Category: Archive

Limerick end U-21 drought with victory over Galway

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mark Jones

Limerick 1-13, Galway 0-13

How to feel? Joyous for Limerick, who won only the second All-Ireland under 21 hurling title in their long history, or dejected for Galway, who lost a fourth successive final at this level?

The contrast in emotions was probably best expressed by Galway’s manager, Brendan Lynskey, after the dust had settled in Thurles last Sunday.

"If we weren’t going to take the title ourselves, then I’m glad Limerick won it," he said. "They’ve gone a long time without an All-Ireland title and this will do them a power of good. Having said that, we’re desperately disappointed at the way it turned out."

Without any meaningful silverware for 13 years, Limerick will be hoping that this victory will signal the start of a new era. Though there might not have been too much of a difference on the scoreboard, the Munster county were clearly the superior combination. From brilliant left corner-back, Paudie Reale, to Mark Keane, who contributed 1-8, Limerick fully deserved their moment in the sun.

Sign up to The Irish Echo Newsletter

Galway’s hopes of glory were seriously hampered by a leg injury that prevented dual star David Tierney from starting. Tierney was introduced in the 40th minute, immediately after Keane had lashed in the only goal of the game, but he wasn’t able to exert the sort of influence that had proved so crucial in the semifinal victory over Offaly.

"We missed a goal chance and they took theirs," Lynskey said. "David’s injury was a massive blow to us. Had he been fully fit, we would have played a more open game. When he came on, he wasn’t his usual self."

Galway managed to cut the deficit to three points on two occasions in the closing moments, but the Limerick defense wasn’t about to concede anything at that stage.

Even though Limerick’s towering full-forward, Brian Begley, failed to make a major impression, he was still influential, especially after he moved out to center-forward in the second half. Eugene Mulcahy also stood out at the back, while Donnacha Sheehan and Paul O’Grady gave Keane excellent support in attack.

Limerick were 0-8 to 0-6 in front at the interval — Keane had a penalty attempt saved in the fifth minute — but Galway could have been in front at the changeover if David Huban had taken a clear goal chance. Limerick settled again following Keane’s precious strike early in the second half and armed with a five-point cushion, they were always in control.

"It was very important for Limerick to win this title," said winning manager David Keane. "There’s very little between the traditional counties in Munster, just a question of harnessing talent and putting in a good effort, which is what we did this year."

Club Finals

Bellaghy claimed their third Derry football title in a row when they edged out Ballinderry by 0-9 to 0-8 in a disappointing final at Celtic Park last weekend.

Meanwhile, there was a mass brawl at the end of the Antrim decider at Casement Park involving as many as 100 people. Cargin took the verdict over St Paul’s by 0-9 to 0-5. The disgraceful scenes are now likely to be investigated by the county board.

The Kealy brothers, Richie and Dermot, inspired Dunshaughlin to a first-ever Meath title as Kilmainhamwood were beaten by 1-19 to 2-6 at Navan, and former intercounty star Ross Carr collected his first Down county championship medal when Clonduff easily got the better of Liatrom by 1-17 to 0-11, while the Mayo title went to Crossmolina following a 0-14 to 0-11 victory over first-time finalists Burrishoole.

Also, Abbeylara were too strong for Fr Manning Gaels in the Longford decider, running out winners by 2-6 to 0-4, and reigning champions St Eunan’s were shocked in the Donegal final at Balleybofey, where Ardara took the honors by 1-9 to 0-7.

There were celebrations for St Joseph’s, who claimed a ninth Laois title with a 1-13 to 1-8 success against Portlaoise, while Nire triumphed in Waterford with a 1-11 to 1-8 win over Kilrossanty.

Finally, in hurling, Dunloy had the edge over Cushendun to run out winners by 1-21 to 0-13 in the Antrim club decider. Loughlene claimed victory in Westmeath with a 3-8 to 0-14 victory over Castlepollard, and Tooreen saw off the challenge of Ballyhaunis by 3-5 to 0-9 to take the Mayo title.

Other Articles You Might Like

Sign up to our Daily Newsletter

Click to access the login or register cheese