Tipperary produced a sensational injury time smash and grab, with Paddy McCormack’s last-gas goal breaking Offley’s hearts and handing the Premier the All-Ireland minor hurling title to 20,214 at Nowell Park this afternoon.
Ames Woodlock’s force looked dead and buried when Adam Screeny’s 62nd-minute free sent Offley four ahead, but points from Darrag McCarthy and Aaron O’Halloran gave them a chance as time ticked on.
Then, McCormack flicked a late free into the net in the 64th minute and handed Tip his first minor crown since 2016, as Leo O’Connor’s offlee disbelieved after one of the most dramatic finals in living memory. I dropped on my knees.
A blistering first half saw both sides share the first six points as Damien Corbett looked particularly lively for the premiere, as they were level on three occasions in the opening minutes.
Offley captain Dan Ravenhill and ace attacker Screeny fired one free each to take a two-point lead, but Tip had a mini purple patch and sent the next three points.
Adam Daly fired on a brutal score from the game, seconds before Tom Delaney freed a Corbett after a beauty from the game, making an excellent spread from 0-6 to 0-5.
Offley was idle in front of the post with eight first-half wides, but he held the afterburners from the 22nd minute before the break to dismiss his neighbors 1-4 for zero.
Conor Doyle begins the blitz with a shoulder-to-shoulder effort before Screeny heads into space to send a Joe Dean-esque point.
It got even better for the Kilcormack/Kilaughey Flyers when he sent a sweet point on his hurl before being hit by club mate Daniel Hand in his third point of the half to take a three-point lead.
The roof almost came off at the Kilkenny venue when Leigh Kavanaugh fired brilliantly over the net in the 31st minute and it could have been worse for a tip before the break with Cathal English scoring a goal on Niall Furlong just seconds later. – Create a saving block.
The Faithful took a 1-10 to 0-7 lead at half-time, but Tip narrowed the gap to three by taking out three early scores from Joe Egan and Corbett (a free and a ’65) before they Opting not to take more than one easy point. Free seconds later.
Instead, Corbett passed it to Egan and his goal-going shot was excellently saved by the boot of Offley’s goalkeeper Liam Hoare. The ball was recycled and ended with a scintillating offley score at the other end as wing-back Donal Shirley ended a 10-minute spell without a score.
Shirley then became the provider for a beautiful screeny point, but Hoare again came to the rescue at the other end when a save from Paddy McCormack at point-blank range to deny him another goal.
Shane Rigne added one more point to leave them once again ahead of six, 1-13 to 1-10, and was still in the middle of six in the 54th minute when Tip lost Corbett straight into the red. On target, it looked like Cathal was throwing his bounce at Robinson when through.
Screeny tapped into the free but Tip avoided play with 14 men and McCormack provided a killer touch to the death in the last 10 minutes with a stronger and outscore 1-5 to 0-1.
Scorer – Tipperary: de Corbett 0-6 (4f, 0-1 ’65), A Daly 0-2, C Foley 0-2, T Delaney 0-1, J Egan 0-1, P McCormack 1-1, J O’Callaghan 0 -1, S O’Farrell 0-1, D McCarthy 0-1, A O’Halloran 0-1. Offley: L Kavanaugh 1-0, A Screeny 0-6 (3F), D Hand 0-3, D Ravenhill 0-2, C Doyle 0-1, S Rigne 0-2, D Shirley 0-1, C Robinson 0- 1.
Tipperary: E Horgan; C O’Donnell, A O’Halloran, J Quinlan; S O’Farrell, T Sheehan, J O’Callaghan; C. Foley, A. Daily; J Egan, C Martin, C English; De Corbett, T Delaney, P McCormack. Sub: D McCarthy (half-time) for Martin, S Butler (46) for Delaney, S Rowan (55) for Foley, Jay Ormond (58) for O’Callaghan, P Phelan (59) for Sheehan.
Offley: el hore; C Larkin, J Mahon, R Kelly; T Guinan, B. Kavanaugh, D. Shirley; C Martin, N Furlong; L. Kavanagh, D. Ravenhill, C. Doyle; De Hand, S. Rigne, A. Screeny. Membership: C Robinson for Martin (43), M Mulrooney (59) for Shirley, S Connolly for hand (63).
Referee: S. Hines (Galway).