East Limerick regained the Mackey Cup after a six year gap as they went back to winning ways in Bruff when the team of 2019 captured the blue riband of primary schools hurling last Wednesday. The tournament which showcases the cream of young hurling talent had to be moved at short notice as the Gaelic Grounds was unavailable.
‘ The Mackey Cup has a niche of its own in the Cumann na mBunscol calendar’ said Joe Lyons, Chairman of Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Luimnigh. ‘Nowadays, it has an added attraction for players as the players for the Munster GAA Primary Game are chosen based on their displays in the Mackey Cup.’
‘The standard in this year’s competition was exceptionally high and all three games were closely contested,’ according to Brother Dormer who is long serving Rúnai of Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Luimnigh.
Semi finals: East Limerick 4-6: Limerick City 2-6
East Limerick hit the ground running in the first semi- final when they scored two goals in the first two minutes in a clear signal of their intentions. Darren Collopy, Conor Ryan and Sam McElligott formed a lethal full forward line full of skill and guile with Collopy scoring two goals. The City replied when Mark Hogan goaled but East rattled off three unanswered points before Matthew Fitzgerald soloed through the heart of the East rearguard and buried a scorching shot in the East net. Back came the East with a goal from Sam McElligott. The game was truly in the melting pot as play swung from end to end.
Half time: East Limerick 3-4: Limerick City 2-5
East Limerick had the wind at their back after the interval but both sides tightened up defensively and scores were at a premium. Conor Ryan raised the only green flag of the half while the City could only add a single point to their tally. Aidan Moloney was impressive in defence for the East while Cathal O Mara was a commanding figure at midfield.
The City team had excellent performers in every line with goalkeeper Darragh Jordan impressive between the sticks.
Final Score: East Limerick 4-6: Limerick City 2-6
Semi final 2:
West Limerick 3-8: South Limerick 1-3
South Limerick were attempting to make it four in a row in the Mackey Cup but they ran up against a West Limerick team who were outstanding in all sectors of the pitch. Darragh Gleeson from Shauntrade NS and captain Tomás Roche from Mahoonagh NS were the Twin Towers in attack, scoring at will and creating havoc every time they were in possession. Tomás Galvin scored Limerick’s first goal while Tomás Roche raised the second green flag just before half time. Darragh Gleeson scored four points for the West in the opening half. Charlie Cronin responded with a goal for West Limerick. With Limerick hurlers Richie English and Micheal Reidy among the coaching team, it was obvious that West Limerick meant business
Half- time: West Limerick 2-7: South Limerick 1-1.
The second half followed the pattern of the first. West Limerick had the bit between their teeth and were not letting go! South Limerick tried all they knew but they could only score two points after the break. Darragh Gleeson raised a green flag for the West to clinch a comfortable victory.
Final score: West Limerick 3-8: South Limerick 1-3
The scene was set for a thrilling final and we were not disappointed! Both teams had scored freely in their semi finals and they continued in that vein. Captain Tomás Roche laid down a marker when he soloed through and rifled to the net. Sam McEllligott opened the East account with a point and Conor Ryan pounced on a loose ball to score an East goal. West Limerick replied when Patrick Kearney found the net but the East, with Cathal O Mara and Darren Collopy to the fore, scored a string of points to leave East Limerick ahead at the interval by the narrowest of margins.
Half time: East Limerick 1-5: West Limerick 2-1
The second half continued in high scoring vein with the sides exchanging points before Conor Ryan scored his side’s second goal. The teams traded points again. Sam McElligott pounced on a loose ball and sent a ground shot to the West net. Seán o Gorman scored the West’s third goal but East continued to pick off points from play. Jack Cosgrove and John O Connor were unyielding in the East rearguard while Cathal O Mara and Michel Ryan were powerful performers in midfield. The West continued to threaten through Gleeson and Roche but East Limerick prevailed to clinch a memorable victory.
Final score: East Limerick 3-9: West Limerick 3-5
After the final, Joe Lyons, Chairman of Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Luimnigh, presented the Mackey Cup to East Limerick captain Darren Collopy. Mr Lyons praised all four teams for their performances on a great day for hurling. Mr Lyons said that the records show that players such as Tom Morrissey, Declan Hannon and Cian Lynch hold Mackey Cup medals and he said he had no doubt that many of the players in the 2019 tournament will wear the Limerick jersey in years to come.
Mr Lyons thanked Bruff GAA club for their help in making the Leader Cup such a successful tournament. He also thanked referee JP Kiely.
Finally, Mr Lyons paid tribute to the teachers and coaches involved with all four teams for their time and effort in coaching teams.