It took extra time to separate West Cork and South Tipperary in the first final of Saturday’s BOI Celtic Challenge as the southern county emerged 2-17 to 1-19 winners.
At the end of normal time, both sides couldn’t be separated although South Tipperary will feel that they should have done better towards the end of the 60 minutes as they put in ball after ball into the West Cork square but the Rebel County managed to relieve the pressure each time.
Two 10 minute periods of extra time then ensued with the sides matched at 2-9 to 1-12 and it was West Cork who came roaring out of the blocks at a sun-kiss Bord na Mona O’Connor Park in Tullamore.
Cork scored four unanswered points, three of which came from the excellent Padraig Holland but South Tipperary hit back with two points of their own to cut the deficit.
The two teams exchanged a point apiece until Sean Sexton landed a sublime long-range effort to give Cork a four-point lead going into the second period of extra time.
South Tipperary hit back at the beginning of the second period of extra time and Kevin Brogan levelled matters with just minutes remaining. South Tipperary then went ahead but Cork hit two late points to win the John Scott Cup.
2018 is the third year of the successful Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge. The five divisional finals will take place on Saturday, June 30th at Bord na Móna O’Connor Park, Tullamore. The cups have been dedicated to the memory of Michael Hogan (24), John William Scott (14), William Robinson (11), Jerome O’Leary (10) and Michael Feery (40) – five of the victims from the fourteen people shot and killed on Bloody Sunday at Croke Park on November 21st, 1920.
The Bank of Ireland Celtic Challenge represents a new departure in Hurling with the inclusion of teams from all 32 Counties as well as unique respect initiatives including a ‘Pre-Match Talk’ by the referee and the ‘Best and Fairest Award’ that will see referees after every match choose one player from each team selected on the basis of their skill level as well as the respect they showed to the playing rules, match officials and their fellow players.