DOWN but far from out. Limerick’s hurling supporters turn their attention to the county’s quest for All-Ireland glory today after the gritty Shannonsiders lost their Munster title to Cork in a pulsating provincial final at Pairc Ui Chaoimh yesterday.
While the thousands of Limerick supporters in an official attendance of 36,075 trooped out of Pairc Ui Chaoimh disappointed at full-time yesterday, the county remains firmly in the race to land the Liam McCarthy Cup in September.
There was a carnival atmosphere on Leeside for the final game to be played at Pairc Ui Chaoimh before the venue undergoes extensive refurbishment.
Green-clad Limerick fans descended on Limerick in their thousands from early morning anxious to soak up the big game atmosphere having secured precious match tickets for the reduced capacity stadium.
TJ Ryan’s gallant Limerick side produced a tenacious display and were on level terms at half-time.
However, late goals from Seamus Harnedy and substitute Paudie O’Sullivan ultimately steered Cork to a thrilling 2-24 to 0-24 success.
All is far from lost for Limerick, however, as the Shannonsiders will now face either Waterford or Wexford in the All-Ireland quarter-final on Sunday, July 27.
Limerick manager, TJ Ryan agreed he would used Cork’s example from last year, when the Leesiders bounced back from a Munster final defeat to the Shannonsiders, before going on to reach the All-Ireland final, toppling both Kilkenny and Dublin along the way.
TJ Ryan said: “Today was the Munster championship. It was a stand alone fixture. A new competition starts now from our point of view. We are in the last six in the All-Ireland. We have to go and win a quarter-final now and try and get into the last four.
“The lads showed their experience today. We found ourselves in holes a few times and dug ourselves out, got ourselves back in the game and back in front.”
Meanwhile, the Limerick minor side are facing a Munster final replay for a second successive year after their provincial final showdown with Waterford ended in a thrilling draw, 3-14 to 2-17. The replay will take place at Semple Stadium, Thurles on Tuesday, July 22.