Lively Cian Lynch will be lurking for lucky breaks in U21 final

Dictaphones switched off, Cian Lynch stands up from the huddle of print journalists he’s spent the past nine minutes entertaining.

Lively Cian Lynch will be lurking for lucky breaks in U21 final

“I’ll never get used of that,” quips the 19-year old.

Maybe so, but he’s had little option but to adapt to the increased attention from inside the whitewash this summer.

In Limerick’s opening championship bout back in late May, Lynch operated with the untamed coltish brilliance that is almost solely associated with the boldness of youth. His senior championship debut would end with three points from open play and the man-of-the-match award.

Quite the arrival.

In a sold-out Cusack Park this evening, the Patrickswell teenager will renew acquaintances with the saffron and blue.

More special attention?

Don’t mind that [senior game], that was a total different story. U21s is totally different to seniors. That game is a thing of the past,” he shrugs.

Certainly, Lynch can expect to encounter a crowded Clare defence - Donal Moloney’s charges employed the sweeper role to great effect in their unexpected Munster semi-final triumph over Waterford.

“It can be frustrating playing against a defence with a sweeper. As a forward, you want an open game. You want space to run into. But then as a back you want to crowd out the space. It works both ways.

“The sweeper system is in now, that is the way the game is going. That is the way you have to play it.

“It is the trend that is being followed. If one team does it in a match, the other team tends to follow.

“When you are a corner-forward, it is about having patience and getting on lucky breaks. Going out to a ball and there is two men from the opposite team, you don’t know if you are going to win it or not. There is a good bit of luck involved.”

Defeat in Ennis this evening would not alone bring the curtain down on Lynch’s inter-county season, it would also bring an end to Limerick’s hurling summer. And this before the July page has been ripped from the calendar.

“The senior was disappointing, the minors went down to Galway last weekend. We kind of focus on our own task at hand. It is U21. It is different to senior, it is different to minor. There are some lads on our team that have played senior, there are some lads that have been called up from the minor. It is a different task. We are trying to keep the tunnel vision.

“Every team wants to be playing right up to September, October, even with your club like. If we were to end our summer before August, it would be weird. The last couple of years with the minors we have went on to August. Hopefully we can keep it going.”

Clare had the better of their neighbours when the two sides clashed in the Munster minor semi-final three ago in Ennis. Bobby Duggan finished the game with 1-12 to his name and still remains their talisman in attack, ably assisted, mind you, by Ian Galvin - the latter hitting six points in the semi-final win over Waterford.

Lynch and Galvin won a Harty Cup together in the colours of Ardscoil Rís last year and the Limerick youngster says it’ll be “weird” lining out against a “good friend.” “You would develop a bond when on the same team together so it will be weird playing against a lad you kind of grew up with. That’s the joys of it.

“Ardscoil Rís started the hurling in Limerick city really. It brought lads together, it brought lads from Clare and Limerick together and they started playing at the top level.

“We won Whyte Cups, Dean Ryan Cups and Harty Cups. It has developed hurlers that might never have got the chance.”

Limerick:

D McCarthy (Glenroe); M O’Callaghan (Knockaderry), R English (Doon), M Casey (Na Piarsaigh); D Byrnes (Patrickswell), B O’Connell (Kildimo Pallaskenry), G Hegarty (St. Patrick’s); D O Donovan (Doon), P Ryan (Doon); R Lynch (Na Piarsaigh), R Hanley (Kilmallock), D Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh); C Ryan (Pallasgreen), T Morrissey (Ahane), C Lynch (Patrickswell).

Clare:

Clare: K Hogan (Clooney Quin); E Quirke (Whitegate), D Fitzgerald (Inagh Kilnamona), S O’Brien (Clonlara); A McGuane (Kilmaley), C Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown Malbay), B O’Gorman (Wolfe Tones Na Sionna); D Conroy (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield), K Hehir (Inagh Kilnamona); B Duggan (Clarecastle), S Gleeson (Cratloe), I Galvin (Clonlara); S Ward (Clarecastle), S O’Donnell (Éire Óg), R Taylor (Clooney Quin).

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up