Sunday 18 March 2018

Limerick's boy wonder Lynch ready for local derby decider

Limerick's Cian Lynch
Limerick's Cian Lynch

Jackie Cahill

Limerick's boy wonder Cian Lynch admits that the Shannonsiders are going into the lion's den when they face Clare in this evening's Bord Gáis Energy Munster U-21 hurling final at Cusack Park in Ennis (7.0).

Clare are unbeaten in the U-21 grade since 2011 and put a fancied Waterford to the sword at the provincial semi-final stage.

Limerick make the short trip across the border to take on the hosts and Lynch, 19, will be a marked man following his senior exploits this summer.

On his senior championship debut, the Patrickswell dynamo scored 0-3 against Clare and he also whipped home a cracking early goal against Tipperary in the Munster U-21 semi-final.

Lynch has quickly become accustomed to big games and intimidating atmospheres and with 10,000 tickets already sold for the Cusack Park clash, this evening's local derby is another big test.

The 2014 Munster minor-winning captain said: "The stadium is close enough to the field so they nearly hit every ball with you.

"To have home advantage is massive for them.

"Every team would love to play a Munster final on their home ground."


Lynch's exploits in the senior championship clash between the counties will ensure that he will come in for some special attention in the U-21 grade.

But he shrugged: "Don't mind that, that was a totally different story. U-21s are totally different to seniors. That game is a thing of the past.

"We will move on and worry about Thursday. Three years ago we played them in the Munster minor semi-final.

"That game went to extra-time, but they beat us well."

At schools level, Lynch captured a Harty Cup medal with Ardscoil Rís in 2014 in a team that also featured Ian Galvin, who was superb for Clare in their semi-final victory over Waterford.

And Lynch acknowledged: "You would develop a bond when on the same team together so it will be weird playing against a good friend, a lad you kind of grew up with.

"It has happened down the years. Ardscoil has been a school that has had Clare and Limerick hurlers in the past come through and players are used to playing against each other. The school has come on leaps and bounds over the last couple of years.

"When I came in, in first year, it was kind of starting off, Ardscoil Rís was looking for hurlers to come into the school,2 Lynch said. "We won White Cups, Rice Cups, Dean Ryan Cups and Harty Cups."

Clare v Limerick,

Live, TG4, 7.0

Irish Independent

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