All-Ireland U21 HC final: Treaty thump Model and take fifth crown

September 12, 2015

Limerick's Cian Lynch and Simon Donohoe of Wexford during the All Ireland U21 HC final at Semple Stadium. INPHO

Limerick are All-Ireland U21 hurling champions for the fifth time after dismantling Wexford at Thurles - 0-26 to 1-7.

A crowd of 18,544 looked on in near-disbelief as the Munster champions dominated the three-in-a-row Leinster kingpins to add to their wins over Tipperary, Clare and Galway and claim the coveted Cross of Cashel Cup for the first time since 2002.

The winners completely controlled the first half and were full value for their seven-point interval advantage, 0-11 to 0-4.

John Kiely's fired-up charges roared out of the blocks to lead by 0-7 to 0-2 at the end of the first quarter.

Midfielder Pat Ryan and Man of the Match Barry Nash pointed for the Treaty County in the third and seventh minutes but those scores were cancelled out by Conor McDonald (free) and Andrew Kenny respectively before Tom Morrissey and Nash made it double scores after nine minutes.

Morrissey clipped over a fine score from out the field and Ronan Lynch had the ball in the Wexford net only for play to be called back for a free-in, which he converted to make it 0-6 to 0-2 after twelve minutes. Ronan Lynch added a monster free from out the pitch as the Munster champions continued to dominate.

Nash stretched the gap on 20 minutes and a McDonald free in the 26th minute represented the Slaneysiders' first score in 18. The same player added another on 28 minutes - play having been called back for a free-in even though Kevin Foley had stroked the sliothar low to the net.

The Munster champions finished the half with a flourish as Ryan, Cian Lynch and Nash all pointed to give them a commanding cushion at the short whistle.

Ryan and Ronan Lynch (free) pointed either side of a Padraig Foley long-range free upon the restart as the gap went to eight. Ronan Lynch added a point from play on 39 minutes and Cathal Dunbar replied, but Lynch hit back from a free to leave nine in it at the three-quarters stage.

After McDonald chipped over a sumptuous sideline cut, Limerick hit back with points from Nash and Morrissey. When McDonald found the net with a spinning shot to give the Slaneysiders a glimmer of hope with nine minutes left, the Treaty lads stepped on the gas to accelerate over the winning line with a run of nine unanswered points.

Cian Lynch (2), substitute Peter Casey (3), Ronan Lynch, captain Diarmuid Byrnes (2) and Morrissey completed the rout on an unforgettable night for the Shanonsiders.

The joy in the winning camp was unbridled when the final whistle sounded; the opposite was the case for Wexford, whose wait for a first national U21 title in 50 years goes on.

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