Christy Ring Cup Hurling – Kerry 1-20 Meath 1-17


Christy Ring Cup – Rd 2: Kerry 1-20 Meath 1-17

By Murt Murphy for

Kerry after withstanding initial Meath resistance in the opening half, eventually came good in the second half of this Christy Ring Cup second round game, played at the Austin Stack Park on Saturday afternoon.  It was the result more than the performance that mattered to Kerry  and John Meyler but the Kerry boss will want his team to up their performance a couple of notches for the semi final. However one of the positives from yesterday’s win, was the fact that Kerry will now have a three week break before they play the semi final, against a team yet to come through the back door and this will give the Kingdom time to put things right.  It should also see the return of a number of key regulars from injury and suspension, including Andrew Keane, Colin Harris, John Griffin and Mike Conway to mention just four.

Kerry’s defence was solid enough with the fullback line of James Godley, Tom Murnane and Eamon Fitzgerald outstanding throughout and Murnane and Fitzgerald certainly saved Kerry’s bacon late on.  Darran Dineen had a fine game at midfield with his surging runs and point taking while John Egan showed all his artistry when moved to the attack late on, with his 65th minute goal proving to be the crucial score.  However, Kerry failed to collect any worthwhile breaking ball around the middle third of the field, although some of fetching and work rate of Jason Casey at wing back for the Kingdom was magnificent , and was another factor that contributed to this narrow Kerry win.

The Kerry attack never moved with the fluency that it can, but when the red lights were flashing twenty minutes into the second half, the team responded with young James Flaherty showing deft stick work to level the contest at (0-17 apiece) and for the final ten minutes, Kerry blitzed Meath and won have won far more comfortably but for Meath’s last minute goal.  Overall, it was very much a case of mission accomplished by Kerry, but John Meyler and his management team will be keen to try and get the side performing consistently for longer periods, but to be in the Christy Ring Cup semi final’s without ever having hit top gear, might well mean that the big performance will come on the day that matters most, in the semi final and/or hopefully the final!

Kerry had to make one change before the start when they lost Mike Conway, but Liam Boyle came in to play the pivotal role at number six, and had a fine first half. Kerry opened brightly and raced 0-7 to 0-3 clear inside the opening twelve minutes, thanks to three points from Shane Nolan and two pointed frees from Darragh O’Connell and one each from the Boyle brothers Aidan and Mikey. In fact Aidan’s effort in the 11th minute deserved a goal after a sweeping move started by Jason Casey, saw Gary O’Brien find James Flaherty on his right and Flaherty’s inviting low cross was met by Boyle whose goal bound shot was brilliantly deflected over the bar by keeper Shane McCann.

Meath had two points from wing forward Joey Keena and one from free taker Nicky Horan but Kerry after such a bright opening seemed to take their foot of the pedal and Meath got back into the game thanks to contributions from Horan, Keena and Peter Durnin.  The game was tied at 0-10 apiece after twenty minutes and Kerry should have goaled in the 24th minute, when Jason Casey fetched a superb ball in a forest of hurls and played the ball through to Gary O’Brien, who had only the keeper to beat, but he somehow missed the gaping goal, and had to settle for a point instead.

Kerry shot a number of bad wides approaching half time, and Shane Nolan was almost through for a goal on the stroke of half time, but he was hauled down, just missing out on a penalty by a whisker. Darragh O’Connell did try for a goal, his rasping shot was turned over the bar, as Kerry led 0-13 to 0-10 at the interval.  Kerry were forced to regroup for the second half with Adrian Royle coming in for Aidan Boyle and that resulted in Liam Boyle moving from defence to the forty.

Meath were on top in the third quarter as Kerry appeared to be strangely listless and with Horan unerring from frees, Kerry lost their way up front and other than a Darragh O’Connell free, in the opening twenty four minutes of the second half, no other forward scored , with Kerry’s other two points coming from midfielder Darren Dineen.  In fact Meath led briefly twice, firstly 0-16 to 0-15 when Peter Durnin pointed and then in the 55th minute when Horan converted a close in free for a foul on himself.

However Kerry upped the tempo for the final fifteen minutes with Eamon Fitzgerald, Tom Murnane and Darran Dineen driving them on and they put the issue beyond doubt with a succession of points from James Flaherty, Shane Nolan, and Darragh O’Connell was followed by a 65th minute goal, set up by a low cross field pass from Mikey Boyle, that John Egan caught and ghosting past a couple of Meath defenders, he clinically finished to the roof of the Meath net for the crucial score from one of Kerry’s classiest finishers.

Meath huffed and puffed late on but they could not blow Kerry’s house down, with the magnet like hands of Tom Murnane and Eamon Fitzgerald repelling their best efforts and despite a great late save from Bernard Rochford, Michael Cole did score an injury time consolation goal but it was only a consolation! Kerry now awaits their semi final opponents in three weeks time and still looks the team to beat in the Christy Ring Cup.



D O’Connell 0-7 ( 0-6 frees), J Egan 1-1, S Nolan 0-4, D Dineen, M Boyle, J Flaherty 0-2 each, G O’Brien and A Boyle 0-1 each


N Horan 0-7 ( 0-6 frees, 0-1 ’65), M Cole 1-1, J Keena and P Durnin 0-3 each G O’Neill, N Kirby and S O’Donoghue 0-1 each

Man of the Match: Tom Murnane (Kerry)



B Rochford 7 , J Godley 7 , T Murnane 9 , E Fitzgerald 8 , J Casey 8 , L Boyle 7 , P O’Grady 7 , D Dineen 8 , J Egan 8 , M Boyle 7 , G O’Brien 6 , S Nolan 7 , D O’Connell 6 , A Boyle 6 , J Flaherty 7 Subs; A Royle 7 for A Boyle (h/t), P O’Keeffe 6 for S Nolan inj (52)


S McCann 7 , D O’Donoghue 6 , E Fitzgerald 7 , W Mahady 7 , M Horan7 , P Fagan 8 , D Kirby7 , P Keogh 6 , G O’Neill 7 , J Keena 8 , N Kirby 6 , M Cole 8 , D Raleigh 5 , N Horan 7 , P Durnin 7

Subs: P Geoghan 7 for D Raleigh (28), S O’Donoghue8 for P Keogh (h/t), E Keogh 6 for G O’Neill (65)

Referee: C Lyons (Cork) 8

Munster MHC S-Final 1st Playoff – Cork 0-25 Kerry 2-6

Munster Minor Hurling Championship Semi-Final 1st Playoff

Cork 0-25 Kerry 2-6

Report by Denis Hurley for the Irish Examiner newspaper

CORK’S aspirations of winning this year’s Munster minor hurling championship remain intact, but Saturday night’s victory over Kerry at Páirc Uí Chaoimh was not without anxiety. Thirteen points separated the sides at the end, Cork limiting their visitors to just a point in the second half as Robert O’Shea producing a master class in free taking. Late in the first half Kerry had their noses in front as points from Luke Fitzell and Padraig Boyle edged them into a 0-10 to 2-5 lead by the 24th minute. Goals from Shane Dunne and then Boyle, who was proving a good outlet at full-forward, had been the catalyst for a Kingdom turnaround as they wiped out a six-points lead to draw level (0-9 to 2-3). By half-time, a brace from O’Shea ensured Cork were back in front, but facing a testing 30 minutes.

The hosts though responded well on the restart with four points in the first five minutes, three by O’Shea and one from the impressive Alan Cadogan, to settle nerves. The Rebels wasted a number of good chances due to poor finishing while a great block from Kerry full-back Dougie Fitzell denied Pa O’Callaghan a goal in the 43rd minute. O’Shea was in flawless form, however, and Kerry’s attack floundered, with a Boyle point in the 58th minute, tipped over by Cork goalkeeper Gary Minihane, all they had to show for their second-half efforts. Cork travel to Thurles Sunday to face Tipperary with a place in the semi-final against Clare the prize.

Scorers for Cork: R O’Shea 0-13 (0-11f), A Cadogan 0-4, K McIntyre, C Murphy, P O’Callaghan, D Sweetnam 0-2 each.

Scorers for Kerry: P Boyle 1-3, S Dunne 1-0, R Heffernan, PJ Connolly, L Fitzell 0-1 each.

CORK: G Minihane; Alan Dennehy, C Barry, Anthony Dennehy; K Burke, C Spillane, C Walsh; S O’Keeffe, K McIntyre; A Cadogan, D Cahill, C Murphy; P O’Callaghan, D Sweetnam, R O’Shea.

Subs: D Morrissey for McSweeney (half-time), K O’Keeffe for Cahill (53), B O’Connell for McIntyre (56), P White for O’Callaghan (59), T Condon for Spillane (60).

KERRY: K Fitzgibbon; TB McElligott, D Fitzell, K O’Sullivan; M O’Halloran, D Collins, T Moore; E O’Connor, D Leahy; S Dunne, M Delaney, PJ Connolly; L Fitzell, P Boyle, R Heffernan.

Subs: P McGrath for Heffernan (8, injured), D Goulding for L Fitzell (51), V Savage for O’Connor (57), D Lynch for O’Halloran (60).

Referee: S Hourigan (Limerick)

Next Round – Cork now play Tipperary in the Semi-Final 2nd playoff on Sunday May 8th at 3:30pm in Semple Stadium Thurles.

Admission Prices
Adult – €10
Student/OAP with appropriate ID Card – €5
Under 16s are free

Contact Munster GAA PRO Ed Donnelly at for more information

For the Record

Cork Kerry
2011 Team Management John Considine (Sarsfields – Coach); Ronan Dwane (Aghada);
John O’Callaghan (Donoughmore);
Seán McGrath (Glen Rovers); Jim O’Sullivan (Castlemagner)
Ger McCarthy (Causeway – Manager); Joe Walsh (Kilmoyley – Coach / Trainer); Andy O’Sullivan (Kenmare),  Joe Walsh (Kilmoyley),
John Paul Leahy (Ballyduff), Maura Griffin (Physio),
Ger Maunsell (Team Attendant)
2011 Team Captain Colm Spillane
Kieran Fitzgibbon
2010 Championship Performance Cork defeated Tipperary after extra time in the first round before losing out to Waterford in the semi-final (after a replay) by 2-17 to 1-13. Lost to Limerick in the first round before losing to Clare in the Semi-Final 1st playoff.
Number of Munster Minor Hurling titles 32 0
Last Munster Minor Hurling Title 2008 N/A
Munster Minor Hurling Championship Record since 2000 Played – 35
Won – 23
Lost – 9
Drawn – 3
Played – 12
Won – 0
Lost – 12
Drawn – 0
Last meeting in the Munster Minor Hurling Championship April 1st 2005 at Austin Stack Park Tralee – Cork 4-28 Kerry 0-1 – Munster First Round



First Round

Wednesday April 27th

@ Walsh Park Waterford                Waterford v Tipperary 7.15pm

@ Gaelic Grounds Limerick           Cork v Limerick 7.15pm

@ Austin Stack Park Tralee           Clare v Kerry 7:15pm

Losers Group Play-off 1

Saturday April 30th

@ Páirc Uí Chaoimh                       Cork v Kerry 6:30pm

Losers Group Play-off 2

Sunday May 8th

Tipperary v Winner of Losers Group Play-off 1

(See date and venue permutations below)

@ Semple Stadium Thurles           Tipperary v Cork 3:30pm

@ Semple Stadium Thurles           Tipperary v Kerry 3:30pm


Friday June 24th

@ Walsh Park Waterford                Waterford v Limerick 7:30pm

@ Venue TBC                                  Clare v Winners of Losers Group Play-off 2       7:30pm



Sunday July 10th

2011 Munster Minor Hurling Championship Matches played to date

Waterford 2-16 Tipperary 1-13 – April 27th @ Walsh Park Waterford (Munster First Round)

Waterford: P Cooke; J Barron, D Ahern, C Walsh; S O’Neill, D Foley, J Power; R Barry, S Roche; D Flynn, J Dillon, A O’Sullivan; S Bennett, C Kervick, C Chester.
Subs: S McNulty for Roche (48), M Harney for Kervick (52),C Heffernan for O’Sullivan (58).

Tipperary: J Maher; J Bourke, J Meagher, J Peters; C Barrett, J Forde, T Hamill; C Hammersley, E Fennelly; S Maher, P Ralph, T Kirwan; L McGrath, D McCormack, C Horan.
Subs: B Heffernan for Ralph (39), B Maher for Hammersley (41), P Ryan for Horan (53).

Referee: Derek Mackessy (Limerick)

Limerick 2-14 Cork 0-12 – April 27th @ Gaelic Grounds Limerick (Munster First Round)

Limerick: PJ Hall; S Irwin, B O’Connell, B Murphy; L Ryan, C Keogh, B Lynch; D Morrissey, D Dee; D Reidy, S Dowling, B O’Connor; K O’Brien, M Fitzgibbon, J Aherne.
Subs: E O’Farrell for Dowling (inj. 9); Dowling for O’Farrell (30); J Mullins for O’Brien (51); J Lenihan for Fitzgibbon (56); C O’Riordan for Dee (inj. 60).

Cork: G Minihane; K Burke, C Spillane, A Dennehy; C Walsh, D Sweetman, K McIntyre; R O’Shea, C Buckley; S O’Keeffe, D Cahill, C Murphy; A Cadogan, J Fitzgerald, K O’Keeffe.
Subs: P O’Callaghan for O’Keeffe (38); C McSweeney for Buckley (40); C Cullinane for Fitzgerald (49); P White for O’Shea (53).

Referee: Damien Fox (Clare)

Clare 6-24 Kerry 1-8 – April 27th @ Austin Stack Park Tralee (Munster First Round)

Clare – E Quilligan, J Browne, N O’Connor, S Morey, M Moroney, J Shanahan, G O’Connell, C Galvin, T Kelly, A Mulready, C O’Connell, F Melody, S O’Donnell, O Hickey, A Cunningham,

Subs: P Duggan for F Melody (h/t), J Colleran for M Moroney (48), S McGrath for A Cunningham (50), D Moloney for S Morey (50), D Barry for G O’Connell (56)

Kerry – K Fitzgibbon, T Moore, D Fitzell, M O’Halloran, D Collins, T Barrett, K O’Sullivan, E O’Connor, M Delaney, R Heffernan, P J Connolly, L Fitzell, D Goulding, P Boyle, S Dunne

Subs: T B McElligott for M O’Halloran (43), P McGrath for D Goulding (46), And D Leahy For: L Fitzell (50)

Referee: John O’Brien (Tipperary)

2011 Top Scorers – Munster Minor Hurling Championship


Oisin Hickey (Clare) – 3-1
Jake Dillon (Waterford) – 0-10 (0-8 frees, 0-1 ‘65)
Liam McGrath (Tipperary – 0-8 (0-7 frees)
Alan Mulready (Clare) – 2-2
Robert O’Shea (Cork) – 0-7 (0-7 frees)
Shane Dowling (Limerick) – 0-7 (0-4 frees)
Aaron Cunningham (Clare) – 0-6
Cathal O’Connel (Clare) – 0-6 ( 0-4 frees)
Jack Aherne (Limerick) – 1-2
Cein Chester (Waterford) – 1-2
Padraig Boyle (Kerry) – 1-1

Jason Forde (Tipperary) – 1-1 (1-0 free)
Shane O’Donnell (Clare) – 1-1
David Reidy (Limerick) – 0-4 (0-2 frees)
P J Connolly (Kerry) – 0-3
Brendan O’Connor (Limerick) – 1-0
Micheal Harney (Waterford) – 1-0
Adam O’Sullivan (Waterford) – 0-3

Colm Galvin (Clare) – 0-3
Tony Kelly (Clare) – 0-3
Muiris Delaney (Kerry) – 0-2 (0-1 free)
Shane Dunne (Kerry) – 0-2 (0-1 free)
Dan McCormack (Tipperary) – 0-2

Shane Roche (Waterford), Cathal Horan (Tipperary), Sean Maher (Tipperary), Mike Fitzgibbon (Limerick), Alan Cadogan, Cormac Murphy, Cormac Walsh, Kevin O’Keeffe (0-1 free), Pa O’Callaghan (0-1 free), Gearoid O’Connell (Clare), Jarleth Colleran (Clare) – 0-1 each

Munster Minor Hurling Championship Roll Of Honour

Tipperary (36), Cork (32), Limerick (5), Waterford (4), Clare (3)

Munster Minor Hurling Championship – List of Winning Teams

Visit the Munster GAA web site History section to view the complete list of each winning team since the competition began in1928 –

Munster Minor Hurling Cup

There is no name on the Munster Minor Hurling Cup. The cup itself was presented by T.W.A. Shannon Airport in 1946.

All Ireland Minor Hurling Championship

In the Minor Hurling All Ireland Roll of Honour, Tipperary and Cork are tied for second in the charts with 18 titles each behind Kilkenny’s 20 titles. Limerick have 3 titles (1940, 1958, 1984), Waterford have won 2 titles (1929, 1948) while Clare’s only title to date came in 1997.

Of the last 12 All-Ireland Minor Hurling Finals played, the Irish Press Cup has only returned to Munster on 3 occasions – Cork (2001) and Tipperary (2006 and 2007). Of the other 9 titles since 1999, Galway have 5 and Kilkenny have captured 4.

Tipperary were All-Ireland Minor Hurling Champions in 1930, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959, 1976, 1980, 1982, 1996, 2006, 2007

Cork were All-Ireland Minor Hurling Champions in 1928, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1941, 1951, 1964, 1967, 1969, 1970, 1971, 1974, 1978, 1979, 1985, 1995, 1998, 2001

Munster Minor Hurling Finals

1928    @ Mitchelstown          Cork 3-4                      Waterford 3-2

1929    @ Waterford               Waterford 7-5              Tipperary 1-2

1930    @ Cork                       Tipperary 4-3              Cork 0-3

1931    @ Clonmel                  Tipperary 6-5              Waterford 6-2

1932    @ Thurles                   Tipperary 7-8              Clare 3-0

1933    @ Cork                       Tipperary 3-1              Cork 2-2

1934    @ Cork                       Tipperary 3-6              Waterford 0-6

1935    @ Cork                       Tipperary 4-3              Cork 2-1

1936    @ Mitchelstown          Cork 6-5                      Tipperary 1-4

1937    @ Cork                       Cork 8-4                      Limerick 3-2

1938    @ Cork                       Cork 9-3                      Kerry 0-0

1939    @ Thurles                   Cork 8-3          `           Clare 0-2

1940    @ Thurles                   Limerick 8-3                Clare 0-4

1941    @ Limerick                 Cork 4-6                      Tipperary 3-3

1942    Championship Abandoned

1943    No Championship

1944    No Championship

1945    @ Thurles                   Tipperary 8-10                        Clare 0-2

1946    @ Thurles                   Tipperary 5-6              Cork 4-2

1947    @ Thurles                   Tipperary 2-7              Waterford 1-2

1948    @ Thurles                   Waterford 3-6              Tipperary 0-2

1949    @ Cork                       Tipperary 5-6              Clare 5-5

1950    @ Killarney                 Tipperary 12-3                        Clare 2-0

1951    @ Limerick                 Cork 5-11                    Limerick 1-3

1952    @ Limerick                 Tipperary 10-7                        Clare 1-2

1953    @ Limerick                 Tipperary 3-11                        Limerick 3-3

1954    @ Limerick                 Tipperary 3-5              Limerick 2-3

1955    @ Limerick                 Tipperary 8-11                        Waterford 2-5

1956    @ Thurles                   Tipperary 10-10          Waterford 4-4

1957    @ Thurles                   Tipperary 3-8              Limerick 1-4

1958    @ Thurles                   Limerick 8-9                Waterford 2-5

1959    @ Cork                       Tipperary 5-8              Limerick 1-4

1960    @ Thurles                   Tipperary 6-7              Galway 4-3

1961    @ Limerick                 Tipperary 7-11                        Cork 1-6

1962    @ Limerick                 Tipperary 4-11                        Cork 4-1

1963    @ Limerick                 Limerick 4-12              Tipperary 5-4

1964    @ Limerick                 Cork 2-14                    Tipperary 2-9

1965    @ Limerick                 Limerick 5-5                Tipperary 3-9

1966    @ Limerick                 Cork 6-7                      Galway 2-5

1967    @ Limerick                 Cork 4-10                    Limerick 0-3

1968    @ Limerick                 Cork 7-8                      Waterford 4-2

1969    @ Limerick                 Cork 1-12                    Tipperary 2-4

1970    @ Limerick                 Cork 3-8                      Tipperary 4-4

1971    @ Killarney                 Cork 6-13                    Clare 3-5

1972    @ Thurles                   Cork 4-11                    Limerick 0-3

1973    @ Thurles                   Tipperary 5-12                        Limerick 5-4

1974    @ Thurles                   Cork 3-7                      Tipperary 2-10

@ Dungarvan             Cork 2-11                    Tipperary 2-7

1975    @ Limerick                 Cork 3-16                    Tipperary 1-7

1976    @ Cork                       Tipperary 5-10                        Limerick 5-6

1977    @ Thurles                   Cork 2-8                      Limerick 2-7

1978    @ Thurles                   Cork 1-14                    Tipperary 3-6

1979    @ Thurles                   Cork 3-17                    Limerick 4-4

1980    @ Thurles                   Tipperary 1-17                        Limerick 1-4

1981    @ Thurles                   Clare 3-13                   Tipperary 3-11

1982    @ Thurles                   Tipperary 1-10                        Limerick 1-7

1983    @ Limerick                 Tipperary 3-15                        Limerick 2-8

1984    @ Thurles                   Limerick 3-6                Tipperary 2-7

1985    @ Cork                       Cork 1-13                    Tipperary 1-8

1986    @ Killarney                 Cork 3-10                    Tipperary 2-13

@ Kilmallock               Cork 2-11                    Tipperary 1-11

1987    @ Thurles                   Tipperary 1-11                        Cork 2-9

1988    @ Limerick                 Cork 5-7                      Tipperary 1-2

1989    @ Cork                       Clare 2-13                   Limerick 2-11

1990    @ Thurles                   Cork 1-9                      Clare 0-9

1991    @ Cork                       Tipperary 3-13                        Limerick 1-5

1992    @ Cork                       Waterford 4-7              Tipperary 3-10

@ Cork                       Waterford 2-10            Tipperary 0-14

1993    @ Limerick                 Tipperary 1-12                        Cork 1-9

1994    @ Thurles                   Cork 2-15                    Waterford 0-9

1995    @ Thurles                   Cork 3-18                    Waterford 0-10

1996    @ Limerick                 Tipperary 2-18                        Waterford 1-11

1997    @ Cork                       Tipperary 2-13                        Clare 1-13

1998    @ Thurles                   Cork 3-18                    Clare 0-8

1999    @ Thurles                   Tipperary 1-13                        Clare 2-7

2000    @ Thurles                   Cork 2-19                    Limerick 1-10

2001    @ Cork                       Tipperary 1-13                        Cork 1-6

2002    @ Cork                       Tipperary 3-7              Cork 2-7

2003    @ Thurles                   Tipperary 2-12                        Cork 0-16

2004    @ Thurles                   Cork 2-13                    Tipperary 3-8

2005    @ Cork                       Cork 2-18                    Limerick 1-12

2006    @ Thurles                   Cork 2-20                    Tipperary 1-15

2007    @ Thurles                   Tipperary 0-18                        Cork 1-11

2008    @ Limerick                 Cork 0-19                    Tipperary 0-18

2009    @ Thurles                   Waterford 0-18            Tipperary 1-13
2010    @ Thurles                   Clare 1-16                   Waterford 1-11

Odds and Ends

The last 3 counties to win the Munster Minor Hurling Championship all lost their first round matches. 2010 champions Clare lost to Waterford by 1-21 to 0-16 before qualifying via the Losers Group and defeated Waterford by 1-16 to 0-11 in the Munster Final. 2009 champions Waterford lost to Clare in the first round by 1-12 to 0-14 before getting back on track with wins over Limerick, Clare and Tipperary to win the final. Cork lost in the 2008 first round to Clare by 2-17 to 2-16 before securing victories over Limerick, Waterford and Tipperary.

Clare are the defending Munster Minor Hurling Champions following a 1-16 to 1-11 victory over Waterford at Semple Stadium Thurles. David O’Halloran’s 38th minute goal proved the decisive score helping Clare to victory.

The winning Clare team and scorers were as follows – Ronan Taaffe; Haulie Vaughan, Paul Flanagan (Captain), Seadna Morey; Enda Boyce, Kevin Lynch, Stephan O’Halloran (0-1); Colm Galvin, Tony Kelly (0-2); Cathal Malone, Paudge Collins, Jamie Shanahan (0-1); David O’Halloran (1-3, 0-1 free), Niall Arthur (0-6, 0-5 frees, 0-1 65), Daire Keane (0-3). Subs: Alan Mulready for Malone (48), Cathal O’Connell for Collins (59)

Kerry’s Minor Hurling captain is Kieran Fitzgibbon from the 2010 Kerry County Minor Hurling champions Kenmare. Aided by players from the Dr Crokes and Kilgarvan clubs, Kenmare’s victory means the Sean Lovett Memorial Cup resides in the South of the county for the first time since 1988.

Limerick’s victory over Kerry in the first round of the 2010 Munster Minor Hurling Championship snapped a 7 game losing streak in the competition dating back to 2006.

Clare have won at least 1 match in the Munster Minor Hurling Championship over the last 6 years. Waterford have the next best consecutive streak with at least 1 victory in the last 4 years.

Cork have the best record in the Munster Minor Hurling Championship since 2000, winning 23 and drawing 3 of their 35 matches played, one victory better than Tipperary’s record.

Kerry’s last victory in the Munster Minor Hurling Championship came against Waterford in 1938, a 3-3 to 2-1 success in the semi-final. Cork defeated Kerry in the final.

Allianz Hurling League Division 2 Final – Limerick 4-12 Clare 2-13

Limerick on the rise

Limerick 4-12 Clare 2-13

Allianz NHL Div 2 Final

By Christy O’Connor for the Irish Independent newspaper

Monday May 02 2011

Although it was still only April, Cusack Park rattled like a boiling tureen on Saturday night, the old ground full of noise and giddy summer-like chaos. The air was raw with pressure and tension and this frantic match seemed destined for extra-time until an excellent goal from Kevin Downes in the 67th minute provided the rapier thrust to finally break Clare’s spirit and resistance. Limerick added two late points to bound over the line. This match bobbed and weaved throughout, but Limerick’s greater experience and composure told when it mattered most. Clare were in control heading into the last quarter when they led by four points, but they failed to score for the remainder of the game as their opponents gradually hunted them down.

The home side dominated the possession stakes, winning the puckout battle 25-16, but Limerick were that bit sharper and more efficient with their use of the ball. Physically they were that bit stronger too, while they made the critical switch of the match when repositioning the excellent Tom Condon at full-back to police the rampaging Darach Honan. Given what was at stake here, this was a really good game, especially the second half. It was played at a hectic pace and both teams signalled their intent before the throw-in. Clare took their place on the outside behind the band but Limerick muscled in on that turf and both sides marched almost shoulder to shoulder during the parade. It was an apt metaphor for the combativeness of the match.

“It was a cauldron out there,” said Limerick’s Seamus Hickey. “They really came at us but the prize today was huge and I think that told in the frantic nature of the game. “Down the finishing stretch we were staring down the barrel of the gun, but you got that itch that usually only comes in a championship game — all or nothing. We basically emptied the tank, threw the kitchen sink at it and asserted ourselves with force.”

The Banner were devastated after losing successive Division 2 finals, but this young team still isn’t battle-hardened enough to be able to see out games like this. They showed huge character and fight but their trend of fading out of big matches over the last 12 months is something they need to arrest. And the concession of four goals ultimately finished them. “That was the most disappointing part, but I’m very proud of the lads,” said manager Ger O’Loughlin. “They tried awful hard. For a long time we took the game to Limerick and looked the better team, but we just needed to be more clinical. Unfortunately, it’s another year in Division 2, which we could have done without.” Despite their greater experience, Limerick’s key late scores were provided by Downes, who is only 19, and Declan Hannon, who played with Ardscoil Ris in last month’s All-Ireland Colleges final. The pair contributed a combined 2-3 over the 70 minutes.

“What really drives this team is team ethic,” said Limerick captain Gavin O’Mahoney. “Everyone buys into that, the young fellas especially. When the chips were down, they popped up with the scores.” Although Clare were on top in the first half, they hit eight wides to Limerick’s two, but the visitors blew the game open in a five-minute spell just before the interval when hitting an unanswered 1-3 to take a four-point half-time lead. When he moved to centre-back, the excellent Pat Donnellan locked down the space Limerick had thrived in during the first half, but the outstanding John Conlon also began to exert his authority as the game progressed.

He hit three fine points from play in 11 minutes before playing the pass through for Conor McGrath’s goal in the 50th minute. A Honan point a minute later had Clare ahead by 2-12 to 2-8, but the deficit was down to one in the 54th minute when Hannon lashed the ball to the net. Paul Browne had the sides level in the 66th minute before Downes decided the match. A year after Limerick’s lost season, Donal O’Grady has steered the Treaty men back on the right road. That road now leads to a Munster semi-final against Waterford in June. “Coming into this, I never mentioned Division 2 or Division 1,” said O’Grady. “But everyone was aware of the Munster championship in the background. The challenge ahead is huge. It’s like to trying to climb Mount Everest when you’ve been practising on Carrauntoohil.” With Division 1 status secured though, that peak doesn’t seem as high now.

Man of the Match: John Conlon (Clare)

Scorers — Limerick: K Downes 1-2, D Hannon, S Tobin 1-1 each, R McCarthy 0-4 (3f), P Browne 0-2, D O’Grady, N Moran, 0-1 each, (D Tuohy 1-0 og). Clare: J Conlon 0-4, D Honan 1-1, C McGrath 1-0, N O’Connell 0-3, (2 ’65’), C Ryan (2f), F Lynch 0-2, each, L Markham 0-1.

Limerick — N Quaid 8; D Reale 7, G O’Mahoney 7, T Condon 9; W McNamara 7, S Hickey 8, D Breen 6; D O’Grady 7, P Browne 8; D Hannon 7, R McCarthy 7, J Ryan 6; S Tobin 7, K Downes 8, G Mulcahy 6. Subs: D Maloney 6 for Breen (56), N Moran 6 for S Tobin (46), P Tobin 6 for McCarthy (56).

Clare — D Tuohy 6; P Vaughan 7, C Cooney 6, D O’Donovan 8; P Donnellan 9, C Dillon 6, P O’Connor 8; N O’Connell 6, L Markham 7; F Lynch 8, J Conlon 9, J Clancy 6; C Ryan 6, D McMahon 6, C McGrath 6. Subs: D Honan 8 for McMahon (18), C Morey 6 for Ryan (58).

Ref — J McGrath (Westmeath)


Limerick claim Allianz League Division 2 title

From the web site

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Clare 2-13 Limerick 4-12

Limerick were crowned Allianz Hurling League Division 2 champions after a 4-12 to 2-13 defeat of Clare in a thrilling game at a packed Cusack Park, Ennis on Saturday night. More importantly, though, Donal O’Grady’s side have been promoted to the top tier of the Allianz Hurling League in 2012, with Kevin Downes proving their match winner, netting an exceptional solo goal in the 66th minute to help the Treaty men over the line. Limerick finished the game by hitting 1-4 without reply after they appeared to be in big trouble when Darach Honan and Conor McGrath had scored second half goals for the Banner County. But Downes brought his tally to 1-2 for the night when he hit a crucial goal with just four minutes left, his powerful run along the endline matched by a brilliant finish from a tight angle.

Limerick led by 2-6 to 0-8 at the break after a similarly impressive finish to the half, when they scored 1-3 in a row in the closing stages, including a lucky goal that Seamus Hickey will claim but which Clare goalkeeper Donal Tuohy should have saved. There was heartache for Clare in the Division 2 final for the second year in a row, after Ger O’Loughlin’s men were beaten by Wexford in the 2010 decider. Clare were two points up thanks to early scores from play from Liam Markham and Nicky O’Connell. However, Limerick responded with a goal from their first attack, after six minutes, Seán Tobin flicking the ball to the net after Richie McCarthy’s brilliant run.

Clare, though, appeared to be in control in an exciting opening quarter which was played at Championship pace. Colin Ryan and Nicky O’Connell soon put them back in the lead with well-taken points. Limerick were struggling to make any inroads in attack and while the pace of the game did slow down, the Banner men were 0-8 to 1-3 ahead by the 31st minute and looked set to take a comfortable lead into the half-time break. But the first half was turned on its head two minutes before the break, when Hickey’s long-range effort somehow ended up in the Clare net. His miss-hit shot dropped well short, but Tobin appeared to distract Clare goalkeeper Donal Tuohy and the ball slipped through his grasp and dribbled over the line.

Limerick then hit three more points before the break, Downes, McCarthy and Paul Browne all hitting the target to give Donal O’Grady’s side a 2-6 to 0-8 lead at half-time. If the first half had ended dramatically, the start of the second half was its equal. Honan, the leggy full forward who had been brought on as a first half sub, gathered possession and cut through the Limerick defence before unleashing a rocket to the back of the net. The goal came less than 40 seconds after the restart and two minutes later the home side were level when John Conlon fired his first score of the game. Conlon’s influence on the game grew as the half wore on and his third of the evening had Clare a point up, 1-11 to 2-7, with 20 minutes left.

And then the Banner appeared to have made the winning break for the line when Conor McGrath pounced on a low ball into the full-forward line, gathered possession cleverly and cracked an unstoppable shot past Nicky Quaid. When Honan tacked on a point, Limerick were four points down and in real trouble. But Limerick’s comeback began in earnest in the 54th minute with Declan Hannon’s goal and although Conlon’s fourth score nudged Clare two points clear again, it was all Limerick in the last 15 minutes. Paul Browne levelled the game with a fine score, before Downes’ stunning goal and two more points won the game for the Treaty men, Niall Moran sending over the final score of the game for a 4-12 to 2-13 win.

Limerick Scorers: S Tobin 1-1, R McCarthy 0-4 (0-3f), K Downes 1-2, P Browne 0-2, S Hickey 1-0, D Hannon 1-1, D O’Grady 0-1, N Moran 0-1.

Clare Scorers: L Markham 0-1, N O’Connell 0-3 (0-2f), C Ryan 0-2 (0-2f), F Lynch 0-2, D Honan 1-1, J Conlon 0-4, C McGrath 1-0