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2024 Electric Ireland GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship Tier 3 Quarter-Final – Down 3-14 Limerick 0-7

May 25 @ 12:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Down defeated Limerick by 3-14 to 0-7 in the Electric Ireland GAA Football All-Ireland Minor Championship Tier 3 Quarter-Final on Saturday May 25th at Grangegorman.

Limerick minor footballers suffer All-Ireland quarter-final defeat to Down

Report by John Redington for the Limerick Leader newspaper

“I THOUGHT we were well in it at half-time even though we gave away a soft goal and a silly free,” was manager Ger O’Connor’s summary of Limerick’s 3-14 to 0-7 All-Ireland minor football tier three championship quarter-final defeat to Down in TU Dublin’s Grangegorman pitch in Dublin on Saturday afternoon.

“But once they threw everything at us after the break, we struggled to counteract their physicality,” O’Connor admitted.

A pair of goals on the three-quarter mark proved to be decisive as Limerick’s effort to contain their opponents’ raw power up the spine of their line-up finally ran out of gas and turned what had up to then been a contest into a procession. The winners’ lethal full-forward Barry McEvoy ran riot with every delivery coming his way from a dominant midfield.

It was cruel justice on a Limerick side who recovered from a disappointing provincial campaign to upset the odds against Fermanagh in their previous outing, but the Shannonsiders just lacked the size and the oomph to repeat the performance against opposition who were not only favourites to win the first running of this competition, but were also boosted by their U-20s claiming All-Ireland ‘B’ success the previous weekend.

Maybe the final score might have been closer had the Mourne lads not been allowed to turn a one-point lead into a four point advantage in the minutes coming up to half-time. It allowed them to steady their sights in the scoring zone and tighten their discipline at the back where a nervous defence was being suckered into the rash concession of frees.

But it was always going to be a case of how long a game Limerick side could hang in and, once the holes opened up in the dam, Down had the focus and the firepower to put the result beyond doubt.

Limerick could have started with a bang but, after collecting the throw-in and slicing through the defence, Cian Costello’s shot was deflected wide for a ’45’. However, the Ulster side kept up the pressure in the all-action opening sequence for Shane O’Dea to put them ahead before Liam Blaney equalised.

Upping the pressure, Down got their reward when McEvoy climbed highest to field at the edge of the square and lay-off to Daniel McKernan who blasted to the net. However, Limerick replied immediately for Costello and Shane Dolan from a free to reduce the deficit to the minimum. There it remained as a point from Paul McGovern was met by another Dolan pointed free for Limerick.

Coming up to the break, the collective Mourne effort moved up a notch for Blaney and a pair of McEvoy pointed frees moved them into a lead of 1-5 to 0-4 as they headed into the dressing-room.

The Down blitz did not stop there as they powered forward from the restart for McGovern and Darragh Poland to widen the gap by two points inside forty seconds before Conor Ó Longaigh’s reply on the run settled Limerick before he was followed by a huge Dolan free.

However, with the wind holding up their kick-outs and their long deliveries to their front men, Down were able to exert the maximum return on the size and physicality up the middle and, after Lorcan Lynch’s point was followed by McEvoy’s brace from a free and from play, the outcome was settled on the three-quarter mark when McEvoy collected off a kickout turnover and jinked behind the advancing Stephen Kearney to stroke home his side’s second goal.

It was tough luck luck on the Limerick goalie who had already brough off spectacular saves off Poland and McEvoy. Down continued to hold the upperhand and McGovern added another goal with a top class finish.

The tempo dropped a degree or two as the subs flooded on and a McEvoy point was met by Leon Curtin’s free. However, it picked up again for a final flourish as Down’s topscorer McEvoy struck from play and followed up with a pair of frees to add to his already-impressive haul.

SCORERS: DOWN: Barry McEvoy 2-7 (0-4 frees), Paul McGovern 1-2, Liam Blaney 0-2, Daniel McKernan, Lorcan Lynch, Darragh Poland 0-1 each; LIMERICK: Shane Dolan 0-3 (3 frees), Shane O’Dea, Cian Costelloe, Conor Ó Longaigh, Leon Curtin (free) 0-1 each.

DOWN: Aaron McClelland (Drumgath); Shane McParland (Ballyholan), Oisín Murphy (Glen), Aaron McClelland (Bryansford); Cormac Small (Atticall), Jon Rogers (Dromara), Lorcan Lynch (Saint John Bosco); Daniel McKernan (Savell0, Liam Blaney (Carryduff); Conor Ward (Clonduff), Darragh Poland (Mayobridge), Paul McGovern (Ballyholan); Daniel Carr (Mayobridge), Barry McEvoy (Kilcoo), Caolan McGinley (Clann na Banna)
SUBS: Charlie McGrath (Ballyholan) for Caolan McGinley (41 minutes), Adam McCann-Gibbs (Glen) for Conor Ward (41 minutes), Eoin McCaffrey (Clonduff) for Daniel McKernan (53 minutes), Danny McLogan (Clonduff) for Daniel Carr (41 minutes).

LIMERICK: Stephen Kearney (Saint Senan’s); Danny McCarthy (Father Caseys), Donal Dawson (Ahane), Sean Hanley (Oola), Harry McDermott (Monaleen), Daniel O’Connell (Mungret-Saint Pauls). Conor Ó Longaigh (Mungret-Saint Pauls); Charlie Casey (Monaleen), Cian Costelloe (Cappagh-Rathkeale); Shane Dolan (Monaleen), Rory Mulins (Mungret-Saint Pauls), Shane O’Dea (Hospital-Herbertstown); Rian McNamara (Hospital-Herbertstown), Eoghan Fitzgerald (Galtee Gaels), Daniel Murphy (Ballylanders)
SUBS: Robbie Widger (Monaleen) for Eoghan Fitzgerald (half-time), Michael Mulcahy (Saint Senan’s) for Charlie Casey (33 minutes), Leon Curtin (Father Caseys) for Rian McNamara (38 minutes), Ben Ryan (Croom) for Cian Costelloe (41 minutes), Michael Naughton (Croom) for Shane Dolan (injured, 50 minutes).

REFEREE: Patrick Coyle (Meath).

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May 25
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm



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