Kevin O’Brien reports from Croke Park
LIMERICK BOOKED THEIR place in the minor All-Ireland hurling final with a deserved six point victory over Dublin.
The Shannonsiders will play the winners of Tipperary and Galway in their first decider since 2014. Limerick, who haven’t won the minor crown since 1984, were full value for their win at HQ.
This Limerick side have come a long way from their 17-point thrashing to Tipperary in the provincial decider.
The beaten Munster finalists, playing against a stiff breeze in the opening half, used Ciaran O’Connor as a sweeper and took a nine-point lead into the break. It was probably the most impressive 30 minutes of hurling they’ve put up all year.
Limerick dominated the opening exchanges and after the opening quarter they found themselves in cruise control. Brian Ryan posted 0-3 during that period while Cian Magner-Flynn – a late addition to the starting team – flicked a long Ryan free into the net.
Dublin had to wait 19 minutes for their opening score from play. That long range effort from Eoin Foley was supplemented by a brace from Ciaran Dowling and a Colin Currie free.
Dublin came out fighting after half-time and hit four of the first five scores but in reality Limerick were never in danger of letting this one go.
Three frees from Currie five minutes after the restart gave Dublin confidence as Daire Gray and Conor Burke also found the range.
With ten minutes to play, Dublin had closed the lead to four points but Brian Ryan’s accuracy from placed balls saw Limerick home.
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Scorers for Limerick: Bryan Ryan 0-10 (0-5 frees), Cian Magner-Flynn (1-1), Kyle Hayes, Anthony Barrett (0-2 each), Finn Hourigan, Mark O’Kelly (free), Conor Boylan (0-1 each).
Scorers for Dublin: Colin Currie 0-8 (all frees), Johnny McGuirk 0-2 (0-1f), Ciaran Dowling 0-2, Conor Burke, Eoin Foley, Daire Gray 0-1 each.
Sent off: Jack O’Neill, Dublin (two yellows).
1. Mark O’Kelly
2. Brian Nash
3. Conor Nicholas
4. Ronan Connelly
8. Ciaran O’Connor
7. Finn Hourigan
6. Jerome Boylan
5. Josh Adams
9. Darragh Carroll
10. Michael O’Gardy
13. Brian Ryan
11. Anthony Barrett
12. Conor Boylan
14. Kyle Hayes
18. Cian Magner-Flynn
Subs: John Flynn (for Darragh Carroll, 45 mins), David Woulfe (for Anthony Barrett, 48 mins), Paul O’Riordan (for Cian Magner-Flynn, 58 mins), Michael Bourke (for Michael O’Grady, 60 mins).
1. Dara De Paoire
2. David Hawkshaw
3. Paddy Smith
4. Donnacha Ryan
7. Eoin Foley
6. Cian O’Sullivan
5. Jack McVeigh
8. Conor Ryan
12. David Keogh
10. Conor Burke
14. Johnny McGuirk
9. Donal Burke
13. Colin Currie
11. Ciaran Dowling
15. Ronan Hayes
Subs: John Walsh (for Ronan Hayes, h/t); Daire Gray (for David Keogh, h/t), Jack O’Neill (for Jack McVeigh, 47 mins), Peter Feeney (for Colin Currie, 48 mins), Sean Currie replaces Johnny McGuirk, 54 mins), Ronan Hayes (for Conor Burke, blood sub, 54 to 56 mins).
REFEREE: Justin Heffernan (Wexford)