All-Ireland U21HC: Gillane points Treaty to second title in three years

09 September 2017

Kilkenny's Michael Cody tackles Aaron Gillane of Limerick.
©INPHO/Cathal Noonan.

Aaron Gillane top scored with seven points as Limerick proved too strong for Kilkenny in today's All-Ireland U21 HC final at Semple Stadium.

The Treaty County ran out deserving winners on a scoreline of 0-17 to 0-11 after withstanding a final quarter rally from the Leinster champions.

Pat Donnelly's charges claimed the scalps of Tipperary, Clare, Cork and Galway en route to today's decider and they finished off the job with a workmanlike display to claim a second national title at this grade in three years.

The writing was on the wall for Eddie Brennan and his Kilkenny team early on as they found themselves 0-1 to 0-7 in arrears at the end of the opening quarter.

The winners took full advantage of the strong wind at their backs and made all the early running.

In front of an attendance of 15,485, they subsequently took an 0-11 to 0-4 advantage in to the break.

'Man-of-the-match' Gillane sent over five points in the opening 30 minutes before Ronan Lynch brought the scoring to a close via a long range free.

Lynch and Peter Casey sent over a brace apiece while Cian Lynch and Barry Nash also got in on the scoring act in that period.

Limerick captain Tom Morrissey lifts the All-Ireland U21HC trophy. ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan.

At the opposite end of the field, Shane Walsh (two frees) accounted for three of the Cats' first-half points tally while Billy Ryan got the other.

An injury doubt coming into the game, Lynch was withdrawn in the 38th minute but it was business as usual for the Munster champions in his absence as Gillane added to his individual tally in the 40th minute.

Full-forward Liam Blanchfield opened the Cats' second-half account in the 43rd minute but they trailed by 0-6 to 0-13 at the three quarter hour mark after Casey and Alan Murphy (free) traded scores.

To their credit, the black and ambers refused to throw in the towel and, with the wind at their backs, did manage to shave the deficit to four points with five minutes left on the clock.

But, as events transpired, further points from Gillane and Oisin O'Reilly nipped Kilkenny's comeback in the bud and the Tom Morrissey captained outfit finished with six points to spare.

Limerick - E McNamara; S Finn, D Fanning, D Joy; R Lynch (0-3f), K Hayes, T Grimes; C Ryan, R Hanley; T Morrissey, B Nash (0-1), C Lynch (0-1); P Casey (0-3), A Gillane (0-7, 2f), B Murphy. Subs: C Boylan (0-1) for C Lynch, A La Touche Cosgrave for T Morrissey, O O’Reilly (0-1) for B Murphy, L Lyons for B Nash.

Kilkenny - D Brennan; M Cody, C Delaney, N McMahon; H Lawlor, J Cleere, T Walsh; L Scanlon, R Leahy; B Ryan (0-1), S Morrissey, L Blanchfield (0-1); J Walsh, J Donnelly (0-1), S Walsh (0-3, 2f). Subs: A Murphy (0-5, 4f, 1'65) for S Morrissey, P Lyng for J Walsh, E Kenny for S Walsh, M Keoghan for B Ryan, D Mullen for R Leahy.

Referee - P O’Dwyer.