Report | Brave Limerick fall to Kilkenny in absorbing U20 All-Ireland final

Adam English who opened the scoring for Limerick in the under-20 All-Ireland hurling final

Diarmuid Mullins men fell at the final hurdle against a classy Cats outfit.

Limerick have been beaten by Kilkenny in the All-Ireland U20 Hurling Championship Final after losing out in an absorbing 0-19 to 0-18 encounter in Thurles.

The sides were level on fourteen different occasions in an enthralling yet unspectacular occasion.

Limerick got off to the best possible start when Adam English sent a point over from the sideline inside eleven seconds.

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Kilkenny responded with through Timmy Clifford before Denis Walsh gave them the lead.

Four of the next five came from Limerick men with Patrick O’Donovan twice showing little sign of rustiness as Aidan O’Connor and Patrick Kirby also added to the lead which was 0-5 to 0-3 after ten minutes.

But the Cats were level two minutes later with Andy Hickey and Ian Byrne on target.

Limerick would take the lead four more times over the next fifteen minutes but each time they were pegged back Kilkenny with the sides level eight times in the first half.

O’Connor twice put Limerick ahead with frees, as did English and Shane O’Brien but the Cats were up to the task with goalkeeper Aidan Tallis giving them the lead with a long range free at the end of the opening period to leave it 0-10 to 0-9 in their favour at the interval.

Coughlan levelled inside fourteen seconds of the restart, and from here the sides went score for score as a brace of Aidan O’Connor from play had the sides at 0-12 apiece after 45 minutes.

His seventh of the day brought the teams all square for the 14th time with as many minutes to play.

In the meantime, Limerick were lucky to find themselves within striking distance after a string of point blank saves from Conor Hanely Clarke in the space of a couple of minutes.

But two from Drennan, that brought his tally of score to five from play had Kilkenny in a two point lead for the first time after 53 minutes.

O’Connor replied with his third from play but Drennan hit back for the Cats. O’Connor was on hand to win a free and convert for Limerick.

Clifford extended the lead once again and despite a late O’Connor free, Limerick couldn’t get parity as they missed with the final puck of the ball.

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