Tipperary U20 star, Jerome Cahill, believes Cork stand on a level footing with his side as they prepare for another epic showdown in the U20 hurling final in three week’s time.
The Premier County demolished Wexford in Sunday’s semi-final in Nowlan Park on a scoreline of 8-16 to 1-15 with Cahill chipping in with 2-1 from midfield, earning him the man-of-the-match award.
Speaking to TG4 following the game, Cahill admitted that there was a danger of Tipperary following into the trap of complacency given their favourites tag following their Munster final win two week’s ago.
“Today was a potential banana skin out there for us because we were favourites but I think we proved out there why we were favourites and in fairness to Wexford, the scoreboard doesn’t do them justice, the first 10 minutes of the game were very intense.
“It’s hard to keep some lads’ feet firmly on the ground and we tried to get that going immediately after the Munster final because it was only a 10-day turnaround so we had no choice but to get focused on Wexford. It was a challenge but I think we dealt with it really well today.
“We didn’t finish the first half as strong as we started so we really needed to come thundering into it in the second half and we did that, we got a few early scores and settled the nerves again. The rest took care of itself.”
Cahill is one of three senior players on the U20 panel alongside Jake Morris and Paddy Cadell and the trio can now look forward to two All Ireland finals in the space of three weeks beginning with the senior decider against Kilkenny on August 18.
The Kilruane McDonaghs man has issued a rallying call for Tipperary supporters to back both teams in their biggest games of the year.
— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) August 4, 2019
“The five subs that came on really put their hands so the next three weeks are going to be a really exciting time to be a Tipperary U20 and to be part of the senior panel as well.
“We’re just pleading with the Tipperary public to really get behind the two teams for the next three weeks and we’ll give both finals a real rattle.”
Tipperary and Cork are no strangers to each other at underage level having contested the last two Munster finals as well as last year’s All Ireland U21 decider in Limerick. Many of the players involved also clashed at minor level with Cork walking away from that grade with the bragging rights in 2017.
Having got the better of the Rebels in their last two meetings, Cahill knows they will be out for revenge in this year’s final.
“We’re really excited about the final. Cork showed real grit yesterday to overcome a really stubborn Kilkenny side so we’ll go at it again.
“They really dug it out in the end and that’s going to stand to them coming into the final against us. It was a toss of a coin in the Munster final, there was nothing between us, we just got the break in the end. You see Denis Ring up there in the stand today and they’ll be ready for us.
“Cork will be gunning for us, we’re after catching them two games in a row so we really have to get ourselves ready for that, it’s going to be a titanic battle.
“Cork won the U20 football yesterday as well so both teams will have a bit of momentum going into the game so it should be a cracker.”