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Limerick crowned Munster U21 hurling champions as Lynch stars to see off Clare

Victory for the away side in Cusack Park tonight.

Limerick captain Diarmuid Byrnes lifts the trophy after their Munster U21 final win.
Limerick captain Diarmuid Byrnes lifts the trophy after their Munster U21 final win.

Limerick 0-22
Clare 0-19

LIMERICK’S HURLING FORTUNES were boosted in the shape of an U21 triumph tonight as they saw off Clare in a pulsating Bord Gáis Energy Munster U21 final in Cusack Park in Ennis.

Ronan Lynch was the scoring star as he hit 0-13 and helped Limerick overcome a half-time deficit to win their first provincial crown since 2011.

The success ended Clare’s strangehold on this grade in Munster as they chased a fourth successive provincial U21 title tonight.

The home fans in the 14,311 crowd must have been optimistic at the break as they went 0-12 to 0-10 at the interval before Ian Galvin and Stephen Ward stretched their advantage further early in the second-half.

Limerick were staring at a 0-14 to 0-10 deficit by the 35th minute but then they took over to dominate the rest of the second-half.

They restricted Clare to just five more points for the remainder of the game with their defence spearheaded by outstanding captain Diarmuid Byrnes and the excellent Richie English.

Aidan McGuane and Ronan Lynch Limerick's Ronan Lynch challenges Clare's Aidan McGuane Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Ronan Lynch pointed the way by reeling off five points in a row to push Limerick ahead 0-15 to 0-14 by the 42nd minute.

The game was still in the melting pot entering the final quarter after Bobby Duggan converted a free for Clare to tie the teams at 0-15 apiece.

Clare player celebrate in the dressing rooms after the game Limerick players celebrate in the dressing-room after the game. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

But Limerick stepped it up again with Cian Lynch doing tremendous work in creating scoring chances while the likes of Ronan Lynch and Colin Ryan capitalised.

John Kiely celebrates a score in the second half Limerick manager John Kiely celebrates a score in the second-half. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Clare rallied to cut the gap to two with two minutes left at 0-20 to 0-18 but midfielder Pat Ryan chipped in with an important point then for Limerick.

Then Clare had their best goal chance to rescue the game when Ian Galvin fed Michael O’Malley but he never struck the ball cleanly and it flew over the bar.

Limerick responded with substitute Jack Kelliher putting the finishing touches to their win by raising a white flag and sealing a three-point win that propels them into an All-Ireland semi-final collision with Galway.

Bobby Duggan and Pat Ryan Clare's Bobby Duggan and Limerick's Pat Ryan Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Scorers for Limerick: Ronan Lynch 0-13 (0-8f, 0-2 ’65), David Dempsey, Darragh O’Donovan, Robbie Hanley, David Dempsey, Cian Lynch, Colin Ryan, Pat Ryan, Jack Kelliher, Tom Dempsey 0-1 each.

Scorers for Clare: Bobby Duggan 0-6 (0-6f), Ian Galvin 0-4, Shane Gleeson 0-3, Eoin Quirke 0-2, Shane O’Donnell, David Conroy, Michael O’Malley, Stephen Ward (0-1 sideline) 0-1.

Donal Moloney Clare manager Donal Moloney Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Limerick

1. David McCarthy (Glenroe)

2. Mark O’Callaghan (Knockaderry)
3. Richie English (Doon)
4. Michael Casey (Na Piarsaigh)

5. Diarmaid Byrnes​ (Patrickswell)(Vice Captain)
6. Barry O’Connell (Kildimo Pallaskenry)(Captain)
7. Gearoid Hegarty (St. Patrick’s)

8. Darragh O Donovan (Doon)
9. Pat Ryan (Doon)

10. Ronan Lynch (Na Piarsaigh)
11. Robbie Hanley (Kilmallock)
12. David Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh),

13. Colin Ryan (Pallasgreen)
14. Tom Morrissey (Ahane)
15. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell)

Subs
Sean Flanagan (Feohanagh-Castlemahon) for Hegarty (33)
Andrew La Touche-Cosgrave (Monaleen) for Hanley (33)
Sean Finn (Bruff) for O’Callaghan (46)
Jack Kelliher (Patrickswell) for Morrissey (60)
David Condron (Granagh-Ballingarry) for Dempsey (60)

Clare

1. Keith Hogan (Clooney Quin)

4. Shane O’Brien (Clonlara)
3. David Fitzgerald (Inagh/Kilnamona)
2. Eoin Quirke (Whitegate)

5. Aidan McGuane (Kilmaley)
6. Conor Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown Malbay)
7. Ben O’Gorman (Wolfe Tones)

8. David Conroy (St Joseph’s Doora-Barefield)
9. Kevin Hehir (Inagh/Kilnamona)

10. Bobby Duggan (Clarecastle)
11. Shane Gleeson (Cratloe)
12. Ian Galvin (Clonlara)

14. Stephen Ward (Clarecastle)
13. Shane O’Donnell (Éire Óg)
15. Ryan Taylor (Clooney-Quin)

Subs
Michael O’Malley (Kilmaley) for Gleeson (43)
Niall Deasy (Ballyea) for Hehir (48)
Diarmuid Moloney (Broadford) for Ward (54)
Colin Crehan (O’Callaghan Mills) for Taylor (58)

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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