Mullins’ minors look to put final losing streak to bed in Gaelic Grounds

As a curtain-raiser for the Senior final, Limerick will play Clare in this year’s Munster Minor Hurling Final with a 11.30pm throw in.

Limerick will be looking to put an end to their losing streak in the final having lost three of the last four finals in 2015, 2016 and 2018.

Limerick’s last success in the competition came in 2014 when they beat Waterford in Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

Electric Ireland Munster GAA Hurling Minor Championship Final Replay 22/7/2014 Limerick vs Waterford Limerick’s Seamus Flanagan celebrates the final whistle Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

That side was captained by current Hurler of the Year Cian Lynch and contained now fewer than eleven of John Kiely’s current senior squad in Sean Finn, Paddy O’Loughlin, Colin Ryan, Andrew La Touche Cosgrave, Robbie Hanley, Barry Nash, Seamus Flanagan, Peter Casey, Tom Morrissey, Barry Murphy and Lynch.

Limerick won their first title since 1984 the previous year when they were captained by current All-Star Richie English.

Clare are seeking a first triumph at the grade since 2011 when they went back-to-back in the minor competition and were captained by Tony Kelly.

These sides last met in the final back in 1989 when Clare came out on top by a single point, 2-13 to 2-12 in Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

Limerick will be favourites after topping the table undefeated with a brace of wins and draws from their four games.

When these sides met in round 3 in the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick came out on top 0-16 to 0-13 in a close affair.

Electric Ireland Munster GAA Minor Hurling Championship Round 4, Pairc Ui Chaoimh, Cork 8/6/2019 Cork vs Waterford Clare’s Jarlath Collins and Cian Galvin with Cathal O’Neill of Limerick Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Limerick manager Diarmuid Mullins is well aware of the Clare threat having seen it up close and personal in that game.

“That’s the aim but it’s going to be a huge battle. We just need to concentrate on ourselves and express ourselves.”

 “When you’re playing a team for the second time that can be a challenge but isn’t that a great challenge to have so we’ll look forward to it.”

A huge positive heading into the game, one which also translates to John Kiely’s senior side is the progression to the All-Ireland series which is of huge importance at this age according to Mullins.

“The bonus is that we are into the All-Ireland series which means these guys get another six or seven weeks playing before the senior games, getting that exposure which, I think is important.”

As a curtain raiser to the senior final, this minor side will get to experience the emotions of the GAA’s premier provincial championship final up close and personal.

Munster GAA Senior Hurling Championship Round 5, Semple Stadium, Co. Tipperary 16/6/2019 Tipperary vs Limerick Tipperary’s Sean O’Brien tackles Limerick’s Tom Morrissey Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

With Limerick participating in the senior and minor finals at home for the first time since 2013, Mullins says it is key that his side have a team to look up to with the current All-Ireland champions an example to any about the importance of work rate and honesty.

“The difference now is that the young lads in Limerick have a template in the senior team to look at how hard lads work.

We want our lads to try and aspire to that. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but we have a really honest bunch of lads with a lot of skill and if they combine both of them, that’s where you want to go.”

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