Limerick minor hurlers begin new-look Munster championship with Tipperary opener

Jerome O'Connell

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Jerome O'Connell

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joconnell@limerickleader.ie

Limerick minor hurlers begin new-look Munster championship with Tipperary opener

Limerick Minor Hurling Team Management 2018: Back Row: Sean Og Herbert, John Meskell, Antoin Power, Darragh Droog, Alan Browne. Front: Paul Dowling

IT’S all new for the Limerick minor hurlers this season as they embark on their Munster MHC this Sunday.

There is a new management, a new U-17 age grading and a new format to the championship.

All five Munster counties are guaranteed four group games – each played as curtain-raisers to Munster SHC games.

The top two teams will advance to the Munster MHC final with no backdoor for the other three sides.

Limerick are managed by Antoin Power.

“It’s a new experience for everyone – players and management. Even playing before the seniors will be new and a big thing, especially for youngsters who are now a year younger,” Power told LeaderSport.

The Claughaun man is joined in his backroom team by selectors; John Meskell and Alan Browne, hurling coach Sean Og Herbert, strength and conditioning coach Darragh Droog and liaison officer Paul Dowling.

“In total 23 of our panel were involved with some Harty Cup side – about 15/16 played in some game so that’s a good experience for them with most of them under age for Harty next year. Of our squad, seven are underage next year for minor,” outlined Power, who has Kyran O'Donnell (Pallasgreen) as captain and Jack Nicholas (Murroe-Boher) as vice-captain.

“We met up before Christmas and have worked away with two hurling sessions and one in the gym. We have played a lot of challenge games but stayed away from Munster sides – there were a lot of positive results but Sunday is the real test,” said Power, who along with Alan Browne and Paul Dowling, have worked with his age group since U-14 level in the Limerick Underage Hurling Academy.

Last year in the U-16 Arrabawn Cup Limerick beat Wexford and lost to Kilkenny before beating Waterford in the Shield Final. 

First up in the Munster MHC is Tipperary this Sunday.

The full Limerick fixture list is Sunday May 20 - Limerick v Tipperary in Gaelic Grounds at 12noon, Saturday June 2; Limerick v Cork in Pairc Ui Chaoimh at 5pm; Sunday June 10 - Limerick v Waterford in Gaelic Grounds at 12noon and Sunday June 17 - Limerick v Clare in Cusack Park at 12noon.

“It is great for the players to get four games. Everyone will want a good start and for that reason we haven’t looked beyond Tipperary,” said Power.

Tipperary are managed by former All Ireland SHC winning captain Tommy Dunne, who was South Liberties coach for the 2015 Limerick SHC.

LIMERICK PANEL: Barry O’Connor, Conor O’Neill and Colin Coughlan (all Ballybrown); Padraig Harnett and Andrew Shanahan (both Ahane); Patrick Byrne and Micheal Martin (both Ballybricken-Bohermore); James Conheady and Cathal O’Neill (both Crecora Manister); Ben Herlihy, David Riordan (both Castletown-Ballyagran); Dean Kennedy and Cian Casey (both Claughaun); Bob Purcell and Cormac Ryan (both Doon); Eoin O’Mahony and Bryan Heavey (both Garryspillane); Jack Nicholas and David Hickey (both Murroe-Boher); Cian Enright and Patrick Kirby (both Patrickswell); Michael Keane (Adare), Jimmy Quilty (Blackrock), Danny O’Leary (Bruff), Frankie Herr (Effin), Gearoid Lynch (Granagh-Ballingarry), KIllian Real (Hospital-Herbertstown), James Mason (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Brian Daly (Kilmallock), Seamus Hurley (Mungret St Pauls), Emmet McEvoy (Na Piarsaigh), Bryan Nix (Newcastle West), Kyran O’Donnell (Pallasgreen), Diarmuid Hegarty (St Patricks).