Friday 15 December 2017

Model and Tribesmen to book U-21 final date

Galway's Jason Flynn
Galway's Jason Flynn

Cyril Farrell

I'm looking forward to heading for Thurles today for the All-Ireland U-21 semi-finals, which are always something to relish after the excitement on the senior stage.

It's safe to assume that Wexford, who are 1/100 to beat Antrim, won't be caught out like they were a few years ago.

They will definitely reach the final. Hopefully, Antrim will be competitive at a time when the county's hurling stock is pretty low.

It's sad to see Antrim seniors in such a bad state and I really do think that it's an issue that needs to be addressed by Croke Park and the Ulster Council, as well as Antrim itself.

Antrim has always been a proud hurling stronghold and every effort must be made to ensure that it doesn't become a stony field.

There are no such concerns in Galway and Limerick, as will be evident from this evening's clash.

As ever, Galway go the semi-final untested, whereas Limerick won a high-quality Munster campaign.

Still, they will start as marginal outsiders against a Galway team that has the attacking power of Cathal Mannion, Jason Flynn and Conor Whelan.

Mind you, Limerick's Cian Lynch is a very impressive performer too. It should be an intriguing clash, with Galway nudging into the final.

If Thurles is the centre of the action for young stars today, several pitches across Tipperary will host even younger talent next Saturday for an All-Ireland U-16 tournament, which will feature 14 counties.

Still on Tipperary, I'm looking forward to reading 'The Boy Wonder of Hurling' - the story of the late, great Jimmy Doyle, which was launched this week. It's fitting that the memory of his special exploits should be committed to print.

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