By Jerome O'Connell © Johnston Press Digital Publishing
THE Ger Hegarty-managed Limerick minor hurling side bid to follow their football counterparts and book a Munster Championship semi-final place this Wednesday evening (6.30pm).
In Fitzgerald Park in Kilmallock, Kerry will provide the opposition as Limerick seek to play either Cork or Tipperary in the provincial semi-final on June 24.
If Limerick suffer a shock defeat they would be back in action on Saturday, May 1 against Clare or Waterford.
Already the Limerick minor footballers have advanced to a semi-final in Newcastle West on May 12 against Kerry.
This Wednesday night, the minor hurlers will bid to prolong Limerick GAA's winning streak after the county senior footballers claimed the National Football League Division Four title on Saturday in Croke Park.
"We have never spoken beyond Kerry because we are expecting a tough challenge.
"We know that we will only be judged against Cork or Tipperary, but we know that we face a real challenge against Kerry. They are going to be formidable opponents," explained minor hurling manager Ger Hegarty of Wednesday night's provincial quarter-final.
"Limerick hurling is in a low place and in need of a big lift," acknowledged the minor manager.
"Last year we had victory against Waterford, but then it was snatched from our jaws.
"Lady luck really hasn't shone on Limerick hurling in recent years," remarked Hegarty.
Harty Cup champions Ardscoil Ris provide eight of the 30-man Limerick minor hurling panel - Alan Dempsey, Shane Dowling, Ciaran Keogh, Mark Ryan, Declan Hannon, John Fitzgibbon, Brendan O'Connor and Mark Carmody.
Three of the Ardscoil Ris contingent - Hannon, Dowling and Fitzgibbon, join Thomas Ryan and Stephen Foley as survivors from last season's minor panel.
Last season Limerick lost to Tipperary and Waterford.
Ger Hegarty remains as manager and he is joined by Brian Begley (Mungret), Paul Finn (Bruff) and George Lee (Ahane).
"Ardscoil were marvellous and it helped us with our preparations and I stayed in touch with Derek Larkin," explained Ger Hegarty.
"What we are all about is building a Limerick team for the future and we need more schools winning. Winning is a habit and breaths confidence," he said.
Limerick panel: Alan Dempsey, Shane Dowling, Ciaran Keogh, Mark Ryan (all Na Piarsaigh), William Hickey, Patrick Carroll, Michael Ryan, Thomas Ryan (all South Liberties), Eoin Webb, Jake Mulcahy, Kevin O'Donnell, Mark O'Loughlin (all Kilmallock), Declan Hannon, John Fitzgibbon (both Adare), Barry Neville, Dan Morrissey, Richard Ryan (all Ahane), Stephen Foley, Brendan O'Connor (both Croagh-Kilfinny), David Reidy, Chris O'Riordan (both Dromin-Athlacca), Brian Hannigan (Feenagh-Kilmeedy), Mark O'Connell (Glenroe), Mike Fitzgibbon (Feohanagh-Castlemahon), Brian Murphy (Fedamore), Jack Aherne (Kileedy), Mark Carmody (Patrickswell), Conor Sheehan (Cappamore), David Murphy (Kilteely-Dromkeen), Liam Ryan (Doon).
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