would mean more to a lot of people than hurling would. There’s some lads there, the old lads in the club, that would be delighted by that. It’s a great feeling.”

Late wonder-goal Tipps scales to break young Dub’s hearts

Tipperary 3-9 Dublin 1-14

By Cliona Foley for the Irish Independent newspaper

TIPPERARY may not have retained hurling’s big gong this season but their minor footballers captured a historic All-Ireland yesterday that will surely accelerate the county’s burgeoning football revolution. The way they snatched it at the death — a 57th-minute wonder-goal from super-sub Colman Kennedy to steal it by a point — only added to the conclusion of their fairytale season. Flying starts to both halves, a gutsy second-half comeback and Kennedy’s fantastic strike left the heavily fancied Baby Dubs in tears. And it was particularly heartbreaking for the quartet of losing dual starters, who also lost the minor hurling final two weeks ago. But a late defensive blunder, and getting hit by a bad dose of the yips in the second half, cost Dessie Farrell’s side heavily and underlined, yet again, the mental frailty that affects inexperienced teenagers when the sporting spotlight searches them out.

For Tipp’s giantkillers, and particularly Kennedy, this was Roy of the Rovers stuff. It was all of 77 years since the county’s last and only minor football victory, but that 1934 title was won in the boardroom. This was the first All-Ireland they won on the field of play and confirmed they are an emerging football force. They had taken out Munster’s ‘big three’ this summer and this had distinct echoes of their 11-point semi-final comeback against Kerry.

That memory was used at half-time by manager David Power when they trailed by five points, 1-10 to 2-2. “Yeah, I said to the lads, ‘this is just like the Kerry game all over again, we just have to come back and fight.’ And we did, we really showed our steel,” grinned Power (28). No sooner had they made history than he declared: “This is just the start. It sends home a message that we can back up all the talk, we’re after winning a minor All-Ireland, that’s huge. It is going to help all the super underage coaches we have, but the work only begins now.”

Power was quick to stress that it was a team effort, both on the field and on the sideline, and the latter certainly made some crucial calls. The underdogs blasted out of the traps, scoring 1-1 within 99 seconds of throw-in, the goal coming from captain Liam McGrath. But they didn’t score again for 18 minutes as Dublin hit them with an unanswered 1-7, goaling themselves after just six minutes when Jack McCaffrey put Gavin Ivory through to finish.

Tipp folk looked like they were going to be haunted by ‘Kilkenny’ for a second final in a row, as Ciaran Kilkenny was totally controlling the game, scoring 0-5 (2f) by half-time despite some tight marking from John Meagher. Dublin were also on top in midfield and their pressure game was swamping Tipp in every sector. But somehow Tipp didn’t panic and their second goal, created and scored by full-forward Michael Quinlivan, was vital. He floated in a perfect line-ball to McGrath, who was taken down by Dublin ‘keeper Ross O’Hanlon for a penalty. Quinlivan faced the wrath of The Hill and slotted it home.

Then Tipp’s management made some vital switches. They started John McGrath (brother of senior hurler Noel), who did well, yet replaced him at half-time with their regular centre-forward Philip Quirke, and also threw Kennedy into the mix. The result was explosive, as within 90 seconds of the restart they had both scored. Kennedy would end with 1-2 (2f), their joint top scorer. Quirke wrestled back midfield and finished with 0-3 from play, two of them long-range boomers.

Tipp scored the first four points of the second half to cut the deficit to a point and had the gap to a minimum three times in the next 25 minutes. Yet Dublin managed to edge ahead each time even though, with the finish-line in sight, they got hit terribly by nerves and shot 10 second-half wides. Then came a two-minute spell that proved particularly costly. Scott Fulham went for a goal when a point would have put them two clear again, and was blocked.

Tipp swept downfield and then Dublin goalkeeper O’Hanlon made a bad pass to Rutherson Real. Kennedy nipped in to rob the ball and shot that wonder-goal from all of 20 yards out. Kilkenny got a free to cut the gap back to one again, but in those dying minutes Dublin kicked two more wides and wasted another ball over the sideline as their composure deserted them. Like any good minor manager, Farrell didn’t single out any individual but blamed their collective loss of composure and exhaustion. “We had a very bad start, and to get that back, and get our heads in front at half-time, we expended an awful lot of energy,” he said. “That meant a lot of weary limbs and tired bodies late in the game and a lot of bad decisions were taken, but I’m immensely proud of the journey these lads have taken. “Tipperary just deserve great credit, they’ve been digging it out all year.”

Scorers — Tipperary: L McGrath (0-1f), C Kennedy (0-2f) 1-2 each, M Quinlivan 1-1 (1-0 pen), P Quirke 0-3, B Maher 0-1. Dublin: C Kilkenny 0-7 (3f), G Ivory 1-1, P Mannion 0-2(1f), J Small, J McCaffrey, E O’Conghaile, C Costello 0-1 each.

Tipperary — E Comerford 7; N O’Sullivan 6, J Meagher 7, C O’Sullivan 7; C O’Riordan 6, D Fitzelle 7, S Kennedy 6; S O’Brien 6, I Fahey 6; G Henry 8, J McGrath 8, B Maher 7; L McGrath (Capt) 8, M Quinlivan 9, TJ Ryan 6. Subs: P Quirke 9 for J McGrath (half-time), C Kennedy 9 for Ryan (h-t), A McGuire 7 for O’Riordan (43), J Lonergan 7 for Henry (51), J Martin 6 for Maher (55).

Dublin — R O’Hanlon 6; G Hannigan 6, R McDaid (Capt) 7, R Real 8; E Lowndes 6, J Small 7, J McCaffrey 7; P O’Higgins 8, E O’Conghaile 6; C Costello 6, C Kilkenny 9, G Ivory 7; S Fulham 6, P Mannion 7, C Meaney 7. Subs: D Campbell 8 for Meaney (39), D Byrne 7 for Hannigan (inj, 53), N Scully for Fulham (59).

Ref — P Hughes (Armagh)

Tipperary claim first Minor title since 1934

From the web site

Sunday, September 18, 2011

GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship Final

Dublin 1-14 Tipperary 3-9

Tipperary are All-Ireland Minor champions for the first time since 1934 following a dramatic victory over Dublin in a thrilling final at Croke Park on Sunday. After a brilliant start – they scored 1-1 in the first two minutes – Tipperary trailed until the closing stages of the game when Colman Kennedy smashed home a 57th minute goal that effectively won them the title. Dublin responded well to the concession of that early goal and a purple patch which yielded 1-7 without reply, including a Gavin Ivory wonder strike, left them comfortably ahead, 1-10 to 2-2, at the break.

However, the Dubs probably should have led by more at that stage but for a Michael Quinlivan penalty just before half-time, which gave Tipperary a cause to rally around. And rally they did, kicking the first four points of the second half to cut the gap back to a single point within seven minutes of the restart. Philip Quirke, who was brought on as a sub at half-time, made a massive impact in the second half, scoring three points from play and keeping Tipperary in the game as the clock counted down.

Then, with three minutes left Dublin goalkeeper Ross O’Hanlon unwisely sent a hand pass to full-back Robert McDaid, who was stripped of the ball and substitute Kennedy rifled it into the top corner. Although Ciarán Kilkenny kicked his seventh point of the game in injury time to close the gap to one, Dublin failed to find an equaliser and the victory went to the Premier County, just their second ever in the grade.

As rank outsiders to win a first Minor title in 77 years, Tipperary needed a good start. They got a great one, Bill Maher sending over a point at the end of the first move of the game, before danger man Liam McGrath scored a quite remarkable goal a minute later. McGrath sliced through the entire Dublin defence and finished neatly past O’Hanlon to give his side a 1-1 to 0-0 lead. Dublin, clearly the bigger and stronger side, soon got on top after that poor start and two Paul Mannion points did a lot to settle their nerves. After that the powerful Dublin midfield of Emmet Ó Conghaile and Patrick O’Higgins began to dominate and it was one-way traffic for the next 15 minutes.

Just six minutes in, Dublin had scrubbed Tipp’s lead, as Gavin Ivory did his very best to outdo Liam McGrath by scoring an equally stunning goal. Ivory profited from Dublin’s ability to win primary ball, took a pass in his stride and unleashed a superb shot into the top corner. With Ciarán Kilkenny and Cormac Costello shining in attack, Dublin racked up 1-7 without reply in an electrifying 14-minute spell. Tipperary were struggling without any real target in attack and they continually coughed up possession.

However, they might well have come right back into the game when Ian Fahey was presented with a great chance after good work by Maher, but the giant midfielder skewed his shot badly wide. Tipperary had a goal just before the break, though, when Liam McGrath was taken down by Dublin goalkeeper O’Hanlon and referee Pádraig Hughes pointed to the spot. Quinlivan smashed home from the spot. Five down at the break, that gap was cut to one within seven minutes of the second half, as Kennedy and Quirke, half-time subs, mad a huge impact in the Tipperary attack. It was nip and tuck until the closing stages when Kennedy stepped up to inscribe his name in Tipperary folklore with a brilliantly-taken goal.

Dublin Scorers: C Kilkenny 0-7 (0-3f), G Ivory 1-1, P Mannion 0-2 (0-1f), C Costello 0-1, E Ó Conghaile 0-1, J McCaffrey 0-1, J Small 0-1.

Tipperary Scorers: L McGrath 1-2, C Kennedy 1-2, M Quinlivan 1-1 (1-0 pen), P Quirke 0-3, B Maher 0-1.

Dublin: R O’Hanlon; G Hannigan, R McDaid, R Real; E Lowndes, J Small, J McCaffrey; P O’Higgins, E Ó Conghaile; C Costello, C Kilkenny, G Ivory; S Fulham, P Mannion, C Meaney. Subs: D Campbell for C Meaney (40), D Byrne for G Hannigan (53), N Scully for S Fulham (60).

Tipperary: E Comerford; N O’Sullivan, J Meagher, C O’Sullivan; C O’Riordan, D Fitzelle, S Kennedy; S O’Brien, I Fahey; G Henry, P Quirke, B Maher; L McGrath, M Quinlivan, TJ Ryan. Subs: P Quirke for J McGrath (HT), C Kennedy for TJ Ryan (HT), A McGuire for C O’Riordan (44), J Lonergan for G Henry (51), J Martin for B Maher (55).

Referee: P Hughes (Armagh)

Power pays tribute to Tipp’s fighting spirit

From the web site

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tipperary Minor manager David Power believes that the spirit within his team was the difference come the final whistle as his players overcame a well-fancied Dublin side at Croke Park earlier today to claim a first All-Ireland title for the county in the grade since 1934. Tipp were trailing by a single point coming towards the final stages of the game but a goal from Colman Kennedy with two minutes remaining on the clock was crucial to the outcome.

“I suppose at half-time we were up against it, just like the Kerry game,” said Power. “But there is fighting spirit and steel in this team. They never give up and that showed in the last two minutes when we got that goal. It’s just fantastic just fantastic.” Both sides were guilty of missing chances but the Premier County boss believes a lot of credit must go to his defenders who held out under some fierce pressure throughout the 60 minutes. “Tipp and Dublin missed easy chances and maybe on another day they would have went over but we kept plugging away. The backs were outstanding as they blocked and tackled and this Dublin team has some great forwards. Kilkenny, Ivory, the list goes on.

“I’ve been saying that it’s all about the panel of 34 and I can’t name the 34 or tog out the 34 of the players that are our panel and I said it that we needed five subs and by God did we need the five subs. The players that came on were just brilliant and they worked so hard.” He joked that his heart was in his mouth when Kennedy was preparing to take the shot that won the game. There was only one point between the sides and most would have taken their point but the second half sub made sure of the win with his fine finish. “To be honest I was going to kill him if he missed but Colman Kennedy scored a goal like that against Kerry so I wasn’t that surprised in the end,” he added.

The structure that has been put in place in Tipperary has started to pay dividends and almost half of the panel is able to play again next year, but Power is not looking that far down the road just yet. “Eighteen of this panel of 34 is able to play again next year and I know that doesn’t mean anything but we’re just going to enjoy this because we’ve worked so hard for this.”


Team News

The Tipperary minor football team to play Dublin in Sunday’s All Ireland minor final is unchanged from the team which defeated Roscommon in the semi- final at Croke Park on Sunday August 21. The team is:

  1. Evan Comerford (Clonmel Commercials)
  2. Niall O’Sullivan (Moycarkey-Borris)
  3. John Meagher (Loughmore Castleiney)
  4. Conor O’Sullivan (Galtee Rovers)
  5. Colin O’Riordan (JK Brackens)
  6. Dylan Fitzelle (Cashel King Cormacs)
  7. Seamus Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials)
  8. Stephen O’Brien (Ballina)
  9. Ian Fahey (Clonmel Commercials)
  10. Greg Henry (Killenaule)
  11. Philip Quirke (Moyle Rovers)
  12. Bill Maher (Kilsheelan Kilcash)
  13. Liam McGrath (Loughmore Castleiney) Captain
  14. Michael Quinlivan (Clonmel Commercials)
  15. TJ Ryan (Rockwell Rovers)


Match Coverage

This game will be shown live on TV3 & 3e

Paths to the final


Dublin 4-15 Westmeath 0-8

Dublin 0-10 Longford 0-5

Dublin 2-18 Meath 1-11 (Leinster final)

Dublin 1-11 Cork 1-3 (All-Ireland quarter-final)

Dublin 1-11 Galway 1-9 (All-Ireland semi-final)

Average For: 1-15 Average Against: 0-9


Tipperary 1-13 Limerick 0-9

Tipperary 2-12 Kerry 3-8

Tipperary3-11 Cork 1-9 (Munster final)

Tipperary 0-11 Meath 0-7 (All-Ireland quarter-final)

Tipperary 1-11 Roscommon 0-12 (All-Ireland semi-final)

Average For: 1-13; Average Against: 0-12

GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship Roll of Honour

11 – Kerry (1931-32-33-46-50-62-63-75-80-88-94)

10 – Cork (1961-67-68-69-72-74-81-91-93-2000)

10 – DUBLIN (1930-45-54-55-56-58-59-79-82-84)

7 – Tyrone (1947-48-73-98-2001-2004-2008-2010)

6 – Galway (1952-60-70-76-86-2007)

6 – Mayo (1935-53-66-71-78-85)

4 – Derry (1965-83-89-2002)

4 – Down (1977-87-99-2005)

4 – Roscommon (1939-41-51-2006)

3 – Laois (1996-97-2003)

3 – Meath (1957-90-92)

2 – Cavan (1937-38)

2 – Louth (1936-40)

2 – Armagh (1949)

1 – Clare (1929)

1 – Offaly (1964)

1 – TIPPERARY (1934)

1 – Westmeath (1995)