Wednesday 22 November 2017

Grealish goal crucial but Lynskey wants improvement

Galway1-14 Limerick 0-13

Limerick’s Michael Mackey is closed down by Galway’s Jack Grealish during their Electric Ireland MHC quarter-final
Limerick’s Michael Mackey is closed down by Galway’s Jack Grealish during their Electric Ireland MHC quarter-final Newsdesk Newsdesk

Galway boss Jeffrey Lynskey is calling for a marked improvement from his players in their Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor hurling semi-final against champions Kilkenny on August 9.

The Westerners did what they had to against Limerick at Semple Stadium yesterday but Lynskey reckons his young guns will have to up it "by at least ten per cent" at GAA HQ.

He said: "We're in the semi-final now we need to up it another ten per cent at least.

"Any day you take on a Kilkenny jersey is enjoyable. They're the benchmark for all of us."

But Galway's rate of progress under Lynskey is impressive, as he explained that this victory bucked the trend of recent clashes between the counties in the underage grades.

He said: "I had those lads since they were U-16,"

"We played Limerick at U-16 level and they beat us by 22 points.

"At U-17 it was 12 points so in three years there's progress and development in them.

"A good bunch of lads, they worked very hard.

"The work rate was huge. We're coaching the boys that and the team played well and kicked in when the pressure came on."

Evan Niland, despite hitting four wides, was the star turn and Jack Grealish scored the crucial Galway goal in the 36th minute.

It was a fine solo effort from the midfielder and while Limerick battled gamely to the finish, getting back to within three points in the final minute, sub Cianan Fahy slotted over the insurance score.

In greasy conditions, and despite playing against the breeze in the first half, Limerick were just a point behind at half-time, 0-8 to 0-9.

The Shannonsiders got off to a difficult start, falling four points behind before registering their opening score in the ninth minute, with Cian Magner-Flynn on target.

Niland was Galway's main scoring threat, however, and after Limerick had worked themselves back into contention, 0-4 to 0-5 behind, four unanswered points had Galway 0-9 to 0-4 clear.

Niland hit three of those, including two from placed balls, but Limerick's response was impressive before half-time.

The Treaty boys landed four successive points themselves, with their final score before half-time courtesy of goalkeeper Eoghan McNamara's booming long-range free.

All-Ireland MHC quarter-final

Scorers - Galway: E Niland 0-9 (5f, 2 '65s), J Grealish 1-0, B Concannon, T Monaghan, F Burke, M Lynch & C Fahy 0-1 each. Limerick: P Casey 0-5 (4f), C Magner-Flynn & E McNamara (1f, 1 65) 0-2 each, O O'Reilly, K Hayes, B Murphy & M Mackey 0-1 each.

GALWAY - D Gilligan; S Bannon, J Fitzpatrick, K O'Connor, C Mulry, I O'Brien, A Greaney; J Grealish, J Coyne; B Concannon, T Monaghan, F Burke; M Lynch, E Niland, S Loftus. Subs: C Fahy for Coyne (46), L Forde for Lynch (55), P Foley for Burke (60+1).

LIMERICK - E McNamara; O O'Reilly, C McSweeney, J O'Grady; C Byrnes, C Houlihan, S Flanagan; T Grimes, D O'Carroll; M Mackey, B Murphy, P Casey; K Hayes, P O'Loughlin, C Magner-Flynn. Subs: C O'Connor for O'Loughlin (38), B McPartland for D Carroll (40), C Carroll for Houlihan (43), C Boylan for Mackey (44), W O'Meara for Magner-Flynn (56), T Hayes for O'Connor (temp 58-60+1).

Ref - T Carroll (Offaly)

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