Limerick 0-20 Galway 0-23 (AET)
LIMERICK fell just short in their quest for the All-Ireland minor title after being edged out by Galway in a pulsating semi-final at Croke Park.
There was never any more than three points between the teams in a match that swung from one way to the other. There was drama as early as the first minute when a Barry Nash effort was flagged for a point, but Hawkeye gave it as wide. It emerged during the match that the technology had malfunctioned and that the South Liberties man’s effort had, in fact, gone over.
Limerick didn’t have to wait much longer to take the lead, though, with Cian Lynch firing over after a dashing solo run. Dean Coleman then added a second point before Brian Molloy opened Galway’s account.
Colin Ryan’s monstrous puckouts were being put to good use, with one such effort finding Lynch, who set himself to restore Limerick’s two-point lead.
Galway then hit their stride coming up the midway point of the first half with four answered points from Brian Burke, two Molloy frees and Adrian Morrissey, before a long-range Darragh O’Donovan score and Ronan Lynch ’65 levelled it at 0-5 each.
Darragh Dolan edged Galway back in front on 17 minutes before two Nash frees put Limerick on top. Conor Whelan tied the scores once more in the 23rd minute.
The first half ended with another Nash free and a Molloy ’65 to ensure that the teams were level at 0-8 each at the interval.
Molloy and David Dempsey traded scores before a free apiece for Molloy and Nash. The you-score, we-score pattern continued with points from Burke and Morrissey being cancelled out by Darragh Kennedy and Nash respectively.
Nash put Limerick 0-13 to 0-12 up with his fifth pointed free on 52 minutes but Molloy quickly levelled it again. O’Donovan hit two fine points for Limerick in the closing stages but both were answered, by Conor Shaughnessy and Molloy respectively.
Morrissey thought he had won it for Galway when he pointed as the clock struck 60, but there was just enough time for Ronan Lynch to fire over a late free and force extra time.
Dempsey edged Limerick ahead before points from Whelan, Molloy (free) and Eamonn Brannigan gave Galway a two-point lead. Ronan Lynch clawed it back to one with a free in the 67th minute.
Limerick hit the first two scores of the second half of extra time through Dempsey and Edward Doyle, but was Galway who finished the stronger. Two quick-fire points from Whelan put them 0-21 to 0-20 in front and scores from Ronan O’Meara and Eanna Burke sealed it.
Limerick: Colin Ryan; Sean Finn, Richard English, Michael Casey; Andrew LaTouche Cosgrave, Ronan Lynch, Sean Flanagan; Darragh O’Donovan, Darragh Kennedy; David Dempsey, Cian Lynch, Barry Nash; Dean Coleman, Tom Morrissey, Pat Ryan.
Subs: Seamus Flanagan for Morrissey (35 mins), Jamie Porter for Casey (46 mins), Edward Doyle for Kennedy (53 mins), Morrissey for P Ryan (56 mins), Casey for Doyle (60 mins), Jamie Butler for Casey (68 mins), Doyle for Coleman (70 mins), Stephen Ryan for LaTouche Cosgrave (80 mins).
Scorers: B Nash 0-6 (5f), D O’Donovan 0-3, D Dempsey 0-3, R Lynch 0-3 (2f, 1 ’65), C Lynch 0-2, D Coleman 0-1, D Kennedy 0-1, E Doyle 0-1.
Galway: Cathal Tuohy; Maidhc O Conghaile, Darragh O’Donoghue, Michael Conneely; Sean Linnane, Shane Cooney, Richard Doyle; Eanna Burke, Ronan O’Meara; Darragh Dolan, Brian Burke, Conor Shaughnessy; Brian Molloy, Adrian Morrissey, Conor Whelan.
Subs: Jack Hastings for O’Meara (37 mins), Vincent Doyle for R Doyle (52 mins), Eamonn Brannigan for Dolan (56 mins), O’Meara for B Burke (70 mins), Ronan Bellew for Connelly (73 mins), Dolan for Morrissey (78 mins)
Scorers: B Molloy 0-9 (5f, 1 ’65), C Whelan 0-4, A Morrissey 0-3, B Burke 0-2, D Dolan 0-1, C Shaughnessy 0-1, E Brannigan 0-1, R O’Meara 0-1, E Burke 0-1.