THE Limerick minor hurling team return to action this Friday evening as they take on Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final in Cusack Park.
The fixtures comes 194 days after Diarmuid Mullins side retained their Munster crown with a 2-22 to 0-25 win over Tipperary after extra-time in the LIT Gaelic Grounds.
Adam English followed in the footsteps of Cathal O’Neill in 2019 by lifting the Munster Minor Championship final with the Doon man bagging 0-5 on the day in an inspiring performance.
Commenting on the lengthy delay for the fixture, Mullins has looked positively on the added time with the squad.
“It’s been a long time waiting for the semi-final, when we won the Munster final in December, we initially got a semi-final date which was in early January which obviously had to be paused”.
“There were times in February and March it looked unlikely. It’s been a long time coming, so they’re going to grab that opportunity “.
“We have had six months of further development with the lads.”
Facing Limerick will be minor hurling experts Galway who are seeking a four in a row in the All-Ireland championship.
En route to a back to back of titles in 2018, Galway were comfortable 1-20 to 0-12 winners over the Shannonsiders in the All-Ireland quarter-final. Last year Mullin’s men were beaten by Kilkenny in the semi-finals with the Cats losing out to the Tribesmen in the final.
Galway have yet to feature in the 2020 championship, having received a bye into the last four.
However, with the huge delay between the provincial and All-Ireland championships, Limerick will not benefit from their two games as Mullin’s highlighted Galway’s expertise at the grade.
“Galway are experts really at getting their team prepared for a once off game, I know Brian Hanley well, he’ll have no stone unturned.
“They have huge experience; they have ten of the starting team from last year.”
Yet, even with the six-month gap from the provincial decider, the manager is confident in the lessons his side will have learned from the victories over Cork and Tipperary as he said,
“We’ve great experience that stood to us in the two games against Tipperary and Cork.
“We will need all of that on Friday night and that’s what we aim to bring to the game.
“Galway are the experts of minor hurling, Our focus is on Friday, not on Galway, really on ourselves to get the maximum performance.”
The game will be televised live by TG4 on Friday evening with the winners to face the victors of Kilkenny and Offaly the following week on July 10 at 5pm.
Limerick have reached a pair of All-Ireland finals in the last decade, most recently in 2016 but haven’t captured the All-Ireland title since 1984.
Throw-in on Friday is 7.30pm.
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