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17 May 2022

Limerick U20 hurlers seal a Munster final place with narrow victory over Waterford

Limerick U20 Waterford

Shane O'Brien of Limerick in action against Josh Fitzgerald of Waterford. PIC: Sportsfile

LIMERICK booked their place in the Munster U20 Hurling Championship final this Wednesday evening with a three point victory over Waterford.

In the TUS Gaelic Grounds it finished Limerick 0-27 Waterford 3-15.

Limerick blitzed Waterford early in the second half with eight successive points to move 0-19 to 0-11 ahead but The Decies battled back with three goals in a nervy finish.

Limerick had five points each from play from Aidan O'Connor, Adam English and Shane O'Brien.

The game was level at 0-11 each at half time. It was an opening half in which Waterford had the aid of a slight breeze but any advantage was eroded with 10 wides - Limerick had just two.

The sides were level on eight occasions.

Limerick did have 10 points from play across six players.

Waterford hit the ground running and had two points scored before the Limerick account was opened in the fourth minute.

But the men in blue and white should have been further ahead but for six wides in the opening seven minutes.

Shane O'Brien and Eddie Stokes had points to get Limerick off the marl but Waterford again surged ahead.

But as the first half reached it's mid-point Limerick were ahead for the first time - Adam English, Shane O'Brien and Aidan O'Connor all with points from play for a 0-5 to 0-4 lead.

Further point from O'Connor and O'Brien had the home side 0-7 to 0-6 ahead but Waterford were still very much in this contest.

When they found their radar they moved back ahead to lead 0-9 to 0-7 inside the final 10-minutes of the first half.

Donnacha O'Dalaigh and Chris Thomas points looked to have Limerick heading to the dressing room in front until The Decies struck back once again in a half that swung from end-to-end.

It was a second point from Adam English that eventually sent the sides to the interval dressing room tied 0-11 each.

On the change of ends, Limerick went up a level and hit eight successive points from the throw-in.

English had the first two and then O'Connor had four in a row.

When O'Brien added another, Limerick were 0-19 to 0-11 ahead and just 10-minutes gone in the new half.

Waterford's first score of the new half didn't arrive until the 12th when it was a tonic goal that came their way - sub Cian Rellis finding the net.

Conor Hanley Clarke had denied Padraig Fitzgerald just moments earlier, while Colin Coughlan also had a timely interception a few moments previous.

The goal left it 0-20 to 1-12.

English, O'Connor and Coughlan replied but Waterford went in search of another goal and were rewarded when another sub Jake Foley raised a green flag on 53-minutes.

It was now 0-23 to 2-14.

Stokes, O'Connor and O'Brien again steadied Limerick in response.

But Waterford came coming and Patrick Fitzgerald fired home their third goal in injury time from a 21-metre free.

When he landed a point it was a two point game until O'Connor's 10th point sealed the passage into the final.

Waterford finished with 17 wides and Limerick six. 

SCORERS: Limerick: Aidan O'Connor 0-10 (5frees), Adam English and Shane O'Brien 0-5 each, Eddie Stokes and Colin Coughlan 0-2 each, Donnacha O'Dalaigh, Chris Thomas and Patrick Kirby 0-1 each. Waterford: Aaron Ryan 0-8 (5frees, 1 '65), Patrick Fitzgerald 1-2 (1-0free), Cian Rellis and Jake Foley 1-0 each, Seamus Fitzgerald, Joe Booth, Willie Beresford, Padraig Fitzgerald and Seanie Callaghan 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Conor Hanley Clarke (Kilmallock); Chris Thomas (Doon), Fergal O’Connor (Effin), Evan O’Leary (Ahane); Cian Scully (Dromin Athlacca Banogue), Ethan Hurley (Newcastle West), Colin Coughlan (Ballybrown); Jimmy Quilty (Blackrock), Joe Sweeney (Adare); Adam English (Doon), Aidan O'Connor (Ballybrown), Eddie Stokes (Doon); Shane O’Brien (Kilmallock), Patrick Kirby (Patrickswell), Donnacha O’Dalaigh (Monaleen). Subs: John Kirby (Patrickswell) for Joe Sweeney (h-t), Barry Duff (Mungret St Pauls) for Cian Scully (50mins), Brian O’Meara (Mungret St Pauls) for Jimmy Quilty (53mins), Patrick Reale (Knockainey) for Donnacha O'Dalaigh (60mins).

WATERFORD: Cian Troy (Ballygunner); Colin Foley (Abbeyside), Rory Furlong (Ballygunner), Josh Fitzgerald (Clashmore-Kinsalebeg); Joe Booth (Colligan), Mark Fitzgerald (Passage), Ronan Power (Ballygunner); Seamus Fitzgerald (Kilrossanty), Willie Beresford (Abbeyside); Aaron Ryan (Fourmilewater), Seanie Callaghan (Abbeyside), Sean Walsh (Fourmilewater); Conor Berry (Ballygunner), Patrick Fitzgerald (Ballygunner), Padraig Fitzgerald (Kilrossanty). Subs: Cian Relis (Tramore) for Seanie Callaghan (37mins), Jake Foley (Ballygunner) for Conor Berry (47mins), Eoin O’Brien (Ballygunner) for Seamus Fitzgerald (54mins).

REFEREE: Conor Doyle (Tipperary)

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