Limerick minor hurlers in title defence countdown

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

Limerick minor manager Brian Ryan
LIMERICK’S defence of their Munster minor hurling championship begins next Thursday, April 10.

LIMERICK’S defence of their Munster minor hurling championship begins next Thursday, April 10.

As the teenagers set out on their quest for a first ever back-to-back success, Tipperary are the round one opponents.

The game has a 7.30 start in the Gaelic Grounds.

Victory would propel Brian Ryan’s side in a Munster semi-final against either Cork or Kerry on June 25/26.

Defeat would mean that Limerick advance through the back door where they would get a bye into round two and await their opposition for an April 30 or May 7 encounter.

The Limerick minors completed their schedule of challenge games last Sunday evening when they defeated the Westmeath U-21s in the Gaelic Grounds.

Days previous they played Clare and had encounters with the Offaly, Dublin ad Wexford minors over the last couple of months.

There is much expectation surrounding this Limerick minor team with a large volume of players still underage from the panel that won Munster honours last July for the first time since 1984.

Indeed two years ago, when under the management of Joe Quaid, this group of players won Limerick’s first ever All-Ireland U-16 title.

Enroute to that success, Limerick were narrow 1-9 to 1-7 winners over Tipperary.

Patrickswell’s Cian Lynch will captain the Limerick minors in 2014, with Na Piarsaigh’s Ronan Lynch as vice-captain. This is the third year that both will be involved at inter-county minor level.

The Limerick management of Brian Ryan and selectors Eamonn Cregan and Steve McDonogh report a clean bill of health.

As well as the Lynchs, Limerick will have a host of the 2013 crop to call upon.

Colin Ryan is likely to move from goals to an outfield role with Eoin McNamara or Cian Hedderman now between the posts. Sean Finn, Jamie Porter, Andrew La Touche Cosgrave, Seamus Flanagan, Barry Nash, Tom Morrissey and Paul O’Halloran are other survivors in line for places in the matchday panel of 24.

There are currently 37 teenagers in training under coaches Jerry Wallace and Aonghus O’Brien.