Limerick crowned Munster minor hurling champions

Cian Lynch, Limerick, in action against William Hahessy, Waterford, in the Munster minor final replay in Thurles
Limerick won their first Munster minor hurling title in 29 years on Wednesday night thanks to a thrilling 1-20 to 4-8 win over Waterford in Semple Stadium.

Limerick won their first Munster minor hurling title in 29 years on Wednesday night thanks to a thrilling 1-20 to 4-8 win over Waterford in Semple Stadium.

Just 10 days earlier Limerick had to fight back from seven points down late in the game to snatch a draw.

But this time round Limerick were outstanding from start to finish.

They were hit with set back after set back but showed great heart to fight back.

The win came on the back of some assute switches prior to the throw-in.

Limerick manager Brian Ryan and his selectors made two changes to the starting team and lined out with a new-look central defence and it worked a treat. Ronan Lynch moved from full forward to centre back and was outstanding.

Limerick bossed most of the opening 30 minutes as they started where they left off in the drawn game.

The defence was first to everything and the attack was displaying a far superior touch and pace than the first clash between the sides.

By the end of the opening quarter, Limerick were 0-5 to 0-0 ahead with the Ronan Lynch, Sean Finn and Andrew La Touche Cosgrave dominant.

Late goal hero from the first day, Tom Morrissey, opened the scoring.

Then Lynch came to the fore with four successive scores - all frees, bar his second.

But just as Waterford looked lost they got a tonic goal when star centre back Austin Gleeson won his first possession and delivered long to the Limerick goalmouth. Stephen Cahill attempted to win in front but Stephen Bennett crept in behind and when he won possession he finished cooly to the net from close range.

Dean Coleman steadied the Limerick ship but then came the next bolt of a goal.

This time the score could be traced back to the opposite end of the field when Barry Nash looked to be fouled.

But the referee waved play on and up the field went Waterford and Adam Farrell found the net to put the Desie ahead for the first time 0-6 to 2-2.

A Lynch free replied but Waterford looked likely to take the lead to the break until Cian Lynch goaled in injury time.

Ronan Lynch delivered long into the goalmouth and when the ball broke the Patrickswell man pulled first time to the net for a most deserving 1-7 to 2-2 interval lead.

The second half was a thrill-a-minute contest, in front of 6,532 supporters in Semple Stadium.

Waterford hit the front midway through the half at 3-6 to 1-9 but still Limerick were hurling strongly with Barry Nash and Cian Lynch causing trouble in attack.

Limerick surged ahead 1-13 to 3-7 and then went further ahead with Man of the Match Cian Lynch and Tom Morrissey pointing for a 1-16 to 3-8 lead.

But there was another twist and Stephen Bennett completed his hat-trick with a goal from a free.

That levelled the game in the final minute.

But Limerick got their reward with three winning points from Ronan Lynch (free), David Dempsey and Pat Ryan.

SCORERS - Limerick: Ronan Lynch 0-6 (five frees), Cian Lynch 1-2, Tom Morrissey, Pat Ryan, Barry Nash 0-3 each, David Dempsey 0-2, Dean Coleman 0-1. Waterford: Stephen Bennet 3-2 (1-0free), Patrick Curran 0-3 (one free), Cormac Curran 0-2, Conor Gleeson 0-1.

LIMERICK - Colin Ryan; Sean Finn, Stephen Cahill, Richard English (capt); Andrew La Touche Cosgrave, Ronan Lynch, Sean Flanagan; Jamie Butler, Darragh O’Donovan; Cian Lynch, David Dempsey, Barry Nash; Dean Coleman, Tom Morrissey, Pat Ryan. Subs: Edward Doyle for Dean Coleman (29mins), Michael Casey for Stephen Cahill (38mins), Lorcan Lyons for Jamie Butler (53mins), Dean Coleman for Edward Doyle (58mins).

WATERFORD - Gavin Power; William Hahessy, Kevin Daly, Cian Leamy; Tom Devine, Austin Gleeson Shane Bennett; Michael Kearney, Micheal Harney; Adam Farrell, Patrick Curran, DJ Foran; Colm Roche, Stephen Bennett, Conor Gleeson. Subs: Cormac Curran for Colm Roche, inj (28mins), MJ Sutton for Tom Devine (48mins).

REFEREE - John O’Brien (Tipperary).