Make or break time for Under-20 hurlers

Patrick O’Donovan squaring off with Tipperary’s Luke Shanahan in last week’s U20 clash.

TO REMAIN in contention for the Munster and All-Ireland Under-20 Hurling Championship, holders Limerick must win their final round-robin fixture against Cork at the TUS Gaelic Grounds on this Friday (throw-in 7.30pm).

Of significant importance also is the meeting of Tipperary and Waterford at the same time in Thurles. 

On six points and qualified for the final are Cork, with Clare (4), Tipperary (3), and Limerick (3) all in contention for just two semi-final places. Clare have completed their programme of matches, while pointless Waterford are out of contention.

Diarmuid Mullins’ Limerick suffered a serious setback with a 1-15 to 0-16 defeat away to Tipperary at the weekend. The out-of-sorts visitors had trailed 1-9 to 0-2 at the interval only to launch an encouraging closing-half recovery which ultimately just fell short. 

Rising star Adam English limped-off in Thurles and is considered a doubtful starter owing to a hamstring issue for the visit of the young Rebels. 

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

In his absence, serious scoring responsibility will fall to Patrick O’Donovan of Effin, Kilmallock’s Shane O’Brien, and perhaps Oisín O’Farrell (Askeaton) who impressed off the bench last Friday night. 

Ben O’Connor’s Cork are a fine side, best illustrated by the current top form of Ben Cunningham, who has already bagged a most impressive 2-27. 

Limerick (panel): Josh O’Reilly (Ballybrown), David Fitzgerald (Kildimo/Pallaskenry), Ronan Lyons (Monaleen), Evan O’Leary (Ahane), Barry Duff (Mungret St Paul’s), Cian Scully (Dromin/Athlacca), Ethan Hurley, captain, (Newcastle West), Joseph Fitzgerald (Monaleen), John Kirby (Patrickswell), Fintan Fitzgerald (Mungret St. Paul’s), Patrick O’Donovan (Effin), Adam Fitzgerald (Templeglantine), Shane O’Brien (Kilmallock), Adam English (Doon), Seán O’Neill (Blackrock), Killian Quaid (Murroe/Boher), Michael Gavin (Ballybrown), William Dore (Dromin/Athlacca), Darragh Langan (Monaleen), Con Hayes (Newcastle West), Oisín O’Farrell (Askeaton), John Fitzgerald (Na Piarsaigh), Séan Whelan (Cappamore), Liam Dennehy (Glenroe).

Clare’s Niall Malone has been appointed to referee.