Tribes­men crowned for sec­ond time in three sea­sons

The Irish Times - Monday - Sport - - Sports -

Gal­way cap­tured their 11th All-Ire­land mi­nor hurl­ing ti­tle with a su­perb sec­ond-half display in what turned out to be an his­toric day for the Tribes­men.

The county have never be­fore won the se­nior and mi­nor ti­tles in the same year and a mo­men­tous day for the Can­ning fam­ily from Por­tumna be­gan with Jack Can­ning – Joe’s nephew – fir­ing home two goals in a man-of-the-match display.

Cork, pre-match favourites, lived up to that billing in the open­ing half and looked to be sail­ing to vic­tory when they led by 2-3 to 0-3 af­ter just 15 min­utes.

Brian Turn­bull scored what is prob­a­bly the quick­est goal ever in an All-Ire­land fi­nal when he fin­ished to the net af­ter just eight sec­onds.

But Gal­way, look­ing for their sec­ond crown in three sea­sons, did not panic and early points from Donal Mannion and Conor Mol­loy helped set­tle them.

How­ever, just when Ben Mo­ran cut the gap to three points, the Rebels found the back of the net again when Evan Shee­han’s shot hit the tar­get.

Gal­way hit back with points from Daniel Lof­tus and Mol­loy be­fore Daire Con­nery and Turn­bull re­sponded for Cork.

Su­perb

The sides con­tin­ued to ex­change points but Gal­way fin­ished the half strongly with the su­perb Seán Blea­hane, who fin­ished with 0-5 from play, and Mol­loy cut­ting the gap to 2-7 to 0-10 at the break.

Can­ning struck two min­utes af­ter the restart for his first goal, with Shee­han and Turn­bull point­ing for Cork and those scores be­ing can­celled at the other end by Mol­loy and Blea­hane.

But Gal­way never looked back when Can­ning blasted to the net for his sec­ond goal af­ter 39 min­utes to push them into the lead for the first time.

Liam O’Shea gave Cork hope with a point but Gal­way pulled away, with Mol­loy, Blea­hane and Can­ning shoot­ing ex­cel­lent points to lead by 2-16 to 2-11.

By then the huge Gal­way crowd got be­hind the Tribes­men as they pushed for home but Barry Mur­phy re­sponded with a point for Cork with 10 min­utes re­main­ing.

Mol­loy can­celled that with a free at the other end but that was to be Gal­way’s fi­nal score of the match.

They were forced to en­dure a ner­vous fin­ish as Cork came with a late rally.

Turn­bull pointed and Robert Downey also found the range to leave four be­tween them with five min­utes left on the clock.

Late res­cue

A late res­cue job seemed to be on the cards when Turn­bull took his tally to 1-7 with a point four min­utes from the end of reg­u­lar time.

But they couldn’t close the gap from there and the goal they needed to snatch vic­tory in the end never looked like ma­te­ri­al­is­ing, and the great­est day in Gal­way’s hurl­ing his­tory was off to a fly­ing start with the first part of an un­prece­dented doub

PHO­TO­GRAPH: RYAN BYRNE/INPHO

Gal­way’s Mark Gill cel­e­brates at the fi­nal whis­tle of the All-Ire­land Mi­nor Hurl­ing Cham­pi­onship fi­nal in Croke Park, Dublin.

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