GAA – Limerick minors are county’s final hope

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Screen shot 2016-08-04 at 15.29.40LIMERICK GAA’s hopes for intercounty silverware remain with the Limerick Minor hurling stars. Pat Donnelly’s charges take on Dublin on Sunday August 7 in the ESB All Ireland Minor hurling semi final at Croke Park.
The game, which throws in at 1.30pm, will be televised live on TG4, while also being broadcast on Limerick’s Live95fm.
The semi final pairing sees the defeated Munster finalists Limerick taking on Dublin, the 2016 Leinster Minor champions.
Both sides have defeated Wexford to get to this stage, so a comparison may be drawn from the two semi finalists wins over the ‘Yellow Bellies’.
Limerick defeated Wexford 0-17 to 0-9 in the All Ireland quarter final in Thurles, with Dublin accounting for the south eastern side 2-12 to 0-12, with two late goals in the semi final.
Dublin’s experience in Croke Park could very well be an advantage this weekend, something Limerick’s manager Pat Donnelly is very aware of.
“It will be an advantage to Dublin alright, that they have played in Croke Park before. However, it will be an exciting experience for all of us. Aside from Anthony Daly, it will be new to us all, so we just have to make sure the players play the game and not the occasion.”
Indeed, minor matches are hurling’s purest form. More often than not the games are played 15 on 15 with tactics being held for the senior and under 21 sides in general. With players only maturing into their hurling careers, Donnelly believes that the game will be a tight affair between two evenly matched sides.
“Having watched Dublin a few times, I believe we are very similar in style and personnel. Both sides will enter the game knowing what a huge prize is at stake. It will be very much 50/50.”
Donnelly and his backroom team will have a full panel to choose from ahead of Sunday’s clash, with only Paul O’Brien a slight worry.
Donnelly added that the progress of this side, some of whom he has personally coached for five seasons, is all down to the players’ support structure and honesty of effort.
“The backroom team we have with the squad has been immense. The players are prepared excellently for every game and also the parents, grandparents and guardians of the players have been a massive help to us. It is all about performing on one day, at one particular time, but the work that goes into it does not go unnoticed. This weekend we plan to perform based on the work with have done and for the people of Limerick”.

Probable Limerick team to face Dublin:
Mark O’Kelly (Croom), Brian Nash (South Liberties), Conor Nicholas (Monaleen), Ronan Connelly (Adare), Josh Adams (Ballybrown), Ciarán O’Connor (Kilmallock), Finn Hourigan (Murroe-Boher), Jerome Boylan (Na Piarsaigh), Darragh Carroll (Newport), Michael O’Grady (Knockainey), Kyle Hayes (Kildimo/ Pallaskenry), David Woulfe (Kilmallock), Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh), Anthony Barrett (Kilmallock), Brian Ryan (South Liberties).

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Limerick Backroom team:
Pat Donnelly, (manager) Anthony Daly, Mikey Kiely (coaches), Brian Foley, John Mulqueen (selectors), John  Daly (medic), Damien Murphy, Mark Van Drumpt (physios), Eoin O’Donnell (S&C), Brendan Flood (kitman), Liam Reale and Thomas Grimes (hurleys), Alan Duggan, Noel Hartigan (video analysis/ stats), Liam Burke (liasion officer).