SLIDESHOW: Limerick Youths claim Inter County Cup

Pat Sheehan

Reporter:

Pat Sheehan

Email:

sport@limerickleader.ie

Limerick District League bridged a 15 year gap by winning the Inter County Youth Trophy at Jackman Park on Sunday afternoon. 

A big crowd turned out to cheer on the locals and they were rewarded with a superb performance that saw them beat a fancied opposition.

Under the stewardship of Martin Sugrue and aided by Darren Molloy and Jim Nugent Limerick went through the campaign with little fuss and while they rode their luck along the way it is a success well deserved.

The manager suffered defeat in two finals over the last four years with Sunday's opposition inflicting defeat in their last outing in 2017.

Charleville's Jorge Gustavo picked up the man of the match award for his two goal return (his second described by many as the best they have seen at the venue) but while well deserved it could as easily have gone to half of the Limerick side.

Full back Frank Hehir was superb throughout as was his fellow defender Craig Carew while the work rate of captain, Ewen O Brien was an example for his team mates to follow.

The visitors started brightly and made it obvious that No 8 Stephen Imiren was the danger man but Limerick also showed their threat when Tyrique Leamy raced onto Darren Collins through ball to score. unfortunately the offside flag spoiled the celebrations. 

It was short lived disappointment however as Limerick opened the scoring two minutes later. 

Paudie Hartigan was tripped five yards outside the angle of the penalty box. Kyle Duhig stepped up and fired a beauty to the net to send Limerick on their way. 

Still on a high after taking the lead Limerick were brought right back to earth with two minutes when the visitors levelled. Mike Brennan's delivery was headed home by Anthony Browne.

The goals forced both sides to tighten up and changes were at a premium. O'Connor and Butler were denied by fine saves from Limerick keeper a Kevin Walsh while at the other end Hehir played Gustavo clear and his pass created a chance for Leamy which skimmed the crossbar.

With Limerick doubling up on Imiren the Waterford threat eased significantly and Limerick regained the lead on the stroke of half time when Gustavo cut inside his marker to fire home after good approach work by O'Brien and Duhig.

Waterford began the second half on the front foot and Butler forced a full length save from Walsh to retain Limericks lead.

The Limerick keeper was forced full length again minutes later o keep out an effort by Johnson.

At the other end Waterford net minder denied Leamy but on 64 minutes he could but admire as Limerick went 3 1 ahead.

After sustaining a knock Gustavo revived treatment and when he stepped back into play he picked up a pass from O Brien and killed it with his left before letting fire with his right from fully 30 yards giving the keeper no hope with a brilliant score.

Limerick were well in control at this stage but with five minutes remaining Mike Brennan pulled one back to set up a nervous finish but the home side deservedly came through.

Mike Hanley, chairman of the FAI International Committee presented the trophy to Limerick captain Ewen O'Brien to begin the celebrations.