Limerick’s U21 footballers seek place in final

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

LIMERICK’S U-21 footballers will bid to reach the provincial final for the first time in six years when when they face Kerry in tonight’s Munster semi-final clash at the Gaelic Grounds (7.30pm).

LIMERICK’S U-21 footballers will bid to reach the provincial final for the first time in six years when when they face Kerry in tonight’s Munster semi-final clash at the Gaelic Grounds (7.30pm).

LIMERICK’S U-21 footballers will bid to reach the provincial final for the first time in six years when when they face Kerry in tonight’s Munster semi-final clash at the Gaelic Grounds (7.30pm).

To date Limerick have just the 2000 title to their credit, while tonight’s semi-final opponents Kerry have an impressive 25 titles to their credit, although the Kingdom has won just two titles in the last decade. The sides are battling for a final spot against either Cork or Tipperary on Wednesday April 6 and if Limerick progress to the decider it will be played in the Gaelic Grounds, regardless of the opposition.

Limerick, who have named an unchanged side for tonight’s game, reached the Munster semi-final thanks to a pulsating 2-11 to 0-15 extra time victory over Clare last week.

Limerick U-21 manager, Maurcie Horan said: “There is no doubt we will have to play 50 per cent better than we did against Clare in order to beat Kerry. We know that we have to up it. If we play the same as we did against Clare, we won’t beat Kerry,” Maurice Horan frankly admitted.

“We will have to play to our best to in,” said Horan, who is joined in the backroom team by Micheal Reidy (Dromcollogher-Broadford), John Ryan (Oola) and Niall Crowley (Adare).

Limerick have the Clare victory under their belts, but Kerry come into the semi-final with no competitive game played.

“They are a strong team as far as we know. They have a couple of fellas involved with the seniors and have some very talented forwards and we know that they will be dangerous,” said Horan of Kerry.

Home advantage will be an advantage according to Horan as his side bid to become the first Limerick side since 1984 to beat Kerry at this grade. “We have it in the Gaelic Grounds and that can only be of benefit to us. It would be amazing to get to a Munster final and that would be great for Limerick football,” explained Horan.

“It is a huge carrot for the players.”

Limerick have slight injury concerns over Barry Ryan (ankle), Donagh Kelly (calf), Patrick Sheehan (ankle) and Eoghan O’Connor (dead leg) but all are expected to be fit.

However, O’Connor, Seamus O’Carroll, Brian Scanlon, Mike Sheehan and James Kelly could all see action with the county seniors against Louth on Sunday, so Horan is keeping fingers crossed that he has a full hand to select from for the under-21 semi-final.

Kerry are managed by former Clare senior football manager John Kennedy - who was linked with the Limerick senior job in the past. Kerry include six members of Jack O’Connor’s extended senior panel. Kerins O’Rahilly’s duo Barry John Walsh and Barry John Keane are the best known of the Kingdom line-up.