Déise Dig Deep Again

Waterford manager Derek Lyons instructing son Darragh during Sunday’s drama at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Waterford manager Derek Lyons instructing son Darragh during Sunday’s drama at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Waterford – 2-17
Limerick – 3-14

For the second year running Waterford and Limerick must meet gain to decide the destination of this year’s Munster Minor Hurling title after an exhilarating draw at Páirc Uí Chaoimh before an attendance of 36,075 on Sunday last.

It took a barnstorming finish by Waterford over the final 10 minutes when they scored 2-1 without reply to take the tie to a replay to be played on Tuesday next, July 22nd in Thurles at 7pm.

In a reverse of last year’s drawn final it was Limerick that held a seven-point lead heading into the closing stages but a goal from full-forward Cormac Curran and a pointed free from Shane Bennett left just three points between the sides as the game entered injury time.

Then just moments after being introduced team captain Shane Ryan hit the equalising goal to complete the most dramatic of comebacks.

Reigning champions Limerick began the brighter and led 0-6 to 0-3 after 10 minutes with their half-forward line causing all sorts of problems for the Déise defence.

A minute later, goalkeeper Billy Nolan pulled off a fine save from Limerick’s Tom Morrissey to keep Waterford within touching distance.

On 14 minutes, Barry Nash won possession direct from a puck-out and proceeded to solo through the heart of the Waterford back line from 45 metres before shooting low past Billy Nolan for the game’s opening goal.

Andy Molumby, importantly and immediately, replied with a point from the puck out for Waterford to leave his side trailing 1-6 to 0-5.

The excellent Ronan Lynch and Patrick Curran exchanged points before Cappoquin’s Molumby had his second point to leave just a goal between the sides, 1-7 to 0-7 after 21 minutes.

A collision between MJ Sutton and Jack Mullaney allowed the Limerick number 14 Tom Morrissey a free run at goal and he found his captain Cian Lynch free on the edge of the square. Once again, Nolan saved only to have the vigilant Tom Morrissey finish the rebound to the net to put the Shannonsiders 2-7 to 0-7 ahead after 22 minutes.

But back came Waterford again, converting five successive points in a row from Patrick Curran (three) and Aaron O’Sullivan (two) before a Ronan Lynch free left Limerick leading 2-8 to 0-12 heading to the break.

Waterford captain Shane Ryan celebrates his dramatic last minute goal which ensured a Munster Minor Hurling Final replay.

Waterford captain Shane Ryan celebrates his dramatic last minute goal which ensured a Munster Minor Hurling Final replay.

On the stroke of half time Darragh Lyons was pulled back in the large parallelogram and referee Damien Fox had no hesitation in awarding a penalty.

However, Shane Bennett’s well struck effort was saved and Patrick Curran’s attempt from the rebound was left and wide.

Two opening second half scores from Peter Hogan and Patrick Curran had Waterford level by the 38th minute 0-14 to 2-8. Ronan Lynch, Peter Casey and Tom Morrissey all scored points to put Limerick back in the ascendancy.

Limerick’s third goal came after 41 minutes when a long delivery by Barry Nash from centre-field was won in the air by full forward Tom Morrissey and the Ahane star hand passed to the inrushing Peter Casey who made no mistake from close range.

A Ronan Lynch free put Limerick 3-12 to 0-14 in front after 43 minutes, and things were looking ominous for Waterford at that stage.

Shane Bennett again opted to shoot for a goal from another 20m free but Limerick goalkeeper Eoghan McNamara saved comfortably. Bennett soon after cut a beautiful line ball over the bar from 45 metres to reduce the arrears to six points.

Limerick substitute Edward Doyle pointed from close in to push his sides lead out to seven points once more after 45 minutes.

A Patrick Curran free and a second point from Limerick half forward Seamus Flanagan left the champions leading 3-14 to 0-16 with just 10 minutes remaining.

Seconds later a high ball to the Limerick square was gathered by the gargantuan Cormac Curran and the big man duly goaled to give belief to his side.

Shane Bennett took over the free taking duties for the injured Patrick Curran and hit a fine point in front of the uncovered stand from the 21-metre line with time running out.

The drama was not yet done with, as another high delivery broke from Cormac Curran’s grasp only for substitute Shane Ryan to seize on the loose ball and send his angled shot to the back of the Limerick net and to send the tie to a replay.

Manager Derek Lyons heralded his side’s honesty in a battling performance and promised a more organised team structure for next Tuesday’s replay.

Michael Cronin had a fine game in defence for Waterford and a strong closing quarter from Colm Roche at number six assisted greatly in the comeback.

Andy Molumby did Trojan work at centre field and in attack. Cormac Curran caused all sorts of problems for Limerick at full-forward and his goal got Waterford back into the game.

Shane Bennett, Peter Hogan, Aaron O’Sullivan and Patrick Curran all played well and got on the score sheet with team captain Shane Ryan playing the super sub role this time round.

Limerick will be disappointed to let a winning position slip but had fine performances from Ronan Lynch, Barry Nash, Tom Morrissey and Peter Casey.

WATERFORD: Billy Nolan, David Prendergast, M.J. Sutton, Michael Cronin, Conor Prunty, Colm Roche, Jack Mullaney, Darragh Lyons, Andy Molumby, Shane Bennett, Conor Gleeson, Peter Hogan, Aaron O’Sullivan, Cormac Curran, Patrick Curran.

SUBSTITUTES: Eddie Meaney for Aaron O’Sullivan (50 mins), Joe Allen for Andy Molumby (54) and Shane Ryan for Patrick Curran (58).

SCORERS: Patrick Curran (0-7; 0-6f), Shane Bennett (0-4; 0-1 f, 0-1 sideline), Shane Ryan and Cormac Curran (1-0 each), Peter Hogan, Andy Molumby and Aaron O’Sullivan (0-2 each).

LIMERICK: Eoghan McNamara, Sean Finn, Paddy O’Loughlin, Jamie Porter, Lorcan Lyons, Colin Ryan, Alan La Touche Cosgrave, Robbie Hanley, Ronan Lynch, Seamus Flanagan, Barry Nash, Cian Lynch, Conor Fitzgerald, Tom Morrissey, Peter Casey.

SUBSTITUTES: Edward Doyle for Conor Fitzgerald (20 mins), Darragh Fanning for Lorcan Lyons (52) and Brian Ryan for Robbie Hanley (55).

SCORERS: Ronan Lynch (0-6; 0-3f), Peter Casey (1-2), Barry Nash and Tom Morrissey (1-1 each), Seamus Flanagan (0-2), Cian Lynch and Edward Doyle (0-1 each).

REFEREE: Damien Fox (Clare).

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