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Rejuvenated Kilkenny Minors Roll Into Semi-Final At Expense Of Limerick

Rejuvenated Kilkenny Minors Roll Into Semi-Final At Expense Of Limerick
By Arthur James O'Dea Updated

Putting last weekend's disappointing defeat to Galway behind them, the Kilkenny minors demonstrated just what they could do with a 3-22 to 1-12 defeat of Limerick in Thurles on Saturday.

Joining the young Tribesmen in the Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Championship semi-final, Kilkenny will now play Tipperary for a place in their first final since 2014; while Galway take on Dublin in the alternate fixture.

Resounding winners in the end, Kilkenny's victory had scarcely seemed assured throughout. Approaching the half-way mark, both the Cats and Limerick were deadlocked at 0-8 apiece. However, in a blistering few minutes, Kilkenny racked up an unanswered 1-3 and never looked back.

When the teams emerged for the second-half, Kilkenny tacked on another 0-5 without reply, and Limerick's year was done.

Here are your nominees for the Electric Ireland Player of the Week (as selected by the people of Ireland on Electric Ireland's Facebook page)

Jack Morrissey (Kilkenny)

The young man who grabbed Kilkenny's vital first-half goal, Jack Morrissey's tally of 2-1 helped put a gloss on his side's convincing Electric Ireland Minor Hurling Championship quarter-final win. When his second goal was scored almost 15 minutes from time, the damage had been well and truly done.

Having been held scoreless in the earlier defeat to Galway, the St. Patrick's man took both goal chances with incredible aplomb. From a tight angle, he rifled home his first to give Kilkenny a 1-11 to 0-8 lead. In the second-half, another fierce effort left Bryan Heavey with no chance in the Limerick goal.

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Looking ahead to their semi-final clash with Tipperary, Jack Morrissey will know such shooting will be required against a team that doesn't give too much away.

Conor Kelly (Kilkenny)

Yet another exquisite example of his deadly efficiency over a dead-ball, Conor Kelly notched up 0-8 in frees as Kilkenny booked their place in an All-Ireland semi-final.

Taking his tally for this year's Electric Ireland Minor Hurling Championship to 2-72, the O’Loughlin Gaels man has been instrumental in Kilkenny's run thus far.

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Directing proceedings from the middle of the field, the captain of this minor Kilkenny team will be adamant that his side take their place in an All-Ireland final against Galway or Dublin. Although there remains the small matter of Tipperary in one week's time, Kelly has been exceptional this term and it shows no signs of stopping yet.

Cathal O'Neill (Limerick)

At a certain point in the first-half, Cathal O'Neill's free-taking looked like it might provide a solid enough foundation upon which Limerick may build a serious challenge.

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Grabbing 0-8 of Limerick's 1-12, it is perhaps telling, however, that the Crecora-Manister man was the only player in green to hit more than a solitary score on a frustrating afternoon in Thurles.

Having been a reliable source of scores for Limerick across all seven of their games this year, O'Neill simply didn't appear to have the necessary support against Galway, or Kilkenny this time around.

Although O'Neill and Limerick will have plenty of positives to take from a year that has ended earlier than they would have liked. Garnering plenty of big-game experience, they will be confident of a better showing in 2019.

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Have your say and cast your vote for the player of the week nominees on Electric Ireland's Facebook page by clicking here. All nominated players will be in with a chance of making overall team/player of the year at the 2018 Electric Ireland GAA Minor Star Awards.  


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