THE U-21 hurlers carry no extra pressure, as Limerick’s last team standing, ahead of this evening’s Munster semi final according to manager Pat Donnelly.
Clare stand between Limerick and a 19th Munster U-21 Hurling Championship Final appearance.
This evening’s Shannonside semi final derby has a 7.30 start and will be live on TG4.
Already this season Clare have beaten Limerick in the Munster senior hurling and football championships and the semi finals of the Munster minor hurling and football championships!
“We are the last team standing but that brings no extra pressure – we will be trying just as hard as we would if every team were still involved,” said U-21 manager Pat Donnelly, who his in his first season with the team after guiding the Limerick minor team to an All Ireland final appearance last September in Croke Park.
After a sparkling 11-point quarter final win over Tipperary, Limerick are 11/10 favourites to win an eighth Munster U-21 hurling title and indeed 5/2 second favourites to be crowned All Ireland champions on September 9.
”We are only worried about ourselves,” stressed the manager of his side, which is captained by Ahane’s Tom Morrissey.
“We had a great start against Tipperary but there were small things to work on – some tweaking to improve. Semi finals are al about winning and if it’s one point or 10-points we want to get into the final,” said Donnelly.
He added: “Winning is everything – semi finals are very quickly forgotten about.”
Munster minor champions three years ago, Limerick are bidding to reach a first U-21 final since the 2015 meeting of Limerick and Clare - Limerick have five survivors from that starting team, Clare have three.
The Limerick team includes nine members of John Kiely’s senior set-up.
”I must say that the senior players have a great attitude and not one of them was down and they got straight back into it,” said South Liberties man Donnelly.
Victory this evening will book a July 26 Munster final spot against Cork or Waterford in the Gaelic Grounds.
LIMERICK: Eoghan McNamara (Doon), Sean Finn (Bruff), Daragh Fanning (Pallasgreen), Dan Joy (Kilmallock); Ronan Lynch (Na Piarsaigh), Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Thomas Grimes (Na Piarsaigh); Colin Ryan (Pallasgreen), Robbie Hanley (Kilmallock); Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell), Barry Murphy (Doon), Cian Lynch (Patrickswell); Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh), Tom Morrissey (Ahane), Barry Nash (South Liberties).
CLARE: Killian Nugent (O’Callaghans Mills); Ciaran Cooney (O’Callaghans Mills), Dara Walsh (Eire Og), Conor O'Halloran (Eire Og); Con Smyth (Feakle), David Fitzgerald (Inagh-Kilnamona), Rory Hayes (Wolfe Tones); Jason McCarthy (Inagh-Kilnamona), Michael O'Malley (Kilmaley); Ben O'Gorman (Wolfe Tones), Ian Galvin (Clonlara), Brian Cahill (Kilmaley); Colin Corbett (Tulla), Aron Shanagher (Wolfe Tones), Billy Connors (Cratloe).