Limerick hold on to U-21 crown

 

Limerick 0-17 Wexford 2-10

Limerick retained their All-Ireland Under-21 hurling title in Thurles this afternoon, surviving a late comeback from Wexford to win by just a single point.

A packed Semple Stadium was treated to a thrilling finale as Wexford missed the chance to equalise with virtually the last action of the game. The opportunity fell to Barry Lambert but his injury time free drifted wide of the uprights, sealing his side’s fate.

Limerick, as always, were quick out of the blocks, taking the game to their challengers and bossing the middle of the park as Stephen Lucey ran proceedings. With a strong wind at their backs, the Munster champions were able to turn their dominance into scores and opened up a lead from the start.

Wexford, who were struggling to impose themselves were handed a lifeline in the 15th minute when Michael Jacob grabbed a goal against the run of play, Nevertheless, Limerick, who included nine of last year’s squad in their line-up, reorganised and Wexford went into the break with a five point deficit to bridge.

It was more of the same for Limerick at the start of the second period, and it appeared they would romp to their second title in as many years.

However, as time slipped away, Wexford summoned their fighting spirit and launched a massive comeback. Unanswered points were followed by a late goal that brought them right back into the contest. A frantic scramble in front of the Limerick posts saw the sliothar eventually falling to Nicky Lambert who smashed it home.

Further scores reduced Limerick’s lead to just one point and when Lambert lined-up his effort, difficult though it was, it seemed the Model County would pull-off the most unlikely comeback. But it was not be for Lambert or Wexford and Limerick held on for a famous victory.