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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 16 December, 2018


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Good evening and welcome to our live minute-by-minute coverage of the All-Ireland U21 hurling final.

Limerick v Wexford throws in at 7pm in Semple Stadium, so you’ve got 15 minutes to finish up whatever it is you’re doing and join us.

As always we’d love to hear from you over the course of the afternoon. Tweet us @The42GAA, find us on Facebook, send your emails to, or leave a comment below.

TEAM NEWS: Here’s the Wexford team hoping to end the county’s 50-year wait for an All-Ireland title at U21 level. We’ll keep you posted on any late changes.


1. Oliver O’Leary (Buffers Alley)

2. Simon Donohoe (Shelmaliers)
3. Liam Ryan (Rapparees)
4. Eoin Conroy (Naomh Eanna – Captain).

5. Jim White (Oylegate Glenbrien)
6. Padraig Foley (Crossabeg Ballymurn)
7. Jack O’Connor (St. Martin’s)

8. Conor Devitt (Ballyfad)
9. Tony French (Adamstown)

10. Andrew Kenny (Buffers Alley)
11. Kevin Foley (Rapparees)
12. James Cash (Shelmaliers)

13. Cathal Dunbar (Ballygarret)
14. Conor McDonald (Naomh Eanna)
15. Peter Sutton (Oulart The Ballagh)

TEAM NEWS: Limerick have been waiting 12 years for an U21 title of their own so whoever wins this evening, you can expect the celebrations to be significant.

John Kiely has named the same team that beat Galway in the semis last month.


1. David McCarthy (Glenroe)

2. Sean Finn (Bruff)
3. Richie English (Doon)
4. Michael Casey (Na Piarsaigh)

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

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

10. Ronan Lynch (Na Piarsaigh)
11. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell)
12. David Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh)

13. Colin Ryan (Pallasgreen)
14. Tom Morrissey (Ahane)
15. Barry Nash (South Liberties).

While you’re waiting for throw-in — or for TG4′s live coverage to start — here’s a little bit of pre-match reading: Jackie Cahill’s five talking points.

It’s remarkable to think that Wexford haven’t won an All-Ireland title since 1996, when the seniors were famously successful under Liam Griffin.

It’s an even longer gap back to major glory in the underage ranks, as Wexford’s last minor success was achieved back in 1968.

The one and only All-Ireland U21 crown was annexed 50 years ago and there would be a lovely symmetry there for the Slaneysiders if they could pull it off.

These are two counties badly in need of a lift and a Limerick win would end their All-Ireland drought that stretches back to the last U21 title in 2002.

The county’s minors did contest a final last year but lost to Kilkenny, while Wexford’s U21s are in a second successive U21 decider.

“I watch all the games but I couldn’t watch that one. On a personal level it was the worst 60 minutes of my life.”

Wexford had a shot at glory this time last year but were denied by a Clare side which oozed class. Captain Eoin Conroy relived the nightmare earlier this week.

Slight delay to proceedings in Semple Stadium but we’ll have the national anthem now and then we’re set and ready to go.

No late changes to either side by the looks of things.


THROW IN: Johnny Ryan is the man in the middle. He throws in the ball and we’re underway.

imerick and Wexford during the respect hand shake Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

15 seconds – Wexford danger man Andrew Kenny gets a sight on goal and he only has one thing on his mind: goal. His shot is blocked by Limerick full-back Richie English though.

2 mins – Conor McDonald tries his luck with a sideline cut but it drops just short.

Another chance for Wexford a second later as Kenny pulls the ball across the face of goal but no team-mate can get a touch.

3 mins — Limerick 0-1 Wexford 0-0: And the first score goes to Limerick, midfielder Pat Ryan pointing.

7 mins — Limerick 0-2 Wexford 0-1: Conor McDonald levels it up but Barry Nash responds immediately from the puckout to restore Limerick’s lead.

8 mins — Limerick 0-3 Wexford 0-2: End-to-end stuff. Kenny levels but Nash pops up at the far end for his second point.

10 mins — Limerick 0-5 Wexford 0-2: Great score by Tom Morrissey from distance and Limerick edge into a three-point lead.

12 mins — Limerick 0-6 Wexford 0-2: Ronan Lynch knocks over a free but it’s disappointment for Limerick who had the ball in Oliver O’Leary’s net moments earlier. Johnny Ryan had already whistled for a free though, and didn’t play any advantage, so they’ve to settle for one point instead of three.

14 mins — Limerick 0-7 Wexford 0-2: Another free from Ronan Lynch and Limerick’s lead is out to five now.

16 mins – Ronan Lynch tries his luck with a free from about 80m and while it has the legs, it doesn’t quite have the accuracy and drops right and wide.

17 mins – Wexford can’t really secure possession on their own puckouts and it’s leading to wave after wave of Limerick attacks.

Only some last-ditch defending keeps the Treaty men at bay.

18 mins – Colin Ryan has another sight on goal for Limerick but he’s under pressure and he slices his shot wide.

20 mins — Limerick 0-8 Wexford 0-2: Barry Nash gets the score but it has Cian Lynch’s fingerprints all over it. He hares through the middle before popping the ball over his shoulder for the corner-forward to score.

Barry Nash and Padraig Foley Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

21 mins – Wexford have a couple of half-chances on goal but Gearoid Hegarty is like a man possessed as he closes the gap on Conor Kenny and blocks his effort. Fist pumps galore as he’s fouled bringing the ball out from the back.

22 mins – To give Wexford their due, some of their defending has been exemplary as well. As I type, Padraig Foley gets in a great block to deny Tom Morrissey.

24 mins – This time it’s Conor McDonald to try his luck with an 80m free into the far end but it’s the same result — right and wide.

A look at the scoring stats, courtesy of TG4:

  • Wexford – 2/6
  • Limerick – 8/13

26 mins — Limerick 0-8 Wexford 0-3: McDonald points an easy free to end a spell of almost 18 scoreless minutes  for Wexford.

28 mins — Limerick 0-8 Wexford 0-4: It’s happened again! This time Wexford have the ball in the net but there’s no advantage played and it’s brought back for a free. Kevin Foley thought he’d given his side a crucial lift before the break but they’ve to settle for another McDonald free again.

30 mins — Limerick 0-9 Wexford 0-4: Pat Ryan points and Limerick look like they’ll take a five-point lead into the break.

30+1 mins — Limerick 0-10 Wexford 0-4: Make that six points! Cian Lynch races away from Simon Donohoe and tacks on another point.

Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

30+1 mins — Limerick 0-11 Wexford 0-4: What a brilliant flurry by Limerick to finish the half. Ryan bursts up the middle, handpasses to Nash in acres of space, and he points for his fourth of the evening.

SECOND HALF: We’re back underway in Semple Stadium. Can Wexford force their way back into this?

31 mins — Limerick 0-12 Wexford 0-4: Fine score by Pat Ryan

33 mins — Limerick 0-12 Wexford 0-5: Big, big hit from Pádraig Foley who points a free from inside his own 65m line.

35 mins — Limerick 0-13 Wexford 0-5: Ronan Lynch knocks over another free as Limerick keep Wexford at arm’s length.

37 mins – My word! That’s one hell of a hit by Jack O’Connor on Tom Morrissey. The Limerick youngster will need a bit of treatment — let’s hope he’s ok.

40 mins — Limerick 0-14 Wexford 0-5

Here’s that hit:

O’Connor is booked but so is Cian Lynch for getting involved in a bit of afters and so, instead of a Limerick free, it’s a throw ball.

Ronan Lynch points a moment later so the result is the same regardless. Limerick lead by nine.

41 mins — Limerick 0-14 Wexford 0-6: Point for Wexford but you get the feeling it’s goals they need.

43 mins — Limerick 0-15 Wexford 0-6: Another for Ronan Lynch. Limerick are showing no signs of easing off.

47 mins — Limerick 0-15 Wexford 0-7: Superb sideline by Conor McDonald. Still, Wexford trail by eight.

49 mins — Limerick 0-16 Wexford 0-7: Barry Nash again! He’s had a fine game for Limerick and his eye is most definitely in.

51 mins — Limerick 0-17 Wexford 0-7: Morrissey points Limerick into a 10-point lead and this one looks to be all over bar the shouting.


GOAL FOR WEXFORD! Limerick 0-17 Wexford 1-7 (McDonald, 51′) They couldn’t, could they? Conor McDonald has no right to score but drills a shot at goal and it somehow slips past David McCarthy.

Will that spark a remarkable comeback?

54 mins — Limerick 0-19 Wexford 1-7: Cian Lynch scores to settle any nerves and then Peter Casey adds another. Back to nine points and Limerick have one hand on the cup…

56 mins — Limerick 0-21 Wexford 1-7: Ten-point game again as Ronan Lynch knocks over a free, and then Diarmaid Byrnes gets in on the act.

PENALTY FOR LIMERICK! Andrew La Touche Cosgrave is fouled by Liam Ryan. It will be Limerick sub Peter Casey to take…

57 mins — Limerick 0-23 Wexford 1-7:… and he knocks it over for a point.

Diarmaid Byrnes isn’t done either. He bursts forward from the back and adds his second point!

58 mins – Barry Nash is named Man of the Match — no arguments there.

60 mins – Limerick 0-24 Wexford 1-7: Another for Cian Lynch but this game is long over…

60+2 mins — Limerick 0-26 Wexford 1-7: Tom Morrissey ices the icing on the cake.

60+1 mins — Limerick 0-25 Wexford 1-7: And another for Peter Casey. Blow it up there, ref.


FULL TIME: Limerick 0-26 Wexford 1-7


What a performance by this young Limerick side – they are deserved winners!

That’s where we’ll leave it for this evening. Thanks very much for reading — commiserations to Wexford and a massive congratulations to Limerick!

About the author:

Niall Kelly