All-Ireland MHC semi-final: Rebels book first final slot in 10 years

13 August 2017

Cork's Conor O'Callaghan and Liam Murphy of Dublin.
©INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan.

Cork 0-23
Dublin 2-13

Cork are into their first All-Ireland minor hurling championship final since 2007 after seeing off Dublin with four points to spare at Croke Park this afternoon.

‘Man of the Match’ Brian Turnbull struck 0-13 of the winners’ tally over the hour to help them come through a relatively comfortable assignment despite a nervy performance at HQ, where the Leinster side struck late goals in either half through Eoghan O’Neill and Mark Grogan.

The Rebels, who had five players which started in last weekend’s U17 All-Ireland victory over the same opposition, were full value for their win though and now face Galway in the decider on September 3.

Denis Ring’s side opened their account inside the first minute thanks to a fine effort from Bride Rovers’ Brian Roche but it was the Dubs that led with five minutes on the clock after two accurate efforts from full-forward Sean Currie.

Diarmuid Linehan and Turnbull swung the young south siders back in front and once Daire Connery doubled their lead in the ninth minute the gap started to emerge between the teams.

Turnbull (2 frees) and Connery had the margin at five come the quarter hour mark and although Liam Murphy and Currie narrowed it down, the Munster champions were still winning the frees at the far end for Turnbull to convert, adding two more to his tally.

The Douglas sharpshooter very nearly had Dublin’s net rattled in the 27th minute, with some last ditch defending from the capital lads denying him just in the nick of time as they scrambled possession out to Ger Millerick, who floated over Cork’s 10th point of the afternoon.

Brian Buckley added the 11th but in the added minutes Fintan Clandillon’s charges grabbed themselves a precious lifeline via O’Neill toe-poking the sliotar past Cork ‘keeper Ger Collins, who had initially pulled off a brilliant save to deny Murphy, leaving it at 0-11 to 1-4.

Connery increased the southerners’ lead to five within a minute of the restart but Dublin had a glorious chance to net again on 32 minutes when Diarmuid O Floinn bored through Cork’s full-back line and got pulled down in the square.

Goalkeeper Conor O’Donoghue shouldered the responsibility but drilled his penalty wide, letting Cork off the hook as they’d go on to outscore their Leinster counterparts by 0-5 to 0-2 over the next 10 minutes with Turnbull’s expert free-taking to the fore for them.

Robert Downey’s dismissal didn’t even see Cork breaking their stride, with their number 14 having received a second caution after a wild swing in trying to retrieve a puck-out.

Currie (2) and Murphy cracked over frees to keep the Dubs in the hunt but a great break away score from Roche at the other end kept the Rebels humming ahead of Connery landing a long range free and Turnbull (free) upping the advantage to 0-21 to 1-12.

Substitute Emmet Allen rifled over what would be Dublin’s last point in the final minute of regulation and they goaled again late on in the half after Grogan got a touch to a perfectly floated ‘65’, sending the sliotar flying past Collins.

Time had run out on them at that stage though and the Rebels responded in perfect fashion by finding Turnbull along the left flank to fire over his 13th and final point.

Cork - G Collins; E Roche, C O'Callaghan, S O'Leary Hayes; G Millerick (0-1), J Keating, A Walsh Barry; D Connery (0-5, 2f), B Roche (0-2); B Buckley (0-1), C Hanafin, D Linehan (0-1); L O'Shea, R Downey, B Turnbull (0-13, 11f). Subs: B Murphy for C Hanafin, D Hanlon for B Buckley, C O'Brien for B Roche.

Dublin - C O'Donoghue; B McHugh, K Burke, A Dunphy; E O'Donnell, L Walsh, L Gannon; D Keogh, B Coffey; D O Floinn, M Grogan (1-1), L McDwyer; L Murphy (0-4, 3f), E O'Neill (1-1), S Currie (0-6, 3f). Subs: S Kennedy for L McDwyer, E Allen (0-1) for B Coffey, C Derwin for D O Floinn, T Aherne for E O'Donnell.

Referee - M Murtagh.