Munster Minor Hurling Championship – Tipperary vs. Limerick

Munster Minor Hurling Championship – Tipperary vs. Limerick

Limerick minors chase a major win

By Colm Kinsella of the Limerick Leader newspaper

IT’S the minor competition which has caused major heartache for Limerick teams in recent decades.

When Limerick’s minor hurlers set out on their Munster championship campaign of 2008 on Wednesday next at Semple Stadium, a whopping 24 years will have passed since the provincial title at under-18 level rested on Shannonside. Limerick’s first round opponents in Thurles on Wednesday, April 30 are Tipperary, the reigning Munster minor champions and a side seeking to complete a three-in-a-row of All-Ireland titles in the grade this year.
Wednesday night’s game has a 6.30pm throw-in time. The winners will advance to the provincial semi-final directly. The losers will have a second chance of making it through to the last four when they face the losers of the other first round tie featuring Cork and Clare on May 7.

Limerick’s last appearance in a Munster minor final was in 2005 when they secured a resounding 2-14 to 1-6 win over Tipp in the semi-final at Kilmallock.

Limerick’s 30-strong panel this season includes five ‘survivors’ from the 2007 campaign.

Team manager Peter Finn explained that they had started holding trials after Christmas and had looked at some 75 players in total. The team has also played a series of challenge games, including fixtures against Clare, Offaly and Cork. Fourteen members of Tipperary’s All-Ireland final winning squad of last September are under-age again this year. The Limerick squad includes dual inter-county minor player Pat Begley, of Mungret-St. Paul’s, and a sprinkling of players from the Ardscoil Ris side which advanced to the Dr Harty Cup semi-finals earlier in the year.
Peter Finn said the challenge of taking on a hotly-fancied Tipperary side in Thurles was one they were all looking forward to.
"It won’t be easy to defeat Tipperary in their own back yard. But while we respect them, we won’t fear them," Peter Finn said.
"We have a lot of work done on the training ground and our preparations have gone very well. We are fortunate to have such a great bunch of lads in the squad. They are totally dedicated and committed.
"We will be giving it our best shot on Wednesday night."

Limerick minor hurling squad: Sean O’Brien, Thomas Nolan, Niall Carrig (all Patrickswell), Aaron Murphy, Mark Deegan (both Hospital-Herbertstown), Jason Maloney, Jake Greaney (both Knockaderry), Darragh Madden, Sean Madden (both Ahane), Jack O’Callaghan, Pat Begley (both Mungret-St Paul’s), Peter Ryan (Dromin-Athlacca), Shane Bulfin (Bruff), Kevin Downes (Na Piarsaigh), Niall Kennedy (Granagh-Ballingarry), Graham Mulcahy (Kilmallock), Kieran Kennedy (Crecora), Eoin O’Sulluivan (Tournafulla), Michael Keating (Kileedy), Timmy Fleming (Feohanagh-Castlemahon), Cathal McNamara (Doon), Brian Cleary (Knockainey), Dermot Byrnes (Murroe-Boher), Darragh Lyons (Ballybricken), Ruairi O’Shaughnessy (Blackrock).

Management team: manager Peter Finn (Kilmallock), selectors James Connery (Kilmallock), Con O’Keeffe (Granagh-Ballingarry) & Sean Hayes (Ballybrown), first aid Pauline McAuliffe (Dromin-Athlacca).

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