Timmy Clifford of Kilkenny in action against Colin Coughlan of Limerick during the oneills.com GAA Hurling All-Ireland U20 Championship Final in Thurles. Pic: Piaras O'Midheach/Sportsfile
Kilkenny claimed their first All-Ireland Under 20 hurling title since 2008 when they overcame Limerick by a point in Semple Stadium.
Derek Lyng's team were the better side throughout but they couldn't quite shake off the challenge of a Limerick team who relied heavily on the scoring of centre forward Aidan O'Connor.
The game was nip and tuck throughout but the class of Billy Drennan and Timmy Clifford in attack gave the Cats the edge.
Kilkenny led 0-10 to 0-9 after a rather drab opening period with Ian Byrne, Denis Walsh and Paddy Langton helping offload the dual threat of Drennan and Clifford.
Drennan finished with eight points in total and it was in the second half where he really came to the fore as Limerick struggled to find a way past a very stubborn Kilkenny backline.
The Galmoy attacker got three of the last four Kilkenny points while Ian Byrne was out of luck when squandering a couple of goal chances.
Kilkenny led by two heading into the final stretch but Limerick got the deficit back to one before Aidan O'Connor missed a scoreable free that would have levelled up matters.
Timmy Clifford sealed the win with his third point of the afternoon in stoppage time and while Limerick rallied to leave the minimum in it, Derek Lyng's side held out to secure the Cats a first All-Ireland crown at Minor, Under 20 or senior in seven years.
Teams and Scorers
Kilkenny- Billy Drennan (0-8, 0-2f, 0-1 65), Timmy Clifford (0-3), Ian Byrne, Denis Walsh (0-2 each), Aidan Tallis (0-1, 0-1f), Paddy Langton, Andy Hickey, Gearoid Dunne (0-1 each)
Limerick- Aidan O'Connor (0-10, 0-7f), Adam English, Patrick O'Donovan (0-2 each), Colin Coughlan, Eddie Stokes, Shane O'Brien, Patrick Kirby (0-1 each)
Kilkenny- Aidan Tallis (Lisdowney); Niall Rowe (Dicksboro), Sean Purcell (Windgap), Padraig Lennon (Carrickshock); Joe Fitzpatrick (Dunnamaggin), Padraic Moylan (Dicksboro), Paddy Langton (Young Irelands); Killian Doyle (Emeralds), Andy Hickey (Dunnamaggin); Denis Walsh (Dunnamaggin), Timmy Clifford (Dicksboro), Peter McDonald (Thomastown); Billy Drennan (Galmoy), Gearoid Dunne (Tullaroan), Ian Byrne (Glenmore).
Subs- James Walsh (Kilmacow) for Hickey 42 mins, Eoghan O'Brien (Rower-Inistioge) for Fitzpatrick 49 mins, Jack Doyle (Windgap) for Dunne 57 mins.
Limerick- Conor Hanley Clarke; Chris Thomas, Fergal O'Connor, Evan O'Leary; Cian Scully, Ethan Hurley, Colin Coughlan; Jimmy Quilty, John Kirby; Adam English, Aidan O'Connor, Eddie Stokes; Shane O'Brien, Patrick Kirby, Patrick O'Donovan.
Subs- Donnacha O'Dalaigh for O'Donovan 49 mins, Patrick Reale for O'Leary 55 mins, Joe Sweeney for Scully 57 mins.
Referee- Thomas Walsh (Waterford)
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