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19 May 2022

Tipp fall at the final hurdle to Limerick in U20 decider

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Munster U20 Hurling Final


Tipperary 2-18


Limerick 1-25


Tipperary fell at the final hurdle this evening as they just came up short despite a massive effort in a real dinger of a game in TUS Gaelic Grounds against Limerick earlier this evening.


A slow start proved to be the costly event of the day from a Tipperary perspective, as they found themselves four points down within three minutes, and despite coming back into it in the middle of the first half, Limerick simply had too much firepower through the likes of Shane O’Brien, Aidan O’Connor and Adam English who all had fantastic games for the Treaty.


Tipp put in a mighty effort and had numerous sights of goal in the game, but some wrong decisions with the final pass left a few goals behind them, as Limerick were more clinical in the scoring zone.


Disastrously, it was Limerick who started the game with the most intent and had 1-1 on the scoreboard in the blink of an eye, with Aidan O’Connor pointing a free conceded from the throw in, before Adam English dispossessed Cathal Quinn expertly to run in on goal and bury a rasper of an effort to the top corner past Paidi Williams.


That was in the three opening three minutes, but Tipp didn’t let that early setback upset them too much, and were up to speed in the next couple of minutes through points from Paddy Creedon and a well taken Kyle Shelly point.


Limerick were looking very psyched up for the game, and with a raucous home crowd in attendance, Adam English added to his goal a few minutes earlier with two points in a row up to the 10th minute, along with a long range strike from fellow senior panellist Colin Coughlan.


That put Limerick 1-4 to 0-2 ahead as Tipp were slightly punch drunk, but they were finding space behind the Limerick half back line, but some poor decision making on a few occasions let them down. Darragh Stakelum reduced the gap to four by the 13th minute, but Tipp needed to get to grips quickly.


A fantastic score from Cathal Quinn was a real tonic for the Cashel man in the 14th minute, as he was finding the going tough on Adam English early on, and when Kyle Shelly and Jimmy Quilty traded points in the 16th minute to make it a five point game.


Tipp got a real shot in the arm by the 16th minute when they raised a green flag, coming from a lovely James Armstrong delivery to Kyle Shelly who reached to the sky to field the pass and move towards goal to finish low to the net and get Tipp back into real contention.


Limerick were making mince meat of TIpperary on puckouts from the start of the second quarter onward, as Aidan O’Connor was gifted a point from play direct from a Williams puckout, and this was quickly followed by a well taken Shane O’Brien point to deflate the effect of the Tipperary goal.


A mini purple patch came for Tipp with two quick points by the 22nd minute from Shelly and Peter McGarry from distance, but it was Limerick who were finding the answers with five in a row in the final five minutes through O’Connor (3), O’Brien, and massive effort from his own half back line from cornerback Chris Thomas. Tipp had it all to do in the second half to turn around the 1-13 to 1-6 deficit.


The second half started with a Limerick point from Eddie Stokes who showed great composure to point under pressure, before a quick brace of Tipp points scores from Jack Leamy and Peter McGarry took the edge off.


Limerick were still finding the space far too easily in the scoring zone though, with Aidan O’Connor proving very difficult to contain and had another from play in the 35th minute, but Tipp soon found their route back when Peter McGarry found his way through the Limerick half back line before delivering a lovely stick pass to Jack Leamy who buried the ball low to the net to bring it back to a five point game.


Cian Scully found an instant response from distance for Limerick a minute later, but Tipp had a sniff of blood now and whipped over three straight points between the 38th and 41st minute through McGarry, and two Kyle Shelly effort (1 free), with the game very much back on.


Tipp were looking to curtail the Limerick attack, but the likes of Shane O’Brien and Aidan O’Connor were proving hard to keep in tow, with the aforementioned duo both responding with points along with a lovely score seconds after his introduction from Patrick O’Donovan.


Sean Kenneally made a big impact in his time after coming on winning a few frees and scoring a lovely point from distance to close the gap again, but Limerick continued to have the answers with Shane O’Brien again proving to be the thorn in Tipperary’s side with scores to maintain the three point gap for Limerick with the final quarter coming.


In fairness to every man in blue and gold, they never stopped running and looking to get the game back, and responded once again with another trio of points by the 50th minute, and when Paddy Creedon and Pat Kirby traded points by the 53rd minute, there was only three points in it with Limerick ahead 1-21 to 2-15.


Tipp continued to push, however they needed a green flag to win this game and when the bodies started to move forward, space inevitably opened up for the Limerick forwards when the ball was turned over, as late scores from Pat Kirby again, and a late late free from O’Connor deep in injury time meant Tipp fell just short despite a gargantuan effort from the players.


Tipp were very unlucky heading into this game without Ed Connolly, and only for a slow start could have nicked it, but there is no doubt that a few players will be pulled for the senior panel from this group in the coming years, with Jack Leamy outstanding on the day, while John Campion, Paddy Creedon, Darragh Stakelum and Peter McGarry all played their part.

Scorers: Tipperary: Kyle Shelly (1-6, 0-3f), Jack Leamy 1-3, Paddy Creedon, Peter McGarry 0-3 each, Darragh Stakelum, Cathal Quinn, Sean Kenneally all 0-1 each.


Limerick: Aidan O’Connor (0-9, 0-6f), Adam English 1-2, Shane O’Brien 0-5, Colin Coughlan, John Kirby, Jimmy Quilty, Chris Thomas, Eddie Stokes, Cian Scully, Patrick Kirby, Patrick O’Donovan, Patrick Reale, Ethan Hurley all 0-1 each.


Tipperary: Paidi Williams (Kilruane MacDonaghs); Conor Cadell (JK Brackens), Conor O’Dwyer (Cashel King Cormacs), Luke Shanahan (Upperchurch Drombane); Michael Corcoran (Silvermines), James Armstrong (Thurles Sarsfields), Cathal Quinn (Cashel King Cormacs); John Campion (Drom & Inch), Darragh Stakelum (Thurles Sarsfields); Josh Keller (Nenagh Éire Óg), Peter McGarry (St Mary’s), Jack Leamy (Golden Kilfeacle); Eddie Ryan (Borris-Ileigh), Kyle Shelly (Moycarkey Borris), Paddy Creedon (Thurles Sarsfields).


Subs: Colm Fogarty (Lorrha) for Ryan; Sean Kenneally (Moneygall) for Keller; Conor McKelvey (SIlvermines) for Corcoran; Conor Ryan (Borrisokane) for Shelly.


Limerick: Conor Hanley; 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 Ó Dalaigh.


Subs: Patrick O’Donovan for Ó Dalaigh; Brian O’Meara for Scully; Joe Sweeney for Quilty; Patrick Reale for J Kirby.


Referee: Niall Malone (Clare)

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