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Friday 9 December 2016

Young Blues fail to spark

All-Ireland MHC semi-final: Tipperary 2-17 Dublin 1-15

Dublin’s Eoghan Conroy in action against Kevin Hassett of Tipperary during the Electric Ireland MHC semi-final at Croke Park.
Dublin’s Eoghan Conroy in action against Kevin Hassett of Tipperary during the Electric Ireland MHC semi-final at Croke Park.

Dubs wilt in closing stages as Tipp advance to decider with Galway

Tipperary delivered a storming final quarter to beat Dublin by 2-17 to 1-15 in their Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship semi-final at Croke Park yesterday afternoon.

The Munster Champions started off on the front foot as Dublin took a while to find their collective feet as they fell behind to a brace of Lyndon Fairbrother frees.

Despite Matthew Oliver opening Dublin's account through a 6th minute free, Tipperary's bright start was rewarded when David Gleeson found the net in the 9th minute as Dublin struggled to clear their lines.

Dublin's response to that setback was admirable as they reeled off four points without reply with Ciaran Dowling landing a glorious point after ten minutes before Oliver added three scores in quick succession, two from play.

However, a defensive error punctured Dublin's momentum in the 18th minute when Daire Gray failed to gather with Tommy Nolan being the beneficiary as cracked an emphatic finish beyond Eoin Skelly.

It was imperative that Dublin respond and they delivered three minutes later as Fergal Whitely pulled to the net from eight yards after strong play by Alex Considine.

With Conor Ryan effective in a sweeper role, Dublin maintained form with two late placed balls by Oliver ensuring a 1-9 to 2-6 stalemate by the interval.

Despite opening up a two point lead upon the restart through Considine and Oliver, Dublin's shot selection deteriorated as the half progressed as they fell behind to excellent scores from Fairbrother, Nolan and Alan Tynan.

Goal chances fell to both Carl Sammon and Cian O'Sullivan that Dublin failed to grasp and ultimately, Tipperary's greater sharpness told in the end with Fairbrother and substitute Ruadhán Mulrrony landing pivotal points in the closing stages.

Tipperary will now meet Galway in the All-Ireland final after the Tribesmen struck two goals in the final five minutes to dethrone the holders Kilkenny by 3-10 to 0-17.

Scorers: Tipperary: L Fairbrother 0-7 (4f, 1 '65'), T Nolan 1-3, D Gleeson 1-0, R Mulrroney 0-2, D Carey, C Darcy, G Ryan, A Tynan, S Neville 0-1 each. Dublin: M Oliver 0-10 (7f, 1 '65'), C Dowling 0-4, F Whitely 1-0, A Considine 0-1.

Tipperary: P Hayes; E Heffernan, E Moloney, J Quigley; K Hassett, B McGrath, D Peters; D Carey, L McCutcheon; G Ryan, A Tynan, C Darcy; T Nolan, D Gleeson, L Fairbrother. Subs: R Mulrooney for McCutcheon (25), J Skehan for Darcy and M Connors for Gleeson (47), S Neville for Ryan (60+1).

Dublin: E Skelly; C Hendricken, D Butler, C Ryan; E Foley, P Smyth, D Gray; M Oliver, C Sammon; C Dowling, M Maguire, E Conroy; F Whitely, A Considine, E Dunne. Subs: C O'Sullivan for Dunne (40), G King for Whitely (43), D Ryan for Gray (45), C Burke for O'Sullivan (59), S Hickey for Sammon (60).

Referee: Paud O'Dwyer (Carlow)

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