Limerick captain Jimmy Quilty and teammates celebrate with the trophy after their side's victory in Munster GAA Hurling U20 Championship Final match between Limerick and Tipperary at TUS Gaelic Grounds in Limerick.
Limerick captain Jimmy Quilty and teammates celebrate with the trophy after their side's victory in Munster GAA Hurling U20 Championship Final match between Limerick and Tipperary at TUS Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. 

Limerick hold of Tipp to claim Munster U-20 hurling title Munster U-20 Hurling Final


By Noel Dundon

Limerick staved off a very stern test of their credentials in the Munster U20 hurling final at TUS Páirc na nGael this evening when they bagged two late points to overcome a resilient Tipperary.

In a wonderful game of end-to-end hurling which had spectators on the edge of their seat right to the very death, Limerick had greater firepower and their ability to take scores under pressure proved to be the key for them with corner forward Shane O’Brien excelling in this department.

With conditions absolutely perfect for hurling, Limerick got off to a flying start when, wind assisted, they raced into a 1-1 to no score lead after three minutes, their goal coming from Adam English, to really rock the visitors.

But, credit to Tipperary, they fought back and though they were 1-4 to 0-2 in arrears by the end of the first quarter, they had Darragh Stakelum, John Campion and Kyle Shelly scores to keep them in touch, before Shelly fired a fine goal in the 17th minute to bring them right back into the game.

A feature of the first half was Limerick’s superb long range shooting and they were to hit seven of the remaining nine points of the first half through Aidan O’Connor (4), Shane O’Brien (2) and Chris Thomas to take a commanding 1-13 to 16 lead to the dressing room at half time - Kyle Shelly and Peter McGarry getting the Premier County scores.

It had been a rip roaring first half and though Tipperary found themselves seven in arrears, they were matching Limerick stride for stride on all counts, apart from score taking. They needed to rectify this with the wind at their backs for the second half if they were to make inroads on the deficit.

It got worse before it got better for Tipperary though as Limerick had an Eddie Stokes point upon resumption to enhance their lead.

However, a Jack Leamy goal for Tipp in the 7th minute, following points from Leamy and Peter McGarry, and further scores from McGarry and Kyle Shelly cut the gap to two points and Tipp were back in business. They never managed to get the deficit down below the two point mark though and that was down to Limerick’s ability to keep them at arm's length.

Three more times in the game Tipp had the gap down to two, and three more times, Limerick pulled away again with scores from Aidan O’Connor and subs Patrick Reale and Patrick O’Donovan.

Sean Kenneally made a big difference to the Tipperary attack when he was introduced and he caused havoc for the Limerick defence, grabbing a point with five minutes to go.

Tipp were still two down in injury time and they pressed hard for that match winning goal. But it never came and instead Limerick found the winning points through Shane O’Brien and Alan O’Connor, much to the delight of the partisan home attendance.

A wonderful game of hurling all told with Limerick shading the result and deserving of their win.

Scorers for Limerick: Aidan O’Connor 0-9, Shane O’Brien 0-6, Adam English 1-2, Jim Quilty 0-2, Colin Coughlan, Chris Thomas, Eddie Stokes, Patrick Kirby, Patrick Donovan and Patrick Reale 0-1 each.

Scorers for Tipperary: Kyle Shelly 1-6, Jack Leamy 1-3, Paddy Creedon 0-3, Peter McGarry 0-3, Darragh Stakelum, John Campion, Sean Kennealy 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Conor Hanly, Chris Thomas, Fergal O’Connor, Evan O’Leary, Cian Scully, Ethan Hurley, Colin Coughlan, Jimmy Quilty, John Kirby, Adam English, Aidan O’Connor, Eddie Stokes, Shane O’Brien, Patrick Kirby, Donnacha O’Dalaigh. Subs: Patrick Donovan for O’Dalaigh; Brian O’Meara for Scully; Joe Sweeney for Quilty; Patrick Reale for Kirby.

TIPPERARY: Paidi Williams, Conor Cadell, Conor O’Dwyer,Luke Shanahan, Cathal Quinn, James Armstrong, Michael Corcoran , Josh Keller, Peter McGarry, Eddie Ryan, Kyle Shelly, Jack Leamy, Paddy Creedon. Subs: Colm Fogarty for RYan; Sean Kenneally for Keller; Conor McKelvey for Corcoran; Conor Ryan for Shelly.

Referee: Niall Malone (Clare)