Galway minor hurlers off to a winning start
Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship
GALWAY 1-20 LIMERICK 0-12
By Declan Rooney at Semple Stadium
Donal O’Shea hit the only goal of the game as Galway minor hurlers got the defence of their title off to a winning start against Limerick at Semple Stadium.
In their first outing of the year Galway were very impressive and pulled clear late on with seven of the last eight points of the game. Galway now meet Kilkenny in round two next weekend, where a win will see them join Dublin and Tipperary in the All-Ireland semi-finals. Limerick are not out of contention and they will take on Kilkenny in two weeks’ time with two of the three teams set for the last four.
Cormac Ryan got Limerick off the mark with a second-minute point, but despite this being their first competitive outing of the summer, Galway impressed
early on and Adam Brett landed a battling score before Dean Reilly followed suit in the fifth minute on the back of an accurate Sean Neary diagonal ball.
Galway needed Paddy Rabbitte to be at his best after six minutes when Cathal O’Neill crept in behind the cover but the Galway keeper saved well with his feet.
Bob Purcell soon landed a sweet point for Limerick from the right sideline, but Galway replied with a strong nine minutes where they hit five of the next six scores, with two excellent efforts from Keelan Creaven the highlights.
Rabbitte was out quickly to deny Colin Coughlan after 20 minutes, but Limerick got back in the game with a point from Micheál Martin and two from O’Neill.
But a minute before the interval O’Shea – son of former Tipperary manager Eamonn – found the net for Galway when Pearse’s Oisin Flannery sent him in and the full-forward found the roof of the net with a crisp finish.
Reilly and O’Shea added a couple more points for Galway before the break to give them a 1-11 to 0-6 half-time lead, but two huge frees from O’Neill hauled
Limerick back into contention in the early minutes of the second-half.
It took Galway ten minutes to score their first point of the second-half, but Sean Neary’s point from distance was well worth the wait, but O’Neill replied
immediately to keep Limerick within six points of the Tribesmen.
O’Neill continued to keep Limerick in touch from placed balls, but O’Shea, and O’Donoghue hit great scores for Galway before the excellent Diarmuid Kilcommins hit two in a row for his side as they eased to the win.
Scorers for Galway: Donal O’Shea 1-5 (3f, 1’65), Keelan Creaven 0-3, Jason O’Donoghue 0-3, Diarmuid Kilcommins 0-2, Colm Cunningham 0-2, Dean Reilly 0-2,
Adam Brett 0-1, Oisin Flannery (Padraig Pearses) 0-1, Sean Neary 0-1,
Scorers for Limerick: Cathal O’Neill 0-8 (7f); Bob Purcell 0-1, Micheál Martin 0-1, Cormac Ryan 0-1, Emmet McEvoy 0-1.
GALWAY: Paddy Rabbitte; Michael Flynn, Shane Jennings, Ian McGlynn; Shane Quirke, Sean Neary, Evan Duggan; Jason O’Donoghue, Oisin Flannery; Diarmuid Kilcommins, Adam Brett, Oisin Flannery; Keelan Creaven, Donal O’Shea, Dean Reilly Subs: Sean McDonagh for Adam Brett (49), Niall Collins for Oisin Flannery (Pearses) (49), Oisin Salmon for Dean Reilly (57), Colm Cunningham for Oisin Flannery (St Thomas) (60),
Conor Flaherty for Evan Duggan (60)
LIMERICK: Bryan Heavey; Ben Herlihy, Padraig Harnett, Michael Keane; Eoin O’Mahony, Emmet McEvoy, Jack Nicholas; Patrick Kirby, Barry O’Connor; Micheal Martin, Cormac Ryan, Bob Purcell; Colin Coughlan, Cathal O’Neill, Bryan Nix Subs: Seamus Hurley for Barry O’Connor (half-time), Andrew Shanahan for Patrick Kirby (48), David Riordan for Colin Coughlan (52), Diarmuid Hegarty for Bryan Nix (55), Jimmy Quilty
for Micheal Martin (63)
Referee: Sean Stack (Dublin)