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U21 hurling final: Ruthless Limerick crush Galway to claim third title

Patrick Kirby

By Brendan Larkin
Limerick 3-17 Galway 0-8
IT won’t rank as one of the best games in this year’s championship, but the manner in which Limerick steamrolled over Galway to claim an historic third All-Ireland under-21 hurling title in a row at Semple Stadium yesterday, will be talked about long after this one sided final becomes a distant memory.

Limerick were simply awesome in their application, and with ruthless efficiency completely overwhelmed a Galway side that went into the game with a team chosen from two minor All-Ireland minor squads.

What a way for their coach David Keane and his backroom team of David Punch, John Meskell and trainer Pat O'Callaghan to bow out as they move up to take control of the senior team. And while Keane was at pains to stress there are no guarantees, expectations will be great on Shannonside in the next year or two that the Liam McCarthy Cup can be brought back to Limerick for the first time in 30 years.

Never in their wildest dreams could the Limerick supporters in a attendance of 24,106 have envisaged winning a third All-Ireland title on the trot so easily and in such convincing fashion.

From the first whistle to the last, everything went right for the champions and they were never in any danger of losing this final.

It was a disappointing match, but only from the point of view that another classic final was expected from two teams with outstanding credentials. The game had to be put back 15 minutes to allow the crowd in, but once it finally got underway there was only one team in it as Galway flopped completely

Only Richie Murray can take anything from an All-Ireland final best forgotten by the westerners.

From the throw-in, Limerick hummed like a well oiled machine and after Mark Keane pointed the way with the opening score in the first minute, there was never any doubt about the outcome as the champions produced, arguably their best performance of the three years.

Limerick hurled with supreme confidence and self-belief, born out of the successes of the previous two campaigns. From goalkeeper Timmy Houlihan who, along with seven others, were winning their third medal, to corner-forward Andrew O'Shaughnessy who was winning his second, there wasn't a flaw in the Shannonsiders' performance. They rubbished the notion that you have to be successful at minor level in order to do well in the higher grade.

It would be hard to pick a man of the match if there had been one but the display of full back Eugene Mulcahy, another of the three in a row brigade, was exceptional. He was never beaten and must be one of several of this team who will graduate onto the senior team in the coming year.

However he would get a great run for that award from James O'Brien at centre-forward and Andrew O'Shaughnessy at right corner-forward. Both were superb in a Limerick attack that gave the highly-rated Galway defence a torrid time all afternoon.

The under-21 grade has been very unkind to Galway in recent years. Since 1997 and including 2002, they have lost five finals plus a semi, and while they had high hopes this year of breaking their duck, they can have few complaints on this occasion as they ran up against a Limerick side that was finely tuned to the last and hell-bent on creating their own bit of history.

Limerick's pace and skill had Galway in trouble in every sector of the field and this was graphically illustrated in the 10th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy won a ball that didn't look to be his, showed a clean pair of heels to his marker, before blasting an unstoppable shot to the net to give his side a 1-3 to 0-2 lead.

Even though it was early in the game, the signs looked ominous for Galway as Limerick proceeded to run riot, scoring freely, and it got worse for the Connacht side in the 20th minute when Mark Keane was on hand to drive home the rebound after Aidan Diviney had denied Patrick Kirby with an excellent save.

Galway attempted to try and remedy their midfield problems where Ger Farragher and Tony O'g Regan were no match for Limerick's Peter Lawlor and Niall Moran, by bringing in John Paul O'Connell for Regan, but it mattered little as the points continued to flow. At the break the champions led 2-10 to 0-4, and the winning post was well in sight.

A yellow card for their captain Damien Hayes before the restart for an off the ball incident as players retired at the break, did little to help Galway's cause, and the second half became something of a training session as Limerick tightened their grip even further on their title with a third goal in the 34th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy first-timed Niall Moran's delivery to the Galway net.

Galway were in dire need of inspiration from somewhere to stay in the title race, but none was forthcoming simply because Limerick were totally dominant. The westerners' tale of woe was compounded when John P O'Connell received a straight red card in the 50th minute for careless use of the hurley and there was simply no way back for the Tribesmen.

The remaining minutes were played out with Limerick knocking over points with monotonous regularity before the final whistle set in train incredible scenes of jubilation as supporters came from every corner of the ground to claim their heroes.

Scorers for Limerick: A O'Shaughnessy 2-2; M Keane 1-6 (0-5 frees); P Kirby 0-3 (0-2 frees); J O'Brien, P Lawlor (0-1 free) 0-2 each; C Fitzgerald, D Reale 0-1 each.

Galway: G Farragher 0-5 (0-4 frees); R Murray 0-2; JP O'Connell 0-1.

LIMERICK: T Houlihan; D Reale, E Mulcahy, M Cahill; E Foley, P O'Dwyer, M O'Brien; P Lawlor, N Moran; C Fitzgerald, J O'Brien, K Tobin; A O'Shaughnessy, P Kirby, M Keane; Subs: P Tobin for Fitzgerald; B Carroll for O'Dwyer; R Hayes for O'Brien.

GALWAY: A Diviney; B Mahony, S Kavanagh, J Culkin; F Moore, C Dervan, D Forde; T Óg Regan, G Farragher; R Murray, M Coughlan, K Brady; D Hayes, A Cullinane, D Green. Subs: JP O'Connell for Regan; MJ Quinn for Coughlan; K Burke for Green.

Referee: D Murphy (Wexford).

 

U21 hurling final: Ruthless Limerick crush Galway to claim third title

Patrick Kirby

By Brendan Larkin
Limerick 3-17 Galway 0-8
IT won’t rank as one of the best games in this year’s championship, but the manner in which Limerick steamrolled over Galway to claim an historic third All-Ireland under-21 hurling title in a row at Semple Stadium yesterday, will be talked about long after this one sided final becomes a distant memory.

Limerick were simply awesome in their application, and with ruthless efficiency completely overwhelmed a Galway side that went into the game with a team chosen from two minor All-Ireland minor squads.

What a way for their coach David Keane and his backroom team of David Punch, John Meskell and trainer Pat O'Callaghan to bow out as they move up to take control of the senior team. And while Keane was at pains to stress there are no guarantees, expectations will be great on Shannonside in the next year or two that the Liam McCarthy Cup can be brought back to Limerick for the first time in 30 years.

Never in their wildest dreams could the Limerick supporters in a attendance of 24,106 have envisaged winning a third All-Ireland title on the trot so easily and in such convincing fashion.

From the first whistle to the last, everything went right for the champions and they were never in any danger of losing this final.

It was a disappointing match, but only from the point of view that another classic final was expected from two teams with outstanding credentials. The game had to be put back 15 minutes to allow the crowd in, but once it finally got underway there was only one team in it as Galway flopped completely

Only Richie Murray can take anything from an All-Ireland final best forgotten by the westerners.

From the throw-in, Limerick hummed like a well oiled machine and after Mark Keane pointed the way with the opening score in the first minute, there was never any doubt about the outcome as the champions produced, arguably their best performance of the three years.

Limerick hurled with supreme confidence and self-belief, born out of the successes of the previous two campaigns. From goalkeeper Timmy Houlihan who, along with seven others, were winning their third medal, to corner-forward Andrew O'Shaughnessy who was winning his second, there wasn't a flaw in the Shannonsiders' performance. They rubbished the notion that you have to be successful at minor level in order to do well in the higher grade.

It would be hard to pick a man of the match if there had been one but the display of full back Eugene Mulcahy, another of the three in a row brigade, was exceptional. He was never beaten and must be one of several of this team who will graduate onto the senior team in the coming year.

However he would get a great run for that award from James O'Brien at centre-forward and Andrew O'Shaughnessy at right corner-forward. Both were superb in a Limerick attack that gave the highly-rated Galway defence a torrid time all afternoon.

The under-21 grade has been very unkind to Galway in recent years. Since 1997 and including 2002, they have lost five finals plus a semi, and while they had high hopes this year of breaking their duck, they can have few complaints on this occasion as they ran up against a Limerick side that was finely tuned to the last and hell-bent on creating their own bit of history.

Limerick's pace and skill had Galway in trouble in every sector of the field and this was graphically illustrated in the 10th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy won a ball that didn't look to be his, showed a clean pair of heels to his marker, before blasting an unstoppable shot to the net to give his side a 1-3 to 0-2 lead.

Even though it was early in the game, the signs looked ominous for Galway as Limerick proceeded to run riot, scoring freely, and it got worse for the Connacht side in the 20th minute when Mark Keane was on hand to drive home the rebound after Aidan Diviney had denied Patrick Kirby with an excellent save.

Galway attempted to try and remedy their midfield problems where Ger Farragher and Tony O'g Regan were no match for Limerick's Peter Lawlor and Niall Moran, by bringing in John Paul O'Connell for Regan, but it mattered little as the points continued to flow. At the break the champions led 2-10 to 0-4, and the winning post was well in sight.

A yellow card for their captain Damien Hayes before the restart for an off the ball incident as players retired at the break, did little to help Galway's cause, and the second half became something of a training session as Limerick tightened their grip even further on their title with a third goal in the 34th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy first-timed Niall Moran's delivery to the Galway net.

Galway were in dire need of inspiration from somewhere to stay in the title race, but none was forthcoming simply because Limerick were totally dominant. The westerners' tale of woe was compounded when John P O'Connell received a straight red card in the 50th minute for careless use of the hurley and there was simply no way back for the Tribesmen.

The remaining minutes were played out with Limerick knocking over points with monotonous regularity before the final whistle set in train incredible scenes of jubilation as supporters came from every corner of the ground to claim their heroes.

Scorers for Limerick: A O'Shaughnessy 2-2; M Keane 1-6 (0-5 frees); P Kirby 0-3 (0-2 frees); J O'Brien, P Lawlor (0-1 free) 0-2 each; C Fitzgerald, D Reale 0-1 each.

Galway: G Farragher 0-5 (0-4 frees); R Murray 0-2; JP O'Connell 0-1.

LIMERICK: T Houlihan; D Reale, E Mulcahy, M Cahill; E Foley, P O'Dwyer, M O'Brien; P Lawlor, N Moran; C Fitzgerald, J O'Brien, K Tobin; A O'Shaughnessy, P Kirby, M Keane; Subs: P Tobin for Fitzgerald; B Carroll for O'Dwyer; R Hayes for O'Brien.

GALWAY: A Diviney; B Mahony, S Kavanagh, J Culkin; F Moore, C Dervan, D Forde; T Óg Regan, G Farragher; R Murray, M Coughlan, K Brady; D Hayes, A Cullinane, D Green. Subs: JP O'Connell for Regan; MJ Quinn for Coughlan; K Burke for Green.

Referee: D Murphy (Wexford).

 

U21 hurling final: Ruthless Limerick crush Galway to claim third title

Patrick Kirby

By Brendan Larkin
Limerick 3-17 Galway 0-8
IT won’t rank as one of the best games in this year’s championship, but the manner in which Limerick steamrolled over Galway to claim an historic third All-Ireland under-21 hurling title in a row at Semple Stadium yesterday, will be talked about long after this one sided final becomes a distant memory.

Limerick were simply awesome in their application, and with ruthless efficiency completely overwhelmed a Galway side that went into the game with a team chosen from two minor All-Ireland minor squads.

What a way for their coach David Keane and his backroom team of David Punch, John Meskell and trainer Pat O'Callaghan to bow out as they move up to take control of the senior team. And while Keane was at pains to stress there are no guarantees, expectations will be great on Shannonside in the next year or two that the Liam McCarthy Cup can be brought back to Limerick for the first time in 30 years.

Never in their wildest dreams could the Limerick supporters in a attendance of 24,106 have envisaged winning a third All-Ireland title on the trot so easily and in such convincing fashion.

From the first whistle to the last, everything went right for the champions and they were never in any danger of losing this final.

It was a disappointing match, but only from the point of view that another classic final was expected from two teams with outstanding credentials. The game had to be put back 15 minutes to allow the crowd in, but once it finally got underway there was only one team in it as Galway flopped completely

Only Richie Murray can take anything from an All-Ireland final best forgotten by the westerners.

From the throw-in, Limerick hummed like a well oiled machine and after Mark Keane pointed the way with the opening score in the first minute, there was never any doubt about the outcome as the champions produced, arguably their best performance of the three years.

Limerick hurled with supreme confidence and self-belief, born out of the successes of the previous two campaigns. From goalkeeper Timmy Houlihan who, along with seven others, were winning their third medal, to corner-forward Andrew O'Shaughnessy who was winning his second, there wasn't a flaw in the Shannonsiders' performance. They rubbished the notion that you have to be successful at minor level in order to do well in the higher grade.

It would be hard to pick a man of the match if there had been one but the display of full back Eugene Mulcahy, another of the three in a row brigade, was exceptional. He was never beaten and must be one of several of this team who will graduate onto the senior team in the coming year.

However he would get a great run for that award from James O'Brien at centre-forward and Andrew O'Shaughnessy at right corner-forward. Both were superb in a Limerick attack that gave the highly-rated Galway defence a torrid time all afternoon.

The under-21 grade has been very unkind to Galway in recent years. Since 1997 and including 2002, they have lost five finals plus a semi, and while they had high hopes this year of breaking their duck, they can have few complaints on this occasion as they ran up against a Limerick side that was finely tuned to the last and hell-bent on creating their own bit of history.

Limerick's pace and skill had Galway in trouble in every sector of the field and this was graphically illustrated in the 10th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy won a ball that didn't look to be his, showed a clean pair of heels to his marker, before blasting an unstoppable shot to the net to give his side a 1-3 to 0-2 lead.

Even though it was early in the game, the signs looked ominous for Galway as Limerick proceeded to run riot, scoring freely, and it got worse for the Connacht side in the 20th minute when Mark Keane was on hand to drive home the rebound after Aidan Diviney had denied Patrick Kirby with an excellent save.

Galway attempted to try and remedy their midfield problems where Ger Farragher and Tony O'g Regan were no match for Limerick's Peter Lawlor and Niall Moran, by bringing in John Paul O'Connell for Regan, but it mattered little as the points continued to flow. At the break the champions led 2-10 to 0-4, and the winning post was well in sight.

A yellow card for their captain Damien Hayes before the restart for an off the ball incident as players retired at the break, did little to help Galway's cause, and the second half became something of a training session as Limerick tightened their grip even further on their title with a third goal in the 34th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy first-timed Niall Moran's delivery to the Galway net.

Galway were in dire need of inspiration from somewhere to stay in the title race, but none was forthcoming simply because Limerick were totally dominant. The westerners' tale of woe was compounded when John P O'Connell received a straight red card in the 50th minute for careless use of the hurley and there was simply no way back for the Tribesmen.

The remaining minutes were played out with Limerick knocking over points with monotonous regularity before the final whistle set in train incredible scenes of jubilation as supporters came from every corner of the ground to claim their heroes.

Scorers for Limerick: A O'Shaughnessy 2-2; M Keane 1-6 (0-5 frees); P Kirby 0-3 (0-2 frees); J O'Brien, P Lawlor (0-1 free) 0-2 each; C Fitzgerald, D Reale 0-1 each.

Galway: G Farragher 0-5 (0-4 frees); R Murray 0-2; JP O'Connell 0-1.

LIMERICK: T Houlihan; D Reale, E Mulcahy, M Cahill; E Foley, P O'Dwyer, M O'Brien; P Lawlor, N Moran; C Fitzgerald, J O'Brien, K Tobin; A O'Shaughnessy, P Kirby, M Keane; Subs: P Tobin for Fitzgerald; B Carroll for O'Dwyer; R Hayes for O'Brien.

GALWAY: A Diviney; B Mahony, S Kavanagh, J Culkin; F Moore, C Dervan, D Forde; T Óg Regan, G Farragher; R Murray, M Coughlan, K Brady; D Hayes, A Cullinane, D Green. Subs: JP O'Connell for Regan; MJ Quinn for Coughlan; K Burke for Green.

Referee: D Murphy (Wexford).

 

U21 hurling final: Ruthless Limerick crush Galway to claim third title

Patrick Kirby

By Brendan Larkin
Limerick 3-17 Galway 0-8
IT won’t rank as one of the best games in this year’s championship, but the manner in which Limerick steamrolled over Galway to claim an historic third All-Ireland under-21 hurling title in a row at Semple Stadium yesterday, will be talked about long after this one sided final becomes a distant memory.

Limerick were simply awesome in their application, and with ruthless efficiency completely overwhelmed a Galway side that went into the game with a team chosen from two minor All-Ireland minor squads.

What a way for their coach David Keane and his backroom team of David Punch, John Meskell and trainer Pat O'Callaghan to bow out as they move up to take control of the senior team. And while Keane was at pains to stress there are no guarantees, expectations will be great on Shannonside in the next year or two that the Liam McCarthy Cup can be brought back to Limerick for the first time in 30 years.

Never in their wildest dreams could the Limerick supporters in a attendance of 24,106 have envisaged winning a third All-Ireland title on the trot so easily and in such convincing fashion.

From the first whistle to the last, everything went right for the champions and they were never in any danger of losing this final.

It was a disappointing match, but only from the point of view that another classic final was expected from two teams with outstanding credentials. The game had to be put back 15 minutes to allow the crowd in, but once it finally got underway there was only one team in it as Galway flopped completely

Only Richie Murray can take anything from an All-Ireland final best forgotten by the westerners.

From the throw-in, Limerick hummed like a well oiled machine and after Mark Keane pointed the way with the opening score in the first minute, there was never any doubt about the outcome as the champions produced, arguably their best performance of the three years.

Limerick hurled with supreme confidence and self-belief, born out of the successes of the previous two campaigns. From goalkeeper Timmy Houlihan who, along with seven others, were winning their third medal, to corner-forward Andrew O'Shaughnessy who was winning his second, there wasn't a flaw in the Shannonsiders' performance. They rubbished the notion that you have to be successful at minor level in order to do well in the higher grade.

It would be hard to pick a man of the match if there had been one but the display of full back Eugene Mulcahy, another of the three in a row brigade, was exceptional. He was never beaten and must be one of several of this team who will graduate onto the senior team in the coming year.

However he would get a great run for that award from James O'Brien at centre-forward and Andrew O'Shaughnessy at right corner-forward. Both were superb in a Limerick attack that gave the highly-rated Galway defence a torrid time all afternoon.

The under-21 grade has been very unkind to Galway in recent years. Since 1997 and including 2002, they have lost five finals plus a semi, and while they had high hopes this year of breaking their duck, they can have few complaints on this occasion as they ran up against a Limerick side that was finely tuned to the last and hell-bent on creating their own bit of history.

Limerick's pace and skill had Galway in trouble in every sector of the field and this was graphically illustrated in the 10th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy won a ball that didn't look to be his, showed a clean pair of heels to his marker, before blasting an unstoppable shot to the net to give his side a 1-3 to 0-2 lead.

Even though it was early in the game, the signs looked ominous for Galway as Limerick proceeded to run riot, scoring freely, and it got worse for the Connacht side in the 20th minute when Mark Keane was on hand to drive home the rebound after Aidan Diviney had denied Patrick Kirby with an excellent save.

Galway attempted to try and remedy their midfield problems where Ger Farragher and Tony O'g Regan were no match for Limerick's Peter Lawlor and Niall Moran, by bringing in John Paul O'Connell for Regan, but it mattered little as the points continued to flow. At the break the champions led 2-10 to 0-4, and the winning post was well in sight.

A yellow card for their captain Damien Hayes before the restart for an off the ball incident as players retired at the break, did little to help Galway's cause, and the second half became something of a training session as Limerick tightened their grip even further on their title with a third goal in the 34th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy first-timed Niall Moran's delivery to the Galway net.

Galway were in dire need of inspiration from somewhere to stay in the title race, but none was forthcoming simply because Limerick were totally dominant. The westerners' tale of woe was compounded when John P O'Connell received a straight red card in the 50th minute for careless use of the hurley and there was simply no way back for the Tribesmen.

The remaining minutes were played out with Limerick knocking over points with monotonous regularity before the final whistle set in train incredible scenes of jubilation as supporters came from every corner of the ground to claim their heroes.

Scorers for Limerick: A O'Shaughnessy 2-2; M Keane 1-6 (0-5 frees); P Kirby 0-3 (0-2 frees); J O'Brien, P Lawlor (0-1 free) 0-2 each; C Fitzgerald, D Reale 0-1 each.

Galway: G Farragher 0-5 (0-4 frees); R Murray 0-2; JP O'Connell 0-1.

LIMERICK: T Houlihan; D Reale, E Mulcahy, M Cahill; E Foley, P O'Dwyer, M O'Brien; P Lawlor, N Moran; C Fitzgerald, J O'Brien, K Tobin; A O'Shaughnessy, P Kirby, M Keane; Subs: P Tobin for Fitzgerald; B Carroll for O'Dwyer; R Hayes for O'Brien.

GALWAY: A Diviney; B Mahony, S Kavanagh, J Culkin; F Moore, C Dervan, D Forde; T Óg Regan, G Farragher; R Murray, M Coughlan, K Brady; D Hayes, A Cullinane, D Green. Subs: JP O'Connell for Regan; MJ Quinn for Coughlan; K Burke for Green.

Referee: D Murphy (Wexford).

 

U21 hurling final: Ruthless Limerick crush Galway to claim third title

Patrick Kirby

By Brendan Larkin
Limerick 3-17 Galway 0-8
IT won’t rank as one of the best games in this year’s championship, but the manner in which Limerick steamrolled over Galway to claim an historic third All-Ireland under-21 hurling title in a row at Semple Stadium yesterday, will be talked about long after this one sided final becomes a distant memory.

Limerick were simply awesome in their application, and with ruthless efficiency completely overwhelmed a Galway side that went into the game with a team chosen from two minor All-Ireland minor squads.

What a way for their coach David Keane and his backroom team of David Punch, John Meskell and trainer Pat O'Callaghan to bow out as they move up to take control of the senior team. And while Keane was at pains to stress there are no guarantees, expectations will be great on Shannonside in the next year or two that the Liam McCarthy Cup can be brought back to Limerick for the first time in 30 years.

Never in their wildest dreams could the Limerick supporters in a attendance of 24,106 have envisaged winning a third All-Ireland title on the trot so easily and in such convincing fashion.

From the first whistle to the last, everything went right for the champions and they were never in any danger of losing this final.

It was a disappointing match, but only from the point of view that another classic final was expected from two teams with outstanding credentials. The game had to be put back 15 minutes to allow the crowd in, but once it finally got underway there was only one team in it as Galway flopped completely

Only Richie Murray can take anything from an All-Ireland final best forgotten by the westerners.

From the throw-in, Limerick hummed like a well oiled machine and after Mark Keane pointed the way with the opening score in the first minute, there was never any doubt about the outcome as the champions produced, arguably their best performance of the three years.

Limerick hurled with supreme confidence and self-belief, born out of the successes of the previous two campaigns. From goalkeeper Timmy Houlihan who, along with seven others, were winning their third medal, to corner-forward Andrew O'Shaughnessy who was winning his second, there wasn't a flaw in the Shannonsiders' performance. They rubbished the notion that you have to be successful at minor level in order to do well in the higher grade.

It would be hard to pick a man of the match if there had been one but the display of full back Eugene Mulcahy, another of the three in a row brigade, was exceptional. He was never beaten and must be one of several of this team who will graduate onto the senior team in the coming year.

However he would get a great run for that award from James O'Brien at centre-forward and Andrew O'Shaughnessy at right corner-forward. Both were superb in a Limerick attack that gave the highly-rated Galway defence a torrid time all afternoon.

The under-21 grade has been very unkind to Galway in recent years. Since 1997 and including 2002, they have lost five finals plus a semi, and while they had high hopes this year of breaking their duck, they can have few complaints on this occasion as they ran up against a Limerick side that was finely tuned to the last and hell-bent on creating their own bit of history.

Limerick's pace and skill had Galway in trouble in every sector of the field and this was graphically illustrated in the 10th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy won a ball that didn't look to be his, showed a clean pair of heels to his marker, before blasting an unstoppable shot to the net to give his side a 1-3 to 0-2 lead.

Even though it was early in the game, the signs looked ominous for Galway as Limerick proceeded to run riot, scoring freely, and it got worse for the Connacht side in the 20th minute when Mark Keane was on hand to drive home the rebound after Aidan Diviney had denied Patrick Kirby with an excellent save.

Galway attempted to try and remedy their midfield problems where Ger Farragher and Tony O'g Regan were no match for Limerick's Peter Lawlor and Niall Moran, by bringing in John Paul O'Connell for Regan, but it mattered little as the points continued to flow. At the break the champions led 2-10 to 0-4, and the winning post was well in sight.

A yellow card for their captain Damien Hayes before the restart for an off the ball incident as players retired at the break, did little to help Galway's cause, and the second half became something of a training session as Limerick tightened their grip even further on their title with a third goal in the 34th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy first-timed Niall Moran's delivery to the Galway net.

Galway were in dire need of inspiration from somewhere to stay in the title race, but none was forthcoming simply because Limerick were totally dominant. The westerners' tale of woe was compounded when John P O'Connell received a straight red card in the 50th minute for careless use of the hurley and there was simply no way back for the Tribesmen.

The remaining minutes were played out with Limerick knocking over points with monotonous regularity before the final whistle set in train incredible scenes of jubilation as supporters came from every corner of the ground to claim their heroes.

Scorers for Limerick: A O'Shaughnessy 2-2; M Keane 1-6 (0-5 frees); P Kirby 0-3 (0-2 frees); J O'Brien, P Lawlor (0-1 free) 0-2 each; C Fitzgerald, D Reale 0-1 each.

Galway: G Farragher 0-5 (0-4 frees); R Murray 0-2; JP O'Connell 0-1.

LIMERICK: T Houlihan; D Reale, E Mulcahy, M Cahill; E Foley, P O'Dwyer, M O'Brien; P Lawlor, N Moran; C Fitzgerald, J O'Brien, K Tobin; A O'Shaughnessy, P Kirby, M Keane; Subs: P Tobin for Fitzgerald; B Carroll for O'Dwyer; R Hayes for O'Brien.

GALWAY: A Diviney; B Mahony, S Kavanagh, J Culkin; F Moore, C Dervan, D Forde; T Óg Regan, G Farragher; R Murray, M Coughlan, K Brady; D Hayes, A Cullinane, D Green. Subs: JP O'Connell for Regan; MJ Quinn for Coughlan; K Burke for Green.

Referee: D Murphy (Wexford).

 

U21 hurling final: Ruthless Limerick crush Galway to claim third title

Patrick Kirby

By Brendan Larkin
Limerick 3-17 Galway 0-8
IT won’t rank as one of the best games in this year’s championship, but the manner in which Limerick steamrolled over Galway to claim an historic third All-Ireland under-21 hurling title in a row at Semple Stadium yesterday, will be talked about long after this one sided final becomes a distant memory.

Limerick were simply awesome in their application, and with ruthless efficiency completely overwhelmed a Galway side that went into the game with a team chosen from two minor All-Ireland minor squads.

What a way for their coach David Keane and his backroom team of David Punch, John Meskell and trainer Pat O'Callaghan to bow out as they move up to take control of the senior team. And while Keane was at pains to stress there are no guarantees, expectations will be great on Shannonside in the next year or two that the Liam McCarthy Cup can be brought back to Limerick for the first time in 30 years.

Never in their wildest dreams could the Limerick supporters in a attendance of 24,106 have envisaged winning a third All-Ireland title on the trot so easily and in such convincing fashion.

From the first whistle to the last, everything went right for the champions and they were never in any danger of losing this final.

It was a disappointing match, but only from the point of view that another classic final was expected from two teams with outstanding credentials. The game had to be put back 15 minutes to allow the crowd in, but once it finally got underway there was only one team in it as Galway flopped completely

Only Richie Murray can take anything from an All-Ireland final best forgotten by the westerners.

From the throw-in, Limerick hummed like a well oiled machine and after Mark Keane pointed the way with the opening score in the first minute, there was never any doubt about the outcome as the champions produced, arguably their best performance of the three years.

Limerick hurled with supreme confidence and self-belief, born out of the successes of the previous two campaigns. From goalkeeper Timmy Houlihan who, along with seven others, were winning their third medal, to corner-forward Andrew O'Shaughnessy who was winning his second, there wasn't a flaw in the Shannonsiders' performance. They rubbished the notion that you have to be successful at minor level in order to do well in the higher grade.

It would be hard to pick a man of the match if there had been one but the display of full back Eugene Mulcahy, another of the three in a row brigade, was exceptional. He was never beaten and must be one of several of this team who will graduate onto the senior team in the coming year.

However he would get a great run for that award from James O'Brien at centre-forward and Andrew O'Shaughnessy at right corner-forward. Both were superb in a Limerick attack that gave the highly-rated Galway defence a torrid time all afternoon.

The under-21 grade has been very unkind to Galway in recent years. Since 1997 and including 2002, they have lost five finals plus a semi, and while they had high hopes this year of breaking their duck, they can have few complaints on this occasion as they ran up against a Limerick side that was finely tuned to the last and hell-bent on creating their own bit of history.

Limerick's pace and skill had Galway in trouble in every sector of the field and this was graphically illustrated in the 10th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy won a ball that didn't look to be his, showed a clean pair of heels to his marker, before blasting an unstoppable shot to the net to give his side a 1-3 to 0-2 lead.

Even though it was early in the game, the signs looked ominous for Galway as Limerick proceeded to run riot, scoring freely, and it got worse for the Connacht side in the 20th minute when Mark Keane was on hand to drive home the rebound after Aidan Diviney had denied Patrick Kirby with an excellent save.

Galway attempted to try and remedy their midfield problems where Ger Farragher and Tony O'g Regan were no match for Limerick's Peter Lawlor and Niall Moran, by bringing in John Paul O'Connell for Regan, but it mattered little as the points continued to flow. At the break the champions led 2-10 to 0-4, and the winning post was well in sight.

A yellow card for their captain Damien Hayes before the restart for an off the ball incident as players retired at the break, did little to help Galway's cause, and the second half became something of a training session as Limerick tightened their grip even further on their title with a third goal in the 34th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy first-timed Niall Moran's delivery to the Galway net.

Galway were in dire need of inspiration from somewhere to stay in the title race, but none was forthcoming simply because Limerick were totally dominant. The westerners' tale of woe was compounded when John P O'Connell received a straight red card in the 50th minute for careless use of the hurley and there was simply no way back for the Tribesmen.

The remaining minutes were played out with Limerick knocking over points with monotonous regularity before the final whistle set in train incredible scenes of jubilation as supporters came from every corner of the ground to claim their heroes.

Scorers for Limerick: A O'Shaughnessy 2-2; M Keane 1-6 (0-5 frees); P Kirby 0-3 (0-2 frees); J O'Brien, P Lawlor (0-1 free) 0-2 each; C Fitzgerald, D Reale 0-1 each.

Galway: G Farragher 0-5 (0-4 frees); R Murray 0-2; JP O'Connell 0-1.

LIMERICK: T Houlihan; D Reale, E Mulcahy, M Cahill; E Foley, P O'Dwyer, M O'Brien; P Lawlor, N Moran; C Fitzgerald, J O'Brien, K Tobin; A O'Shaughnessy, P Kirby, M Keane; Subs: P Tobin for Fitzgerald; B Carroll for O'Dwyer; R Hayes for O'Brien.

GALWAY: A Diviney; B Mahony, S Kavanagh, J Culkin; F Moore, C Dervan, D Forde; T Óg Regan, G Farragher; R Murray, M Coughlan, K Brady; D Hayes, A Cullinane, D Green. Subs: JP O'Connell for Regan; MJ Quinn for Coughlan; K Burke for Green.

Referee: D Murphy (Wexford).

 

U21 hurling final: Ruthless Limerick crush Galway to claim third title

Patrick Kirby

By Brendan Larkin
Limerick 3-17 Galway 0-8
IT won’t rank as one of the best games in this year’s championship, but the manner in which Limerick steamrolled over Galway to claim an historic third All-Ireland under-21 hurling title in a row at Semple Stadium yesterday, will be talked about long after this one sided final becomes a distant memory.

Limerick were simply awesome in their application, and with ruthless efficiency completely overwhelmed a Galway side that went into the game with a team chosen from two minor All-Ireland minor squads.

What a way for their coach David Keane and his backroom team of David Punch, John Meskell and trainer Pat O'Callaghan to bow out as they move up to take control of the senior team. And while Keane was at pains to stress there are no guarantees, expectations will be great on Shannonside in the next year or two that the Liam McCarthy Cup can be brought back to Limerick for the first time in 30 years.

Never in their wildest dreams could the Limerick supporters in a attendance of 24,106 have envisaged winning a third All-Ireland title on the trot so easily and in such convincing fashion.

From the first whistle to the last, everything went right for the champions and they were never in any danger of losing this final.

It was a disappointing match, but only from the point of view that another classic final was expected from two teams with outstanding credentials. The game had to be put back 15 minutes to allow the crowd in, but once it finally got underway there was only one team in it as Galway flopped completely

Only Richie Murray can take anything from an All-Ireland final best forgotten by the westerners.

From the throw-in, Limerick hummed like a well oiled machine and after Mark Keane pointed the way with the opening score in the first minute, there was never any doubt about the outcome as the champions produced, arguably their best performance of the three years.

Limerick hurled with supreme confidence and self-belief, born out of the successes of the previous two campaigns. From goalkeeper Timmy Houlihan who, along with seven others, were winning their third medal, to corner-forward Andrew O'Shaughnessy who was winning his second, there wasn't a flaw in the Shannonsiders' performance. They rubbished the notion that you have to be successful at minor level in order to do well in the higher grade.

It would be hard to pick a man of the match if there had been one but the display of full back Eugene Mulcahy, another of the three in a row brigade, was exceptional. He was never beaten and must be one of several of this team who will graduate onto the senior team in the coming year.

However he would get a great run for that award from James O'Brien at centre-forward and Andrew O'Shaughnessy at right corner-forward. Both were superb in a Limerick attack that gave the highly-rated Galway defence a torrid time all afternoon.

The under-21 grade has been very unkind to Galway in recent years. Since 1997 and including 2002, they have lost five finals plus a semi, and while they had high hopes this year of breaking their duck, they can have few complaints on this occasion as they ran up against a Limerick side that was finely tuned to the last and hell-bent on creating their own bit of history.

Limerick's pace and skill had Galway in trouble in every sector of the field and this was graphically illustrated in the 10th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy won a ball that didn't look to be his, showed a clean pair of heels to his marker, before blasting an unstoppable shot to the net to give his side a 1-3 to 0-2 lead.

Even though it was early in the game, the signs looked ominous for Galway as Limerick proceeded to run riot, scoring freely, and it got worse for the Connacht side in the 20th minute when Mark Keane was on hand to drive home the rebound after Aidan Diviney had denied Patrick Kirby with an excellent save.

Galway attempted to try and remedy their midfield problems where Ger Farragher and Tony O'g Regan were no match for Limerick's Peter Lawlor and Niall Moran, by bringing in John Paul O'Connell for Regan, but it mattered little as the points continued to flow. At the break the champions led 2-10 to 0-4, and the winning post was well in sight.

A yellow card for their captain Damien Hayes before the restart for an off the ball incident as players retired at the break, did little to help Galway's cause, and the second half became something of a training session as Limerick tightened their grip even further on their title with a third goal in the 34th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy first-timed Niall Moran's delivery to the Galway net.

Galway were in dire need of inspiration from somewhere to stay in the title race, but none was forthcoming simply because Limerick were totally dominant. The westerners' tale of woe was compounded when John P O'Connell received a straight red card in the 50th minute for careless use of the hurley and there was simply no way back for the Tribesmen.

The remaining minutes were played out with Limerick knocking over points with monotonous regularity before the final whistle set in train incredible scenes of jubilation as supporters came from every corner of the ground to claim their heroes.

Scorers for Limerick: A O'Shaughnessy 2-2; M Keane 1-6 (0-5 frees); P Kirby 0-3 (0-2 frees); J O'Brien, P Lawlor (0-1 free) 0-2 each; C Fitzgerald, D Reale 0-1 each.

Galway: G Farragher 0-5 (0-4 frees); R Murray 0-2; JP O'Connell 0-1.

LIMERICK: T Houlihan; D Reale, E Mulcahy, M Cahill; E Foley, P O'Dwyer, M O'Brien; P Lawlor, N Moran; C Fitzgerald, J O'Brien, K Tobin; A O'Shaughnessy, P Kirby, M Keane; Subs: P Tobin for Fitzgerald; B Carroll for O'Dwyer; R Hayes for O'Brien.

GALWAY: A Diviney; B Mahony, S Kavanagh, J Culkin; F Moore, C Dervan, D Forde; T Óg Regan, G Farragher; R Murray, M Coughlan, K Brady; D Hayes, A Cullinane, D Green. Subs: JP O'Connell for Regan; MJ Quinn for Coughlan; K Burke for Green.

Referee: D Murphy (Wexford).

 

U21 hurling final: Ruthless Limerick crush Galway to claim third title

Patrick Kirby

By Brendan Larkin
Limerick 3-17 Galway 0-8
IT won’t rank as one of the best games in this year’s championship, but the manner in which Limerick steamrolled over Galway to claim an historic third All-Ireland under-21 hurling title in a row at Semple Stadium yesterday, will be talked about long after this one sided final becomes a distant memory.

Limerick were simply awesome in their application, and with ruthless efficiency completely overwhelmed a Galway side that went into the game with a team chosen from two minor All-Ireland minor squads.

What a way for their coach David Keane and his backroom team of David Punch, John Meskell and trainer Pat O'Callaghan to bow out as they move up to take control of the senior team. And while Keane was at pains to stress there are no guarantees, expectations will be great on Shannonside in the next year or two that the Liam McCarthy Cup can be brought back to Limerick for the first time in 30 years.

Never in their wildest dreams could the Limerick supporters in a attendance of 24,106 have envisaged winning a third All-Ireland title on the trot so easily and in such convincing fashion.

From the first whistle to the last, everything went right for the champions and they were never in any danger of losing this final.

It was a disappointing match, but only from the point of view that another classic final was expected from two teams with outstanding credentials. The game had to be put back 15 minutes to allow the crowd in, but once it finally got underway there was only one team in it as Galway flopped completely

Only Richie Murray can take anything from an All-Ireland final best forgotten by the westerners.

From the throw-in, Limerick hummed like a well oiled machine and after Mark Keane pointed the way with the opening score in the first minute, there was never any doubt about the outcome as the champions produced, arguably their best performance of the three years.

Limerick hurled with supreme confidence and self-belief, born out of the successes of the previous two campaigns. From goalkeeper Timmy Houlihan who, along with seven others, were winning their third medal, to corner-forward Andrew O'Shaughnessy who was winning his second, there wasn't a flaw in the Shannonsiders' performance. They rubbished the notion that you have to be successful at minor level in order to do well in the higher grade.

It would be hard to pick a man of the match if there had been one but the display of full back Eugene Mulcahy, another of the three in a row brigade, was exceptional. He was never beaten and must be one of several of this team who will graduate onto the senior team in the coming year.

However he would get a great run for that award from James O'Brien at centre-forward and Andrew O'Shaughnessy at right corner-forward. Both were superb in a Limerick attack that gave the highly-rated Galway defence a torrid time all afternoon.

The under-21 grade has been very unkind to Galway in recent years. Since 1997 and including 2002, they have lost five finals plus a semi, and while they had high hopes this year of breaking their duck, they can have few complaints on this occasion as they ran up against a Limerick side that was finely tuned to the last and hell-bent on creating their own bit of history.

Limerick's pace and skill had Galway in trouble in every sector of the field and this was graphically illustrated in the 10th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy won a ball that didn't look to be his, showed a clean pair of heels to his marker, before blasting an unstoppable shot to the net to give his side a 1-3 to 0-2 lead.

Even though it was early in the game, the signs looked ominous for Galway as Limerick proceeded to run riot, scoring freely, and it got worse for the Connacht side in the 20th minute when Mark Keane was on hand to drive home the rebound after Aidan Diviney had denied Patrick Kirby with an excellent save.

Galway attempted to try and remedy their midfield problems where Ger Farragher and Tony O'g Regan were no match for Limerick's Peter Lawlor and Niall Moran, by bringing in John Paul O'Connell for Regan, but it mattered little as the points continued to flow. At the break the champions led 2-10 to 0-4, and the winning post was well in sight.

A yellow card for their captain Damien Hayes before the restart for an off the ball incident as players retired at the break, did little to help Galway's cause, and the second half became something of a training session as Limerick tightened their grip even further on their title with a third goal in the 34th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy first-timed Niall Moran's delivery to the Galway net.

Galway were in dire need of inspiration from somewhere to stay in the title race, but none was forthcoming simply because Limerick were totally dominant. The westerners' tale of woe was compounded when John P O'Connell received a straight red card in the 50th minute for careless use of the hurley and there was simply no way back for the Tribesmen.

The remaining minutes were played out with Limerick knocking over points with monotonous regularity before the final whistle set in train incredible scenes of jubilation as supporters came from every corner of the ground to claim their heroes.

Scorers for Limerick: A O'Shaughnessy 2-2; M Keane 1-6 (0-5 frees); P Kirby 0-3 (0-2 frees); J O'Brien, P Lawlor (0-1 free) 0-2 each; C Fitzgerald, D Reale 0-1 each.

Galway: G Farragher 0-5 (0-4 frees); R Murray 0-2; JP O'Connell 0-1.

LIMERICK: T Houlihan; D Reale, E Mulcahy, M Cahill; E Foley, P O'Dwyer, M O'Brien; P Lawlor, N Moran; C Fitzgerald, J O'Brien, K Tobin; A O'Shaughnessy, P Kirby, M Keane; Subs: P Tobin for Fitzgerald; B Carroll for O'Dwyer; R Hayes for O'Brien.

GALWAY: A Diviney; B Mahony, S Kavanagh, J Culkin; F Moore, C Dervan, D Forde; T Óg Regan, G Farragher; R Murray, M Coughlan, K Brady; D Hayes, A Cullinane, D Green. Subs: JP O'Connell for Regan; MJ Quinn for Coughlan; K Burke for Green.

Referee: D Murphy (Wexford).

 

U21 hurling final: Ruthless Limerick crush Galway to claim third title

Patrick Kirby

By Brendan Larkin
Limerick 3-17 Galway 0-8
IT won’t rank as one of the best games in this year’s championship, but the manner in which Limerick steamrolled over Galway to claim an historic third All-Ireland under-21 hurling title in a row at Semple Stadium yesterday, will be talked about long after this one sided final becomes a distant memory.

Limerick were simply awesome in their application, and with ruthless efficiency completely overwhelmed a Galway side that went into the game with a team chosen from two minor All-Ireland minor squads.

What a way for their coach David Keane and his backroom team of David Punch, John Meskell and trainer Pat O'Callaghan to bow out as they move up to take control of the senior team. And while Keane was at pains to stress there are no guarantees, expectations will be great on Shannonside in the next year or two that the Liam McCarthy Cup can be brought back to Limerick for the first time in 30 years.

Never in their wildest dreams could the Limerick supporters in a attendance of 24,106 have envisaged winning a third All-Ireland title on the trot so easily and in such convincing fashion.

From the first whistle to the last, everything went right for the champions and they were never in any danger of losing this final.

It was a disappointing match, but only from the point of view that another classic final was expected from two teams with outstanding credentials. The game had to be put back 15 minutes to allow the crowd in, but once it finally got underway there was only one team in it as Galway flopped completely

Only Richie Murray can take anything from an All-Ireland final best forgotten by the westerners.

From the throw-in, Limerick hummed like a well oiled machine and after Mark Keane pointed the way with the opening score in the first minute, there was never any doubt about the outcome as the champions produced, arguably their best performance of the three years.

Limerick hurled with supreme confidence and self-belief, born out of the successes of the previous two campaigns. From goalkeeper Timmy Houlihan who, along with seven others, were winning their third medal, to corner-forward Andrew O'Shaughnessy who was winning his second, there wasn't a flaw in the Shannonsiders' performance. They rubbished the notion that you have to be successful at minor level in order to do well in the higher grade.

It would be hard to pick a man of the match if there had been one but the display of full back Eugene Mulcahy, another of the three in a row brigade, was exceptional. He was never beaten and must be one of several of this team who will graduate onto the senior team in the coming year.

However he would get a great run for that award from James O'Brien at centre-forward and Andrew O'Shaughnessy at right corner-forward. Both were superb in a Limerick attack that gave the highly-rated Galway defence a torrid time all afternoon.

The under-21 grade has been very unkind to Galway in recent years. Since 1997 and including 2002, they have lost five finals plus a semi, and while they had high hopes this year of breaking their duck, they can have few complaints on this occasion as they ran up against a Limerick side that was finely tuned to the last and hell-bent on creating their own bit of history.

Limerick's pace and skill had Galway in trouble in every sector of the field and this was graphically illustrated in the 10th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy won a ball that didn't look to be his, showed a clean pair of heels to his marker, before blasting an unstoppable shot to the net to give his side a 1-3 to 0-2 lead.

Even though it was early in the game, the signs looked ominous for Galway as Limerick proceeded to run riot, scoring freely, and it got worse for the Connacht side in the 20th minute when Mark Keane was on hand to drive home the rebound after Aidan Diviney had denied Patrick Kirby with an excellent save.

Galway attempted to try and remedy their midfield problems where Ger Farragher and Tony O'g Regan were no match for Limerick's Peter Lawlor and Niall Moran, by bringing in John Paul O'Connell for Regan, but it mattered little as the points continued to flow. At the break the champions led 2-10 to 0-4, and the winning post was well in sight.

A yellow card for their captain Damien Hayes before the restart for an off the ball incident as players retired at the break, did little to help Galway's cause, and the second half became something of a training session as Limerick tightened their grip even further on their title with a third goal in the 34th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy first-timed Niall Moran's delivery to the Galway net.

Galway were in dire need of inspiration from somewhere to stay in the title race, but none was forthcoming simply because Limerick were totally dominant. The westerners' tale of woe was compounded when John P O'Connell received a straight red card in the 50th minute for careless use of the hurley and there was simply no way back for the Tribesmen.

The remaining minutes were played out with Limerick knocking over points with monotonous regularity before the final whistle set in train incredible scenes of jubilation as supporters came from every corner of the ground to claim their heroes.

Scorers for Limerick: A O'Shaughnessy 2-2; M Keane 1-6 (0-5 frees); P Kirby 0-3 (0-2 frees); J O'Brien, P Lawlor (0-1 free) 0-2 each; C Fitzgerald, D Reale 0-1 each.

Galway: G Farragher 0-5 (0-4 frees); R Murray 0-2; JP O'Connell 0-1.

LIMERICK: T Houlihan; D Reale, E Mulcahy, M Cahill; E Foley, P O'Dwyer, M O'Brien; P Lawlor, N Moran; C Fitzgerald, J O'Brien, K Tobin; A O'Shaughnessy, P Kirby, M Keane; Subs: P Tobin for Fitzgerald; B Carroll for O'Dwyer; R Hayes for O'Brien.

GALWAY: A Diviney; B Mahony, S Kavanagh, J Culkin; F Moore, C Dervan, D Forde; T Óg Regan, G Farragher; R Murray, M Coughlan, K Brady; D Hayes, A Cullinane, D Green. Subs: JP O'Connell for Regan; MJ Quinn for Coughlan; K Burke for Green.

Referee: D Murphy (Wexford).

 

U21 hurling final: Ruthless Limerick crush Galway to claim third title

Patrick Kirby

By Brendan Larkin
Limerick 3-17 Galway 0-8
IT won’t rank as one of the best games in this year’s championship, but the manner in which Limerick steamrolled over Galway to claim an historic third All-Ireland under-21 hurling title in a row at Semple Stadium yesterday, will be talked about long after this one sided final becomes a distant memory.

Limerick were simply awesome in their application, and with ruthless efficiency completely overwhelmed a Galway side that went into the game with a team chosen from two minor All-Ireland minor squads.

What a way for their coach David Keane and his backroom team of David Punch, John Meskell and trainer Pat O'Callaghan to bow out as they move up to take control of the senior team. And while Keane was at pains to stress there are no guarantees, expectations will be great on Shannonside in the next year or two that the Liam McCarthy Cup can be brought back to Limerick for the first time in 30 years.

Never in their wildest dreams could the Limerick supporters in a attendance of 24,106 have envisaged winning a third All-Ireland title on the trot so easily and in such convincing fashion.

From the first whistle to the last, everything went right for the champions and they were never in any danger of losing this final.

It was a disappointing match, but only from the point of view that another classic final was expected from two teams with outstanding credentials. The game had to be put back 15 minutes to allow the crowd in, but once it finally got underway there was only one team in it as Galway flopped completely

Only Richie Murray can take anything from an All-Ireland final best forgotten by the westerners.

From the throw-in, Limerick hummed like a well oiled machine and after Mark Keane pointed the way with the opening score in the first minute, there was never any doubt about the outcome as the champions produced, arguably their best performance of the three years.

Limerick hurled with supreme confidence and self-belief, born out of the successes of the previous two campaigns. From goalkeeper Timmy Houlihan who, along with seven others, were winning their third medal, to corner-forward Andrew O'Shaughnessy who was winning his second, there wasn't a flaw in the Shannonsiders' performance. They rubbished the notion that you have to be successful at minor level in order to do well in the higher grade.

It would be hard to pick a man of the match if there had been one but the display of full back Eugene Mulcahy, another of the three in a row brigade, was exceptional. He was never beaten and must be one of several of this team who will graduate onto the senior team in the coming year.

However he would get a great run for that award from James O'Brien at centre-forward and Andrew O'Shaughnessy at right corner-forward. Both were superb in a Limerick attack that gave the highly-rated Galway defence a torrid time all afternoon.

The under-21 grade has been very unkind to Galway in recent years. Since 1997 and including 2002, they have lost five finals plus a semi, and while they had high hopes this year of breaking their duck, they can have few complaints on this occasion as they ran up against a Limerick side that was finely tuned to the last and hell-bent on creating their own bit of history.

Limerick's pace and skill had Galway in trouble in every sector of the field and this was graphically illustrated in the 10th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy won a ball that didn't look to be his, showed a clean pair of heels to his marker, before blasting an unstoppable shot to the net to give his side a 1-3 to 0-2 lead.

Even though it was early in the game, the signs looked ominous for Galway as Limerick proceeded to run riot, scoring freely, and it got worse for the Connacht side in the 20th minute when Mark Keane was on hand to drive home the rebound after Aidan Diviney had denied Patrick Kirby with an excellent save.

Galway attempted to try and remedy their midfield problems where Ger Farragher and Tony O'g Regan were no match for Limerick's Peter Lawlor and Niall Moran, by bringing in John Paul O'Connell for Regan, but it mattered little as the points continued to flow. At the break the champions led 2-10 to 0-4, and the winning post was well in sight.

A yellow card for their captain Damien Hayes before the restart for an off the ball incident as players retired at the break, did little to help Galway's cause, and the second half became something of a training session as Limerick tightened their grip even further on their title with a third goal in the 34th minute when Andrew O'Shaughnessy first-timed Niall Moran's delivery to the Galway net.

Galway were in dire need of inspiration from somewhere to stay in the title race, but none was forthcoming simply because Limerick were totally dominant. The westerners' tale of woe was compounded when John P O'Connell received a straight red card in the 50th minute for careless use of the hurley and there was simply no way back for the Tribesmen.

The remaining minutes were played out with Limerick knocking over points with monotonous regularity before the final whistle set in train incredible scenes of jubilation as supporters came from every corner of the ground to claim their heroes.

Scorers for Limerick: A O'Shaughnessy 2-2; M Keane 1-6 (0-5 frees); P Kirby 0-3 (0-2 frees); J O'Brien, P Lawlor (0-1 free) 0-2 each; C Fitzgerald, D Reale 0-1 each.

Galway: G Farragher 0-5 (0-4 frees); R Murray 0-2; JP O'Connell 0-1.

LIMERICK: T Houlihan; D Reale, E Mulcahy, M Cahill; E Foley, P O'Dwyer, M O'Brien; P Lawlor, N Moran; C Fitzgerald, J O'Brien, K Tobin; A O'Shaughnessy, P Kirby, M Keane; Subs: P Tobin for Fitzgerald; B Carroll for O'Dwyer; R Hayes for O'Brien.

GALWAY: A Diviney; B Mahony, S Kavanagh, J Culkin; F Moore, C Dervan, D Forde; T Óg Regan, G Farragher; R Murray, M Coughlan, K Brady; D Hayes, A Cullinane, D Green. Subs: JP O'Connell for Regan; MJ Quinn for Coughlan; K Burke for Green.

Referee: D Murphy (Wexford).