Na Piarsaigh duo Ronan Lynch and Thomas Grimes celebrate Limerick's All Ireland U-21 win
RONAN Lynch has revealed that revenge of the 2014 All Ireland minor hurling final loss was a motivation for Saturday’s All Ireland U-21 title win.
The Na Piarsaigh man was one of the 10 players that remained in the Limerick starting team from the U-18 Croke Park final defeat of three years ago.
“I don’t think there was ever a question that we were going to leave this behind us today,” said a determined Lynch.
“We were very well prepared and a hard-working team and I would back the skill of those players any day against anybody in the country, be it U-21, minor or senior,” said the wing back.
“You could say it was revenge but I don’t think it was spoken about too much leading up to it. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t in the back of everyones head, it was definitely in the back of my head because that day was a very hurtful day when we knew we had it in us to win that game. We thought we were the better team and we left it behind us,” outlined Lynch.
”This is a fantastic feeling - there is nothing as special as winning an All Ireland in Thurles with fellas that you played with since U-13 and academies. To win this and see all your family and friends and people who contributed out on the field is very very special - an unbelievable feeling,” said Lynch as well-wishers offered congratulations outside the Limerick dressing room.
Lynch scored three long range frees in Limerick’s six point win.
”When you have a bit of a breeze like that, you have to have a pop and somedays I have taken frees, here in Thurles and in club games, and all of them go wide but today a couple of them went over the bar!”
He added: “It was a strong breeze and we made use of it in that first half when we built a bit of a lead and thank god we made that last for the rest of the game”.
Limerick were 0-11 to 0-4 ahead by half time but had to face into the strong second half breeze.
”We were very calm - we are a mature bunch of lads. We have played in big games before and we knew going in that if we had a seven point lead we would have taken that beforehand. We knew we had the energy and legs to see it out going into that last 10-minutes and it showed because we kept the six point gap for the whole game.”
Lynch is one of five players to play every minute of action in the five game run to the All Ireland title. Completing the five are goalkeeper Eoghan McNamara and defenders Daragh Fanning, Kyle Hayes and Dan Joy.
The defence held Kilkenny to just four points from play in Saturday’s final.