Tyrone win a thriller for a fifth All-Ireland U21 title

Kieran McGeary lifts the Clarke Cup for Tyrone. INTT1915-707DCA

Kieran McGeary lifts the Clarke Cup for Tyrone. INTT1915-707DCA

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Tyrone claimed their fifth All-Ireland U21 title, their first since 2001, when they held off a late rally from Tipperary to win a cracking decider at Parnell Park in Dublin on Saturday evening by 1-11 to 0-13.

Trailing by two points at the break, despite playing with the wind, things looked bad for the Red Hands but the inner strength and belief that has galvanised this group of players throughout the campaign came to the fore with midfielder Cathal McShane’s 47th minute goal proving to be a pivotal moment in the game.

It was a fiercely contested encounter between two well matched sides with the winners producing a superb second half display after failing to find their rhythm in the opening thirty minutes. The game that was held up for fifty minutes at halftime as two spectators took heart attacks and unfortunately one of those ended in a fatality.

During that first half they hit ten wides as more often than not they took the wrong decisions when in possession with their shot selection leaving a lot to be desired.

They were a different side in the second half though as they took the game to a gallant Tipperary side who threw everything at them in the closing minutes but Tyrone held on, despite losing Michael Cassidy to a second yellow card in injury time.

With the fourteen year wait for success now ended at this level hopes are that this will give football within the County a timely boost ahead of the double bill of minor and senior Ulster championship games with Donegal in a fortnight’s time.