Minor hurlers hope to beat Tipp for the first time in four years


By Jerome O’Connell

GAA Correspondent

THE Limerick minor hurlers bid to repeat the 2005 shock victory over Tipperary when the sides meet in the Munster minor championship this Wednesday night at the Gaelic Grounds (6.30pm).
Four years ago Limerick defeated Tipperary 2-14 to 1-6 and progressed to contest the All-Ireland final, where they lost to a Joe Canning-inspired Galway side.
Since that win in Kilmallock Tipperary have defeated Limerick in each of the last three pADVERTISEMENTrovincial championships – last year Tipperary were 3-21 to 1-12 winners in Thurles.
Four members of that Limerick side remain in this year’s starting 15 – Kevin Downes, Niall Kennedy, Brian Cleary and Cathal McNamara.
The Limerick team for tomorrow’s night first round game was announced after training last evening.
Patrickwell’s Sean O’Brien has failed in his bid to regain full fitness from a broken bone in his hand.
In his absence his club-mate Nigel Foley will captain the team from full-back.
Ger Hegarty is the Limerick minor manager.
It is now 25 years since Limerick last claimed the Munster minor hurling championship.
Back in 1984 Hegarty was a key figure in the Limerick defence that defeated Tipperary in the Munster final to claim a fifth crown for Limerick.
The Old Christians man’s former Limerick inter-county defensive colleague Brian Finn, Natal O’Grady and Gerard Murphy join him as selectors.
The quartet have scanned the county for talent and ended with a panel of 30 that represents 19 different clubs – eight senior, four intermediate and seven junior clubs.
The county minor side is backboned by three members of the Ardscoil Ris side that reached the Dr. Harty Cup semi-final – Kevin Downes, Niall Kennedy and Declan Hannon.
Also prominent are a trio that helped John the Baptist Community School in Hospital to win the Munster senior B hurling championship – Aaron Murphy, Bryan Cleary and Paudie Ahern.
Another selected in the team is St. Patrick’s Brendan Mullins – next week the sporting all-rounder will play with Limerick CBS in the All-Ireland senior schools soccer final at Terryland Park.
If Limerick progress to the semi-final they will play Cork on June 24 while if Limerick lose this quarter-final, they will enter the back-door route against either Clare or Waterford on May 6.

Limerick: Aaron Murphy (Hospital-Herbertstown); Bryan Cleary (Knockainey), Nigel Foley, capt (Patrickswell), Niall Buckley (Na Piarsaigh); Paudie Ahern (Kilteely-Dromkeen), Declan Hannon (Adare), Thomas O’Callaghan (Monagea); Niall Kennedy (Granagh-Ballingarry), Liam O’Shea (Knockainey); Brendan Mullins (St. Patrick’s), Kevin Downes (Na Piarsaigh), John Fitzgibbon (Adare); William Griffin (Kildimo), Cathal McNamara (Doon), Michael Ryan (Murroe-Boher).

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