The Galway minor hurlers advanced to the All-Ireland semi-final when they defeated Limerick in the curtain-raiser at Semple Stadium on Sunday.
Even though it was their first game of the championship Galway displayed a remarkable workrate and some tremendous skill, their first touch was at times a treat to watch.
The young Tribesmen started the game in a blistering fashion – Brian Concannon, Fintan Burke and two points from Evan Niland put Galway into a four-point advantage.
By the end of the opening quarter Limerick trailed by just a single score but Niland was on song from the placed-ball and from play.
The Clarinbridge teenager struck three points in succession and although Limerick replied again, Galway held on to a slender one-point lead at the break as the scoreboard read 0-9 to 0-8.
On the restart Niland added two more frees and five minutes into the second-half, Galway got the score that would give them a valuable cushion.
Jack Grealish was in the right place, collected a neat pass and gave Limerick custodian Eoghan McNamara no chance from close range to push Galway into a 1-11 to 0-8 advantage.
Limerick were playing their fifth championship game and they would never lie down easy. They reduced the deficit to three points with eight minutes left to play.
But another Niland free restored Galway’s four-point lead and time eventually ran out for the Munster men.
Scorers – Galway: E Niland 0-9 (5f, 2 65s), J Grealish 1-0, B Concannon, T Monaghan, F Burke, M Lynch and C Fahy 0-1 each.
Galway: D Gilligan; S Bannon, J Fitzpatrick, K O’Connor, C Mulry, I O’Brien, A Greaney; J Grealish, J Coyne; B Concannon, T Monaghan, F Burke; M Lynch, E Niland, S Loftus.
Subs: C Fahy for Coyne (46), L Forde for Lynch (55), P Foley for Burke (61).