Minors fail to make the grade

Sunday's minor final is surely one for the record books - a team beaten in championship action twice still went on to win the All Ireland title.

Beaten by Tipperary in the Munste championship, Waterford went through the backdoor to reach the Munster final where there were beaten by Limerick after a replay.

Despite their scenic route to Sunday’s final,Galway have no complaints as Sean Power's men were better for the majority of the game.

Galway led only once after a sideline cut from Adrian Morrissey put them 0-4 to 0-3 up after 12 minutes and, when it looked like they were going to push on after drawing the game level at 15 points each with 14 minutes left, Waterford found the extra gear and drove home to victory, with Patrick Curran's goal ending Galway’s chances.

Galway never got going early on and had Cathal Tuohy to thank for two fine saves in the first half and another early in the second for keeping them in the contest.

Galway trailed by 0-12 to 0-9 at the break, thanks to late rally of points from from Ronan O'Meara and a double from Darragh Dolan in the closing few minutes, but Waterford had played the superior hurling over the opening half an hour as Galway failed to get the ball into their full forward line,

Kevin Daly, Shane Bennett and Austin Gleeson shut down the Galway attack, while at the other end Patrick Curran finished with a personal tally of 1-7, despite good defensive performances from Shane Cooney and Darragh O'Donoghue .

The second half was two minutes old when Tuohy was called into action again, pulling off a diving save from Stephen Bennett before Mark Kearney put the rebound over the bar.

When Patrick Curran added a point, it looked like the game was drifting away from Galway. However Murphy's men dug in and outscored Waterford by six points to one over the next 10 minutes. Brian Molloy grabbed a brace from frees, Ronan O'Meara hit a beauty from well out field, and Brian Burke announced his introduction to the fray with a fine score to cut the gap to one point.

Waterford responded with a Michael Kearney score, but Molloy nailed one from a placed ball and then won a break off the resulting puck-out to level the contest as it approached the home straight.

However that was as good as it got for the Tribesmen. Waterford struck 1-4 without reply over the next 10 minutes and ended a 65-year wait for All Ireland minor success.

Galway: C Tuohy; M Ó Conghaile, D O’Donoghue, M Connelly; S Linnane, S Cooney (0-1, 1f ), R Doyle; E Burke, Da Dolan (0-3 ); C Whelan, R O’Meara (0-4 ), A Morrissey (0-1 ); B Molloy (0-5,4f ) ), J Hastings, C Shaughnessy. Subs: V Doyle for for R Doyle (26m ), E Brannigan for Linnane (HT ), B Burke (0-1 ) for Whelan (37m ), R Bellew for Hastings (50m ), S Burke for É Burke (57m )

Waterford: G Power; W Hahessey, K Daly, C Leamy; M Harney, A Gleeson (0-1,1f ), S Bennett; MO’Brien, T Devine (0-1 ); S Bennett (0-4 ), DJ Foran (0-1 ), M Kearney (0-4 ); A Farrell, P Curran (1-7, 4f 1 65 ), C Roche (0-3 ).Subs: C Curran for Foran (37m ), C Gleeson for Farrell (44m ), Paul O'Connor for Bennett (60m ), S O'Neill for Hahessy (60m )

Referee: Cathal McAllister (Cork ).


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