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Galway's All-Ireland minor hurling defence up and running with victory over Limerick

Donal O’Shea hit the key goal for the Tribesmen at Semple Stadium.

Galway's Dean Reilly and Ben Herlihy of Limerick in action this afternoon.
Galway's Dean Reilly and Ben Herlihy of Limerick in action this afternoon.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Galway 1-20

Limerick 0-12

Declan Rooney reports from Semple Stadium

DEFENDING ALL-IRELAND MINOR hurling champions Galway got the defence of their title off to a winning start with victory over Limerick at Semple Stadium.

Donal O’Shea — son of former Tipperary manager Eamonn — hit the key goal for Galway just before half-time, while a strong finish from the Tribesmen saw them kick on to an impressive win, which sees them face Kilkenny in round two next weekend.

Cormac Ryan got Limerick off the mark with a second-minute point, but despite this being their first competitive outing of the summer, Galway impressed early on and Adam Brett landed a battling score before Dean Reilly followed suit in the fifth minute on the back of an accurate Sean Neary diagonal ball.

Galway needed Paddy Rabbitte to be at his best after six minutes when Cathal O’Neill crept in behind the cover but the Galway ‘keeper saved well with his feet.

Bob Purcell soon landed a sweet point for Limerick from the right sideline, but Galway replied with a strong nine minutes where they hit five of the next six scores, with two excellent efforts from Keelan Creaven the highlights.

Rabbitte was out quickly to deny Colin Coughlan after 20 minutes, but Limerick got back in the game with a point from Micheál Martin and two from O’Neill.

But a minute before the interval O’Shea found the net for Galway when Pearse’s Oisin Flannery sent him in and the full-forward found the roof of the net with a crisp finish.

Reilly and O’Shea added a couple more points for Galway before the break to give them a 1-11 to 0-6 half-time lead, but two huge frees from O’Neill hauled Limerick back into contention in the early minutes of the second-half.

Oisin Flannery and Padraig Harnett Galway's Oisin Flannery and Padraig Harnett of Limerick. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

It took Galway 10 minutes to score their first point of the second-half, but Sean Neary’s point from distance was well worth the wait, but O’Neill replied immediately to keep Limerick within six points of the Tribesmen.

O’Neill continued to keep Limerick in touch from placed balls, but O’Shea, and O’Donoghue hit great scores for Galway before the excellent Diarmuid Kilcommins hit two in a row for his side as they eased to the win.

Scorers for Galway: Donal O’Shea 1-5 (3f, 1’65), Keelan Creaven 0-3, Jason O’Donoghue 0-3, Diarmuid Kilcommins 0-2, Colm Cunningham 0-2, Dean Reilly 0-2, Adam Brett 0-1, Oisin Flannery (Padraig Pearses) 0-1, Sean Neary 0-1.

Scorers for Limerick: Cathal O’Neill 0-8 (7f); Bob Purcell 0-1, Micheál Martin 0-1, Cormac Ryan 0-1, Emmet McEvoy 0-1.

Galway:

1. Paddy Rabbitte (Athenry)

2. Michael Flynn (Ballygar)
3. Shane Jennings (Bllinasloe)
4. Ian McGlynn (Kilconieron)

5. Shane Quirke (Athenry)
6. Séan Henry (Castlegar) (captain)
7. Evan Duggan (St Thomas)

9. Oisín Flannery (St Thomas)
8. Jason O’Donoghue (Gort)

10. Diarmuid Kilcommins (Annaghdown)
11. Adam Brett (Killimordaly)
12. Oisín Flannery (Pádraig Pearses)

13. Keelan Creaven (Sylane)
14. Donal O’Shea (Salthill/Knocknacarra)
15. Dean Reilly (Pádraig Pearses)

Subs:

21. Sean McDonagh (Mountbellew) for Brett (49)
19. Niall Collins (Cappataggle) for Flannery (Pearses) (49)
23. Oisin Salmon (Clarinbridge) for Reilly (57)
20. Colm Cunningham (Moycullen) for Flannery (St Thomas) (60)
18. Conor Flaherty (Carnmore) for Duggan (60)

Limerick:

1. Bryan Heavey (Garryspillane)

3. Ben Herlihy (Castletown/Ballyagran)
2. Padraig Harnett (Ahane)
4. Michael Keane (Adare)

5. Eoin O’Mahony (Garryspillane)
6. Emmet McEvoy (Na Piarsaigh)
7. Jack Nicholas (Murroe/Boher)

8. Patrick Kirby (Patrickswell)
9. Barry O’Connor (Ballybrown)

10. Micheál Martin (Ballybricken/Bohermore)
11. Cormac Ryan (Doon)
14. Bob Purcell (Doon)

12. Colin Coughlan (Ballybrown)
13. Cathal O’Neill (Credora/Manister)
15. Bryan Nix (Newcastlewest)

Subs:

22. Seamus Hurley (Mungret/St Paul’s) for O’Connor (half-time)
23. Andrew Shanahan (Ahane) for Kirby (48)
24. David Riordan (Castletown/Ballyagran) for Coughlan (52)
17. Diarmuid Hegarty (St Patrick’s) for Nix (55)
21. Jimmy Quilty (Blackrock) for Martin (63)

Referee: Sean Stack (Dublin).

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About the author:

Declan Rooney

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