Galway u-21s blown away by rampant Tipperary

Tipperary 5-22

Galway 0-12

This was never going to be easy, but the game was over as a contest by the first quarter.

Tipperary had almost wrapped up the Bord Gáis Energy GAA All-Ireland u-21 championship in the first five minutes on Saturday evening.

Ken Hogan’s team had knocked in 2-1 within three minutes and the rest of the evening was always going to be a long one for the Galway lads.

By the 15th minute Tipp led by 3-04 to 0-2 and the game was dead. It was an exercise in damage limitation from a Galway perspective after that.

There were 21,110 at the game and only a tiny minority of those were shouting for Galway, so there was not going to be any miracle fight-back.

It was like men against boys all evening and Galway, with a distinctly younger team, many of whom will still be u-21 next year, were always going to be underdogs in the game.

The reality is that they were completely outgunned by an exceptional side. Only Johnny Coen and Barry Daly at midfield were able to compete and both worked hard for the cause for the full hour.

This was superb Tipp side boasting eight players from the panel that had halted the Kilkenny five-in-a-row. Three of them are so talented and physically powerful that they played in central positions for the seniors, while Michael Cahill is an exceptionally good corner back too.

Playing with the wind, Galway shot nine wides in the first half but still finished with a handful of scores to leave just seven in it, 0-9 to 3-7, at the break. After half time Tipp scored four points, O’Meara, Paddy Murphy and two from Noel McGrath, and after stretching the lead to 11, it became shooting practice for the home side.

A couple of the Galway subs, Joseph Cooney and Bernard Burke, made an impact, but the margin was heading in only one direction as the winners outscored their opponents 2-15 to 0-3 in the second half.

Galway’s night of woe was compounded when Niall Quinn was red carded in the last 10 minutes. All in all, a night to forget.

Cunningham admits Tipp were classy

After being beaten by 25 points in an All-Ireland final, Galway u-21 manager Anthony Cunningham was understandably praiseworthy of his opponents.

"Tipperary is a very fine team. You've got to take you hat off to them. In the last 10 or 15 minutes they really pulled away. They are a class side, but our lads are young and they'll rise again.

"We're going to have to keep driving on these young fellas and hopefully they'll learn from the defeat. There's nothing you can do, or no one you can blame. The couple of late goals for Tipperary put the tin hat on it. It’s hard on the players – these are young guys, only learning their trade. We’ll be pushing them to pick up the pieces and drive on."

Galway: K Finnegan; G O’Halloran, P Gordon, D Connolly; N Donoghue, D Burke (capt; 0-2, frees ) , S Linnane; J Coen (0-2 ), B Daly (0-1 ); J Regan (0-1 ), N Quinn (0-1 ) , E Forde; R Cummins, G Burke (0-1 ), G Kelly (0-1 ). Subs: J Cooney (0-1 ) for Forde (23 mins ), B Burke (0-1 ) for G Burke (26m ), J Grealish (0-1 ) for Linnane (41m ), D Glennon for Cummins (45m ), B Flaherty for Gordon (51m ).

Tipperary: J Logue; K O’Gorman, Pádraic Maher (capt ), M Cahill; J Barry, B Maher (0-1, free ) , C Hough; S Hennessy (0-3, 65, free ), N McGrath (1-3, 1-0 free ); S Carey (1-3 ), Patrick Maher (1-0 ), B O’Meara (1-3, 0-1 free ); M Heffernan (0-2 ), P Murphy (0-2 ), J O’Dwyer (1-3 ). Subs : C Coughlan for O’Gorman (43m ), J O’Neill (0-1 ) for O’Dwyer (52m ), A Ryan for Murphy (52m ), J Gallagher for McGrath (55m ), K Morris (0-1, free ) for Heffernan (56ms ).

Referee: J McGrath (Westmeath ).

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