THE BORD Gáis Energy GAA Hurling All-Ireland U-21 Championship has reached the business stage of the competition and representatives from the four remaining counties, Antrim, Galway, Limerick and Wexford, met in Dublin this week ahead of the weekend’s semi-finals.
The two matches take place at Semple Stadium in Thurles this Saturday, August 22nd. Last year’s beaten All-Ireland finalists Wexford take on Ulster winners Antrim at 4pm, while Galway face Munster kingpins Limerick at 6pm. Both games will be live on TG4.
Galway’s Jason Flynn and Limerick’s Cian Lynch along with Wexford star Conor McDonald and Antrim’s Ryan McCambridge are all fully confident that their counties have what it takes to reach the championship’s showcase game, the All-Ireland Final, on the 12th September.
Wexford have played three games to date in their march to becoming Leinster U-21 Champions. Two unconvincing performances against Kildare and Offaly were followed by an immense seventeen point victory against Kilkenny, completing a Leinster U-21 three-in-a-row for the Model County. Antrim dispatched of Armagh with relative ease before a sterner test against Derry in the Ulster Final, coming out with a five point victory.
The second semi-final will see Galway come up against Munster champions Limerick. Galway are somewhat of an unknown quantity as they have yet to play a competitive game at this grade this season. However, they will be hoping to feed off the positivity that has surrounded their senior counterparts during the year. Munster champions Limerick have been very impressive in reaching this stage of the competition. They have shown great resolve against both Tipperary in their opening game, having played most of the second half with 14 men, and in the provincial decider against Clare.
Speaking ahead of the upcoming final Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Aogán Ó Fearghail said; “The Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U21 Championship has captivated hurling followers across the island as ever and the semi-finals will focus minds on the prize at stake from this juncture out.
“Some of the most promising players in the game will be on show in the coming weeks and I acknowledge their commitment and skills and all they bring to the game at what is a hugely entertaining level of hurling.
“Best of luck to all involved in what should be two hugely entertaining games and a special word of thanks to Bord Gáis Energy for their support and promotion of a very important competition for the GAA”.
Ger Cunningham, Sports Ambassador at Bord Gáis Energy added, “We are now down to the final four in this year’s championship and from chatting to the players here today, and those who were on losing teams throughout the year, you get a real sense of how much the competition means to them.
We have witnessed an action-packed championship to date and Saturday’s matches should be no different. This stage of the competition has provided a number of shocks in years gone by so all-in-all we are in for two great games of hurling in its purest form”.
Once again viewers will be able to interact and vote for their choice for Man of the Match with the use of the #LaochBGE hashtag.