Superb Limerick minors book All Ireland hurling final spot

Jerome O'Connell, in C

Reporter:

Jerome O'Connell, in C

Superb Limerick minors book All Ireland hurling final spot

A superb display from Limerick booked their place in the All Ireland minor hurling final with a 1-18 to 0-15 win over Dublin.

The Croke Park semi final win ensures a September 4 final spot for Limerick against Tipperary or Galway.

For Limerick it’s a second minor final appearance in three years – losing the 2014 final to Kilkenny.

Limerick’s foundation for the six point win was set in the first half with a huge show of intelligent hurling and a big work-rate.

What a first half from Limerick it was to lead 1-13 to 0-7 at half time.

Limerick were in control of most areas of the field in the opening 30-minutes as they cast aside any fears they may need time to familiarise with the surrounds of Croke Park.

Captain Kyle Hayes had them off the mark after 34-seconds and it set the tone for a top class display from the teenagers.

It was all of 19-minutes before Dublin got on the scoreboard from play and by then Limerick had four points on the board with Hayes, Finn Hourigan and two Brian Ryan frees accounting for the early lead.

Then in the 12th minute came the goal. Cian Magner Flynn pulling in the air to connect with a Ryan free dropping into the square. The Killeedy man may have been in the square but Limerick gladly took the slice of luck to lead 1-4 to 0-1.

Points followed from goalkeeper Mark O’Kelly and Brian Ryan frees to move 1-6 to 0-1 clear at the mid-point of the first half.

Then came the first Dublin score from play.

Conor Boylan, Anthony Barrett and Ryan added points to leave it 1-10 to 0-3 on 23-minutes. 

Dublin were then to finish the half with a run of scores with four in five minutes. Limerick did hit back with Ryan and Hayes to leave the gap at nine points at the break.

As expected Dublin fought back in the second half but Limerick stood firm, ensuring the majority of Dublin scores came from play.

Leinster champions Dublin needed a goal but Limerick stood firm. 

Conor Boylan from play and Brian Ryan frees settled Limerick after Dublin hit the first three points of the second half.

Limerick then went 12-minutes without a score but a 53rd minute long range Ryan free left it 1-17 to 0-15.

Another free from Ryan in injury time sealed the excellent win.

SCORERS - Limerick: Brian Ryan 0-10 (8frees), Cian Magner Flynn 1-1, Kyle Hayes and Conor Boylan 0-2 each, Finn Hourigan, Mark O’Kelly (free) and Anthony Barrett 0-1 each. Dublin: Colin Currie 0-8 (6frees 2 ‘65), Johnny McGuirk (1free) and Ciaran Dowling 0-2 each, Eoin Foley, Conor Burke and Daire Grey 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Mark O’Kelly, Brian Nash, Conor Nicholas, Ronan Connolly; Josh Adams, Jerome Boylan, Finn Hourigan; Ciaran O’Connor, Darragh Carroll; Michael O’Grady, Anthony Barrett, Conor Boylan; Brian Ryan, Kyle Hayes, Cian Magner Flynn. Subs: John Flynn for Darragh Carroll (45mins), David Woulfe for Anthony Barrett (48mins), Paul O’Riordan for Cian Magner Flynn (57mins), Micheal Bourke for Michael O’Grady (60mins).

DUBLIN: Dara de Poire; David Hawkshaw, Paddy Smyth, Donnacha Ryan; Jack McVeigh, Cian O’Sullivan, Eoin Foley; Conor Ryan, Donal Burke; Conor Burke, Ciaran Dowling, David Keogh; Colin Currie, Johnny McGuirk, Ronan Hayes. Subs: Daire Grey for Ronan Hayes (h-t), John Walsh for David Keogh (h-t), Jack O’Neill for Jack McVeigh (47mins), Peter Feeney for Colin Currie (48mins), Sean Currie for Johnny McGuirk (53mins).

REFEREE: Justin Heffernan (Wexford).