U-21 HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 0-12 Tournafulla/Killeedy 2-7. There was heartbreak for our U-21 hurlers as a last-minute save by the Tournafulla/Killeedy goalkeeper prevented us from taking the win in what was a must-win game. Conditions on Sunday morning weren’t ideal for hurling with a gale-force wind having a huge influence on the game. We had the wind at our backs and did dominate proceedings, although perhaps didn’t make this dominance reflect on the scoreboard as much as we should have. The Tournafulla/Killeedy goalkeeper made some excellent saves in the first half to deny goals for Aaron O’Donovan and Paudi Hartigan. Our full-forward line were causing huge problems for the Tournafulla/Killeedy full-back line, while Darragh O’Brien and James Pomeroy were winning all the breaking ball in the middle of the field. When the likes of Adam Butler and Luke Guinane took on the defence, they also had a lot of joy, and we were winning frees. Aaron O’Donovan opened the scoring with a point from play before he was fouled, and Adam Butler converted the resulting free. A Tournafulla/Killeedy point was then replied to by Aaron, with a huge score which just crept over the bar.

Adam Butler then opened his account from play before Luke Guinane did brilliantly to win the ball and then a free, and Adam was again on target. Aaron O’Donovan was blatantly held back as he turned to race through on goal and referee Mike Mann awarded a free 20 metres out from goal. Adam tapped the ball over the bar but we were unable to get a goal which may have opened up a considerable gap with the Tournafulla/Killeedy goalkeeper in fine form. A point for Tournafulla/Killeedy reduce the gap to four before Shaun Barry set up Adam Butler for another score from play. We were then hit with a sucker punch before the break as Tournafulla/Killeedy raised the first green flag of the afternoon, a huge score considering they were due to play with the wind. We did respond well when Luke Guinane again won a free for Adam to convert, leaving the half-time score: Kildimo/Pallaskenry 0-8 Tournafulla/Killeedy 1-2.

We would have liked to have a bigger lead going into the second half, particularly as the wind picked up again, with the opposition goalkeeper landing puckouts inside our 20-metre line! But our players, to a man, fought like dogs and can be very proud of their display. We did hit the opening score of the half through Adam Butler but we had to work extremely hard to move the ball out of defence against the wind. But Shaun Barry was offering huge protection to the full-back line and emerging with the ball time and time again while the work rate of Jack Mullane, Liam O’Sullivan, Darragh O’Brien and the likes was just massive. Paudi Hartigan and Aaron O’Donovan were also able to use their pace to carry the ball and to link defence and attack. However, a quickfire goal and a point for Tournafulla/Killeedy saw them go level, before hitting the lead point. But we worked our socks off and Paudi Hartigan hit a great score to put us back on level terms. When our opponents edged ahead again, it was James Pomeroy who struck a levelling score. We did brilliantly to keep their score down, even with the massive wind at their back and kept our discipline, not conceding massive frees but they just kept their noses in front before Adam Butler levelled things with a free.

A late free for Tournafulla/Killeedy saw them take a lead into injury time, while we were now reduced to 14 men. Needing a win, we chased a goal in the last minute of stoppage time as Shaun Barry was hauled to ground but Adam Butler’s free was saved and eventually our opponents were able to clear. It was a heartbreaking defeat having put in such a huge effort but the players can take a lot from the defeat, with many of them still underage again next year and have Premier Intermediate, Junior and Minor hurling seasons ahead of them.

Team: James Mason; Jack Mullane, Jai Chaudri, Marc O’Shea; Naoise McGarrigle, Shaun Barry, Liam O’Sullivan; Darragh O’Brien, James Pomeroy (0-1); Luke Guinane, Adam Butler (0-8, 0-5 frees), Matthew Lucey; Jamie Hickey, Aaron O’Donovan (0-2), Paudi Hartigan (0-1)

Sub: Conor Rowley for Jamie Hickey (35 mins)

RYAN CUP: Congratulations to our very own Barry O’Connell who was part of the Garda College team who won the Ryan Cup at the weekend, in what were awful conditions for hurling! They defeated Ulster University by four points in what is the second-tier competition for third-level institutions. It’s yet another medal for the collection for Barry!

LIMERICK U-20 FOOTBALLERS: A huge congratulations to James Pomeroy, who has been included in the finalised Limerick U-20 football panel for the 2020 season! The U-20s open their campaign on Wednesday week, February 19th, at home in the Gaelic Grounds against Tipperary. Best of luck to James and all the rest of the team for the season ahead!

LIMERICK SENIOR FOOTBALLERS: A massive congratulations to Tony McCarthy, John Chawke, Peter Nash and the Limerick senior footballers who made it three wins from three in the National Football League after a one-point victory over Carlow! Away from home, reduced to 14 men, three points down heading into the closing stages; they showed remarkable grit and determination to bag an equalising goal and then a point from the penalty spot deep in stoppage time to claim the victory! They remain unbeaten in competitive fixtures in the 2020 season and we wish them all the very best of luck for the rest of the year!

CLUB LOTTO: This week’s club lotto draw of the year was held in the Seven Sisters. The numbers drawn were 21, 23, 24, 31. There was no winner of the overall draw. The winners of the €25 lucky dips were: 1. David Barry; 2. Tom Cregg; 3. O’Farrell Family; 4. J.H. Roche. The jackpot rises to €4,400 ahead of next week’s draw in the Corner House. Please continue to support our club lotto as the main source of funds for the club and all teams throughout the season!