Goals win games the saying goes and the Galway minors proved that on Sunday in Croke park when they raised the green flag four times over the hour. Jeffrey Lynskey’s charges gave the Galway faithful the perfect start to the day with a performance of power and poise. Full forward Evan Niland finished the day with nine points to his name, while goalkeeper Darragh Gilligan put in a top class performance keeping out Tipperary on a number of occasions when the game was still in the melting pot.
Wing forward Brian Colcannon struck the first of Galway’s goals on the 18 minute mark, when he was the quickest to react to a block down and long ball in and he drove the ball to the back of the net from close range. That goal gave Galway the lift they needed as both sides felt each other out in the opening half which finished with the sides tied at 1-7 to 0-10.
But it was early in the second half when Galway hit the scores that decided the outcome of this encounter. The opening exchanges were much like the first half, but eight minutes in sub Liam Forde blasted the ball to the back of the net with his first touch seconds after only coming on. Things got even better for Galway three minutes later when his clubmate Cianan Fahy was the last man on the end of a flowing team move and his three pointer put Galway 3-10 to 0-11 up and in pole position.
Tipperary dug in and kept plugging away and with a minute left in normal time Tommy Nolan rasped in a great strike off the deck to bring the gap back to five points. With four minutes injury time left on the clock Tipp’ knew another goal would bring them right back into it. They very nearly plundered that goal, but Cian Darcy’s shot was well saved by Gilligan. The ball was worked up the field and another sub Michael Lynch found himself in the clear and he buried the ball to seal the victory for the young Tribesmen.
Galway: Evan Niland 0-9 (0-8f ), Brian Concannon 1-0, Cianan Fahy 1-0, Michael Lynch 1-0, Liam Forde 1-0, Jack Coyne 0-2, Thomas Monaghan 0-1, Seán Loftus 0-1.
Tipperary: Lyndon Fairbrother 0-5 (0-4f ), Tommy Nolan 1-2, Stephen Quirke 0-2 (0-1 sl ), Brian McGrath 0-2 (0-1 sl ), Cian Darcy 0-2 (0-2f ), Alan Tynan 0-1, Darragh Peters 0-1 (0-1 65 ), Michael Connors 0-1.
Galway: Darragh Gilligan; Ciarán Connor, Jack Fitzpatrick, Shane Bannon; Caelom Mulry, Ian O'Brien, Andrew Greaney; Jack Coyne, Jack Grealish; Brian Concannon, Thomas Monaghan, Fintan Burke; Ciana Fahy, Evan Niland, Seán Loftus. Subs: Liam Forde for Fintan Burke (37 ), Cian Salmon for Cianan Fahy and Cillian McDaid for Ian O’Brien (both 54 ), Michael Lynch for Brian Concannon (59 ), Ross Malone for Andrew Greaney (63 ).
Tipperary: Padraic Hayes; Enda Heffernan, Emmet Moloney, James Quigley; Kevin Hassett, Brian McGrath, Darragh Peters; Stephen Quirke, Liam McCutcheon; Cian Darcy, Garry Ryan, Alan Tynan; Tommy Nolan, David Gleeson, Lyndon Fairbrother. Subs: Ruadhan Mulrooney for Liam McCutcheon (21 ), Jack Skehan for Garry Ryan (42 ), Michael Connors for Lyndon Fairbrother (45 ), Shane Neville for David Gleeson (55 )
Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow )