Limerick move within a step of Munster under-21 hurling glory

They won provincial honours at that age grade in 2015

BY Raf Diallo 14:46 Thursday 13 July 2017, 14:46 13 Jul 2017

Limerick’s Aaron Gillane reacts after missing ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Limerick have given themselves a great chance of winning a second Bord Gais Energy Munster Under-21 Hurling title in three years.

On Wednesday night the side saw off rivals Clare 1-28 to 1-15 at the Gaelic Grounds, building on a 10 point half time lead to run out comfortable winners on the scoreboard.

An early goal from Peter Casey set Limerick well on their way and with Aaron Gillane in fine form with an ultimate individual haul of 14 points (including eight from play), Limerick did not look back as they raced clear into the final which will be against the winner of the other semi final between Waterford and Cork.

And although Limerick won by a clear margin, it could have been even wider had they replicated their first half efforts according to ex-Clare All Ireland winning hurler Jamesie O'Connor who was reporting live from the match with Off The Ball

"Limerick ended up 10 points to the good at half time and they started the second half well. Tom Morrissey had a really, really good goal chance that he should have put away but flashed it over the bar instead," said Jamesie, who credits Clare for putting up more of a fight in the second half.

Clare’s Michael Moloney dejected after the game ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

"And that put Limerick 10 ahead and you reckoned that this could get completely out of control. But Clare to their credit showed plenty of fight and got the next five points without reply. Galvin had a couple of frees, Aaron Shanagher came out to centre forward, got on a bit of ball, got a score; O’Malley from midfield got a score and the Clare crowd started to get into it. But Limerick responded with four in a row to get the deficit back to nine and they've traded points to the end." 

As for Limerick's final opponents in a fortnight, Cork and Waterford bring strengths of their own. Darragh Fitzgibbon is a player that jumps out to Off The Ball's Oisin Langan, who will be reporting live from tonight's second semi: "Darragh Fitzg is a bulldozer but with the craftiness of a Porcshe. For me, he's been Player of Championship, not alone for the under-21s but also outstanding for the seniors."

And as for Oisin's own Waterford, "They're at home and also building on last year's Under-21 Championship win, so it will be a tight game."

This article was brought to you in association with Bord Gáis Energy, putting you at the core of the action of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior and U-21 Championships – keep up to date and follow #HurlingToTheCore

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