Tipperary U21 footballers made it back to back victories in the Peter McNulty Cup (Leinster League) at Dr Morris Pk on Saturday afternoon last with a hard fought two point win over Laois, 1-7 to 0-8.
Tipperary showed a number of changes to the side that defeated Down in the opening round with Colin O’Shaughnessy, Ross Mulcahy, Jimmy Feehan and Josh Keane, all of last year's beaten All Ireland final team, making their reappearance in an U21 shirt. It certainly looked a very formidable Tipp team on paper.
Laois on the other hand who ran out clear cut winners over Wexford in their opening game were equal to everything Tipp would throw at them and were well in contention in what was a real dogfight throughout before Tipp finally got over the line with a late Josh Keane pointed free to ensure victory.
James Balwin of Laois and Liam Casey exchanged points in the opening two minutes but the Laois ploy of targeting their full forward Sean Moore was proving a real thorn in the Tipp defence landing three points in a ten minute spell.
Joe Ryan and Liam Casey kept Tipp in touch with points each before Tipp, following some wayward shooting in front of goal, finally hit the front when a long diagonal ball from Jimmy Feehan found Liam Casey who made no mistake with the only goal of the game to put Tipp two points ahead.
Two further Laois points by Cormac Murphy and Sean Moore tied up the game at the break, 0-6 to Tipp's 1-3.
In very testing conditions the second half turned into a real battle and with both sets of defences giving nothing away, scores were going to be at a premium.
However Tipp edged the scoring stakes in the second period with three pointed frees by Josh Keane and a Stephen Quirke point while Sean Moore who kicked six points over the hour replied with two pointed frees for Laois.
For Tipperary mid Fielder Gerry Cronin along with goalie Charlie Manton, Colin O’Shaughnessy, Jimmy Feehan, Shane O’Connell, Josh Keane, Danny Owens and substitute Ciaran Lowry all left their mark on the game.
Next up for Tipp in Rd 3 this Saturday, January 16 are Wexford who had two points to spare over Down in their second round game.
(Venue details and throw in times unavailable at time of writing.)
Tipperary - Charlie Manton (Fethard), Danny Owens (Moyle Rovers), Pearse Richardson (Arravale Rovers), Colin O’Shaughnessy (Ardfinnan), Ross Mulcahy (Moyle Rovers), Jimmy Feehan, Capt, (Killenaule), Shane O’Connell (Golden / Kilfeacle), Gerry Cronin (Ardfinnan), Luke Boland (Moyle Rovers), Paul Maher (Kilsheelan / Kilcash), Stephen Quirke (Moyle Rovers) 0-1, Josh Keane (Golden / Kilfeacle) 0-3 Frees, Brendan Martin (Kilsheelan / Kilcash), Liam Casey (Cahir) 1-2, Joe Ryan (Kilmurry, Cork), 0-1.
Subs used, Aidan Buckley (St. Patricks), Niall McKenna (Cahir) and Ciaran Lowry (Arravale Rovers).
Ted Lowry (Arravale Rovers), Tadgh Fitzgerald (Moyle Rovers) and Rian O’Callaghan (Ballyporeen) completed the panel.
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