Galway minors in top form as they look to repeat All-Ireland win

Defending champions have 11 points to spare on Limerick in Thurles

Galway’s Dean Reilly and Ben Herlihy of Limerick in action during the Electric Ireland GAA Hurling All-Ireland Minor Championship quarter-final at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Galway’s Dean Reilly and Ben Herlihy of Limerick in action during the Electric Ireland GAA Hurling All-Ireland Minor Championship quarter-final at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Galway 1-20 Limerick 0-12

All-Ireland minor champions Galway won’t be letting go of their crown too easily if their comfortable 11-point win over Munster runners-up Limerick is anything to go by.

Galway rarely looked threatened throughout their championship opener at Semple Stadium and rattled off points almost at will when they needed to put clear water between the sides.

Limerick came into this round-robin match on something of a retrieval mission, having lost heavily in the Munster final to Tipperary just seven days beforehand, while Galway were an “unknown quantity”, comparatively speaking.

However, their potency was underlined from an early stage and by half-time all of their forwards had scored.

The only goal of the game was just before the break, Donal O’Shea finishing off a fine move started by Evan Duggan and also involving Oisín Flannery.

Behind by eight at the break, Limerick just about kept in touch in the third quarter with a succession of pointed frees by Cathal O’Neill, but Galway seemed able to up the ante when necessary and in the closing minutes got six excellent scores in a row through Diarmuid Kilcommins (twice), Oisín “beag” Flannery, O’Shea, and sub Colm Cunningham on the double.

Galway play Kilkenny next weekend in this three-team round-robin group and Limerick will take on the young cats the following week, with the top two teams progressing.

GALWAY: P Rabbitte; M Flynn, S Jennings, I McGlynn; S Quirke, S Neary (0-1), E Duggan; O “beag” Flannery (0-2), J Donoghue (0-1); D Kilcommins, A Brett (0-1), O “mór” Flannery (0-1); K Creaven (0-3), D O’Shea (1-5, three frees, one 65), D Reilly (0-1).

Subs: S McDonagh for A Brett, N Collins for O M Flannery (both 48 mins), C Cunningham (0-2)for O M Flannery, C Flaherty for E Duggan ( both 59)

LIMERICK: B Heavey; P Harnett, B Herlihy, M Keane; E O’Mahony, E McEvoy (0-1), J Nicholas; P Kirby, B O’Connor; M Martin (0-1), C Ryan (0-1), C Coughlan; C O’Neill (0-8, six frees), B Purcell (0-1), B Nix.

Subs: S Hurley for B O’Connor (h/t), A Shanahan for P Kirby (48 mins), D Riordan for C Coughlan (51), D Hegarty for B Nix (54)

Referee: Seán Stack (Dublin).

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