Bord Gais Energy All-Ireland Under 21 Hurling Championship Semi-Final – Galway 0-22 Limerick 2-14

Burke puts Galway on redemption trail

From the Irish Independent web site

Galway 0-22 Limerick 2-14

Monday August 22 2011

GALWAY returned to the scene of one of their greatest hurling humiliations on Saturday and emerged with a shot at redemption. A two-point victory against a fancied Limerick team has set up a final shootout with Dublin on September 10. It was the first time that Galway’s U-21s had played a championship game at Semple Stadium since last September’s 25-point mauling by Tipperary in the 2010 final. And manager Anthony Cunningham, devastated by the manner of that emphatic defeat, was in ebullient form after watching his side claim a merited success against the Munster champions.

Galway arrived into the championship as an unknown quantity but produced a clinical display with seven-point hero Niall Burke, full-back Niall Donoghue and captain Barry Daly to the fore. Cunningham nodded: “Niall had a super game, Barry worked extremely hard and showed great energy while Niall had a super game. We had good patches and poor for some of the players but we’ll kick on from that, no doubt.” Galway’s surge to minor and U-21 hurling finals, following another disappointing season in the senior ranks, follows a very definite trend in recent times. But Cunningham warned of the danger posed by Dublin in both finals, adding: “We’re up against a Dublin set-up on the crest of a wave. They will be two extremely hard matches but the bottom line is that we have to improve. “And we hope they come on after a match like that — it’s as good as a month’s training.”

Galway, reduced to 14 men when wing-back Rory Foy received a second yellow card and subsequent red with five minutes remaining, were rocked by Limerick goals in either half but dug in to claim a gritty win. Burke, Man of the Match in the 2009 All-Ireland minor final, was the undoubted star with seven points from play, including five in the first half, while five of Tadhg Haran’s seven points were converted from placed balls. Teenager Shane Dowling managed 2-5 for Limerick, including a second-half penalty goal which put his side a point up, but the Shannonsiders could not build on that platform. And approaching half-time they lost captain Kevin Downes through injury — the senior star had carried a broken bone in his hand into the game.

Limerick boss Leo O’Connor, who watched his side claim provincial glory following an extra-time epic against Cork, reflected: “It’s disappointing. Things happened tonight that went well for us against Cork.” O’Connor insisted that the immediate aftermath of a championship defeat was not the time to begin speculating about his future at the helm. But the future is bright for this Limerick team, with all but four starters — Pat Begley, Cian Hayes, James O’Brien and Conor Allis — eligible again for this grade next year.

Scorers — Galway: N Burke, T Haran (5f) 0-7 each, B Daly 0-3, D Burke, C Cooney, J Regan, D Glennon and B Burke 0-1 each. Limerick: S Dowling 2-5 (1-0 pen, 5f), D Hannon 0-4 (1 sl), C Allis, S O’Brien, N Kennedy, G Mulcahy, K O’Donnell 0-1 each.

GALWAY — J Ryan; D Connolly, N Donoghue, G O’Halloran; R Foy, P Gordan, J Grealish; J Coen, D Burke; C Cooney, N Burke, T Haran; J Regan, B Daly, D Glennon. Subs: B Burke for Cooney (46), D Fox for Haran (58).

LIMERICK — A Murphy; A Dempsey, P Begley, S O’Reilly; J O’Brien, C Hayes, T O’Callaghan; C Allis , S O’Brien; S Dowling, N Kennedy, D Hannon; G Mulcahy, K Downes, M Ryan. Subs: M Carmody for Downes (29), K O’Donnell for Kennedy (49), W Griffin for Ryan (50), B O’Connell for Dempsey (50).

Ref — A Stapleton (Laois)


Galway return to U21 final after Thurles thriller

From the web site

Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U21 Championship semi-final

Galway 0-22 Limerick 2-14

Galway qualified for the final of the Bord Gáis Energy GAA Hurling U21 Championship with a two-point defeat of Limerick in an exciting game at Thurles on Saturday evening. Reduced to 14 men in the closing stages following the dismissal of Rory Fox in the 55th minute, Galway showed great character to hold on for the win in what was their first Championship outing of the year. With man-of-the-match Barry Daly in inspirational form, the Tribesmen overcame the concession of goals nine minutes into each half to book their place in the final against Dublin on September 10.

Galway led 0-14 to 1-9 at the break, with Shane Dowling grabbing the first of his two goals after nine minutes to give Limerick the early initiative. Dowling scored a second from the penalty spot on 39 minutes, but Galway, led brilliantly by Daly and the excellent David Burke, secured their place in the All-Ireland final for the second successive year. Limerick were handed a major boost when Senior star Kevin Downes was deemed fit to start despite suffering a cracked bone his hand two weeks ago. Burke and Daly were both on target in the opening quarter to give Galway an early 0-5 to 0-2 lead, but Dowling then hit the back of the net for the first time, before Graeme Mulcahy and Niall Kennedy had the Treaty men three clear after 18 minutes.

However, Downes soon succumbed to injury and was forced off, as Galway took control and led by two points – 0-14 to 1-9 – at the break. Limerick made a fine start to the second half when they were awarded a penalty by referee Anthony Stapleton, Dowling finishing smartly after he had been fouled. In an excellent game of hurling, however, it was the Tribesmen who took control, Kenneth Burke and Daly grabbing scores to put them four clear. With five minutes left, Galway were reduced to 14 men when Fox was shown a second yellow card for hauling down Declan Hannon, with Dowling tapping over the free to leave two between the sides. Burke and Dowling traded scores in the closing minutes, but when Limerick were awarded a late free Dowling’s effort was blocked and Galway held on for a two-point win.