Tomas McCarthy reports from Walsh Park
LIMERICK CLINCHED a place in the Electric Ireland Munster minor hurling final for the fourth consecutive year with a two-point success away to Waterford in tonight’s semi-final clash.
Limerick followed up their previous round win over Clare with success tonight and continued a productive week for hurling in the county after their Munster U21 quarter-final triumph over Cork last night.
The win ensures Limerick advance to a final meeting against Cork or Tipperary, who meet in the semi-final tomorrow night, in the Gaelic Grounds on 10 July.
Pat Donnelly’s Limerick side led 0-16 to 0-10 with twelve minutes left but the hosts simply refused to give in. Five unanswered points by Thomas Douglas, Michael Mahony, Jack Prendergast, Ciaran Kirwan and Eoghan Murray suddenly raised the volume among the locals.
Kyle Hayes and Cian Magnier Flynn steadied Limerick with late points but Donal Power and Murray got the Déise back within a single once again.
Stephen Gough’s warriors couldn’t level the contest however as Murray’s sideline sailed right and wide. Paul O’Brien settled this semi final with a free two minutes into injury time.
The Mungret/St Pauls dead ball specialist blazed over ten points (eight frees) for the winners with number eight Brian Ryan and skipper Kyle Hayes also to the fore. Eoghan Murray, Donal Power and Conor Dalton spearheaded the Déise fightback in the second half.
Wind assisted Limerick edged a lacklustre first quarter by 0-3 to 0-1. O’Brien bagged an early brace of frees before Ryan struck their first from play. It took the hosts twelve minutes to open their account through wing back Conor Dalton.
The Treaty pushed three points away when Ryan hit his second from 50 metres. Michael Mahony replied with a well taken score tight to the sideline. Ryan raised his third white flag of the evening as Limerick pulled four clear. Murray converted a second free for Waterford. David Woulfe responded emphatically as he struck over after fetching the next puckout and Darragh Carroll rounded off the half with a sublime sideline in front of the stand.
On the restart, Neil Montgomery pointed within eight seconds for the hosts. Another mazy Dalton dribble resulted in his second single before Donal Power closed the deficit to two (0-9 to 0-7).
Limerick halted their gallop through captain Hayes and another O’Brien placed ball. Waterford pared the gap down to two once more courtesy of Eoghan Murray and Jack Prendergast. Donnnelly’s outfit reacted with four consecutive singles including three from the in-form O’Brien. Waterford never threw in the towel and that dazzling spell of five in a row put them back in the mix.
Hayes and Cian Magnier Flynn settled Limerick momentarily before another Déise flurry. The reliable O’Brien clinched it for a relieved Treaty.
Scorers for Limerick: Paul O’Brien 0-10 (8fs); Brian Ryan 0-3; Darragh Carroll (1 s-l), Kyle Hayes 0-2 each; Cian Magnier Flynn, David Woulfe 0-1 each.
Scorers for Waterford: Eoghan Murray 0-5 (3fs); Jack Prendergast, Conor Dalton, Michael Mahony, Donal Power, Thomas Douglas 0-2 each; Ciaran Kirwan, Neil Montgomery 0-1 each.
1. Mark O Kelly (Croom)
2. Brian Nash (South Liberties)
3. Conor Nicholas (Monaleen)
4. Finn Hourigan (Murroe/Boher)
5. Michael O Grady (Knockainey)
6. Josh Adams (Ballybrown)
7. Brian Timmons (Murroe/Boher)
10. Darragh Carroll (Newport)
9. Cal McCarthy (Kilmallock)
8. Brian Ryan (South Liberties)
11. Cian Magnier Flynn (Killeedy)
12. David Woulfe (Kilmallock)
13. Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh)
14. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo/Pallaskenry)
15. Paul O’Brien (Mungret/St Pauls)
21. John Flynn (Patrickswell) for McCarthy (H-T)
23. Ciaran O’Connor (Kilmallock) for Timmons (41)
18. Michael Bourke (Garryspillane) for Adams (56)
17. Anthony Barrett (Kilmallock) for Woulfe (58)
1. Billy Nolan (Roanmore)
2. Conor Giles Doran (De La Salle)
3. James Flavin (Ardmore)
4. Tom Barron (Fourmilewater)
7. Lee Wall (De La Salle)
9. Harry Ruddle Redmond (Ballygunner)
11. Conor Dalton (Clonea)
5. Donal Power (Passage)
12. Cathal Curran (Brickey Rangers)
8. Eoin McGrath (Butlerstown)
13. Michael Mahony (Ballygunner)
14. Neil Montgomery (Abbeyside)
15. Thomas Douglas (De La Salle)
6. Eoghan Murray (Ballyduff Upper)
10. Jack Prendergast (Lismore)
17. Dylan Guiry (Fourmilewater) for McGrath (29)
18. Ciaran Kirwan (Fenor) for Montgomery (43)
20. Jack Reade (St Mollerans) for Wall (57)
Referee: Nathan Wall (Cork)
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