Home GAA Preview: Thrilling Finals In Store In Electric Ireland Minor Championship

Preview: Thrilling Finals In Store In Electric Ireland Minor Championship

All eyes will be on Croke Park and LIT Gaelic Grounds this weekend as the Electric Ireland GAA Munster and Leinster minor hurling finals get underway. 

Following an impressive campaign, Kilkenny will take on Wexford in the Leinster final while Limerick and Clare will meet in the Munster decider.

The Leinster minor final will be live-streamed on the Electric Ireland website, which you can access here.

Read our preview of both games below.

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Leinster MHC Final – Wexford v Kilkenny, Croke Park, 11.30am

Kilkenny booked their place in the Leinster final following an unbeaten run through the round-robin stages.

The Cats opened their account with a 0-15 to 2-8 win over Dublin in Parnell Park, avenging last year’s provincial final defeat. What followed next was a thrilling encounter with Wexford from which Kilkenny emerged with a one-point victory.

Last year’s All Ireland minor finalists completed their round stages with a comprehensive five-goal victory over Offaly. That result was enough to see Kilkenny safely through to the Leinster semi-final where they recorded a 2-20 to 0-15 win over Kildare.

Wexford, meanwhile, have experienced a mixed campaign with only one win under their belt in the round-robin series, that came against Offaly in the opening round in Bord na Mona O’Connor Park.

Following that loss to Kilkenny, the Model County earned a draw with Dublin to seal their place in the knockout stages. Victories over Laois and Dublin booked them a place in the provincial final.

Kilkenny’s free-taker, Billy Drennan, has been their go-to man in the forward line, scoring 1-31 so far in the campaign but Richie Mulrooney’s team includes threats all across the board including the potent pairing of Jack Doyle and Timmy Clifford.

During their group game, it was a late goal from Doyle that sealed Kilkenny’s victory after Wexford looked the better of the sides in the opening period, only to be reduced to 14-men after 20 minutes, something that had a major bearing on the game.

Wexford have proven themselves more than capable of handling Kilkenny’s main men and have racked up some major scores in the round-robin series with AJ Redmond, Richie Lawlor and Cian Molloy all impressing.

Given the exhibition of hurling we were treated to when these sides met in Enniscorthy, it’s sure to be another epic battle when Wexford and Kilkenny met on Sunday in Croke Park.

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Munster MHC Final – Clare v Limerick, LIT Gaelic Grounds, 11.30am

Last year’s Munster minor finalists Limerick are back in the provincial decider after they topped the group table with two wins and two draws.

Diarmuid Mullins’ side opened the 2019 campaign with a draw to Cork in LIT Gaelic Grounds and their fortunes remained the same the following week with a 0-11 to 0-11 draw against Waterford in Walsh Park.

The Treaty men registered their first win in the competition in the third round against Clare before following that with a comprehensive victory over Tipperary two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Clare were hot on Limerick’s heels in the group table having only missed out on the top spot through scoring difference. They enjoyed a bright start to their campaign with wins over Waterford and Tipperary before falling to that three-point defeat at the hands of Limerick.

The Banner rounded off their campaign with a narrow one-point win over Cork in Cusack Park.

Cathal O’Neill from Crecora Manister has been the star of the show for Limerick with 1-34 to his name so far and he features in a lively half-forward line alongside Patrick Reale and Diarmuid Hegarty, a younger brother of the senior star, Gearoid. Patrick Kirby in midfield along with Adam English at full-forward have also caused defences a number of headaches.

Meanwhile, Clare have enjoyed an array of scorers throughout the campaign with their full-forward line of Conner Hegarty, Diarmaid Cahill and Keith Smyth combining well while Shane Meehan has also proved a major threat.

During their earlier encounter, Clare used captain Cian Galvin in a sweeper role to try and curb the influence of the Limerick forwards and it was effective. Limerick coughed up their early lead as Clare trailed by just one point at the break.

Although Limerick went on to win the game, Clare will know that they have enough in the tank to overcome last year’s minor finalists but with the home support behind them, Limerick will be hoping to win the Munster title for the first time since 2014.

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Brought to you by Electric Ireland

Minor players are embarking on their adult lives. They have hopes, dreams, pressures, distractions and ambitions, but for this one moment in time, the Electric Ireland Minor Championships is the major thing in their lives.

Follow the conversation at #GAAThisIsMajor or be a part of the action; watch a selection of the GAA Minor Hurling & Football matches live, join in the pre game ritual of the Championship Haircut at the provincial finals  or  vote for your Minor Player of the week, with all nominated players  in with a chance of making the Electric Ireland Minor Team of the Year 2019.

Find all information on  https://www.electricireland.ie/gaa-minor-championships.

About Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. She is a former reporter with Sporting Limerick and is a huge fan of the GAA. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter