Man with the mullet scores a point from the end-line
Cork 3-20 Tipperary 2-17
In the space of a week, Tipperary have suddenly become a first half team.
Just like the seniors, their under-20s blazed a first half fire that burned a pitch up and busied a scoreboard but from seven points down, Cork came back on this beautiful Tuesday night to win by six. That's enough about Tipperary because this was all about Pat Ryan and his chomping Cork U20s who in the space of just ten days, have won the 2020 All-Ireland final and have made it through to the 2021 Munster decider.
Just two of the boys started both games, in centre back Ciaran Joyce and full back Daire O'Leary and for those two stars of tomorrow, that's not a bad fortnight's work, not a bad fortnight's work at all. More important than the wins though is the signs for the future because no matter what way you look at them these days, you'll have to notice that there's something stirring down in Cork.
For a county that hasn't won a senior All-Ireland since 2005, the good days might be on the way back and what makes it even purer for their supporters is that the good old days are taking them there. Ben Cunningham, son of Ger, came onto score 0-3 from play. Ger was watching on proudly in the Semple Stadium stands and not too far away from him were heroes of the 80s and 90s Teddy McCarthy and Niall Cahalane, whose son Jack scored a screamer of a first half point. Hope and history make a sweet rhyme.
For a long time, it looked like it wouldn't be for these young Rebels with Devon Ryan once again lording it in the Tipperary half forward line as just behind him, the brilliant Max Hackett hurled the field.
But it was a different game after the resumption because Ethan Twomey and Eoin Downey decided they wanted to change things. Lining out at wing back, Twomey was in sensational form as his clever hurling went hand-in-hand his whole-hearted conviction. Behind him, Downey was a complete revelation. He was Cork's best player in the first half, plucking balls from the sky as if it was the easiest thing in the world and in the second, this free-wheeler of a corner back completely took over this game. In fact, it was such a shame that one of his booming clearances hit the post because a la Diarmuid The Rock against Limerick, it would have made for one hell of a point.
There were no such hard-luck stories for the man with the mullet Conor O'Leary, who, along with Horgan and Cunningham, came off the bench to devastating effect. The boys were brilliant, but it's hard to beat a point that you sent over from the end-line.
How in God's name were Tipperary supposed to compete with a man with a mullet who scores points from the endline? 🎯
UNBELIEVABLE tekkers Conor O'Leary 🔥🔥pic.twitter.com/l9P07xxaeR
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) July 20, 2021
Some stuff from the Ballincollig man. Some stuff from Cork.