IT’S where every hurling team wants to be on the first Sunday in September and following a comprehensive win over Galway, Limerick’s minor hurlers have booked their place in Croke Park on All-Ireland final day.
Not since 2005 have the minors contested the final and with the 34-player panel hailing from 18 different clubs around the county, from Blackrock to Tournafulla, the demand for tickets is expected to be immense.
Limerick County Board is expecting to secure in the region of 3,000 tickets for the hurling showpiece which sees Limerick take on Kilkenny in the minor final while Tipperary and Kilkenny contest the senior decider on September 7.
“There is going to be fierce demand. Tickets will be like gold dust. There are no family tickets available,” said Mike O’Riordan, secretary of Limerick County Board this Wednesday.
“The players will be getting a set allocation and the clubs will get a set allocation,” he pointed out, adding that the performance by the team to date has been “great for hurling in the county”.
Tickets are expected to be priced at €80 for the seated stands and €40 for Hill 16. Boasting a capacity of 82,300, Croke Park will be a sell-out on the day.
Following Limerick’s comprehensive double-scores win over Galway in Croke Park on Sunday - it finished 1-27 to 2-9 - Limerick are currently hot favourites at 4/9 to be crowned All-Ireland champions. A draw is priced up at 10/1 with Paddy Power bookmakers while Kilkenny are the outsiders at 2/1.
With Limerick looking to take their first All-Ireland title in 30 years, the players and management will not be reading too much into the favourites tag and are focused on ensuring they perform to their potential on the day.
“Kilkenny are a physical, fast side, they work very hard,” commented corner-back Sean Finn following last Sunday’s win.
“We started well and got a good lead at half-time and we delivered again in the second half. All the lads are thrilled.”
The Bruff man is one of seven players on the starting team which contested last year’s semi-final, again against Galway, which is remembered for the Hawk-Eye malfunction that denied Limerick a point in a game that was eventually lost in extra-time.
“We were coming into unknown territory last year and it showed today that the experience from last year helped,” said Sean.
Meanwhile, Limerick will play Kilkenny in next month’s All-Ireland intermediate camogie final after a 0-9 to 0-8 win over Waterford in the semi-final on Saturday.
Niamh Mulcahy was scorer-in-chief in Dr Cullen Park in Carlow as they withstood a late Waterford challenge to hold on for a narrow win. Kilkenny were comfortable winners over Kildare in the other semi-final by 1-16 to 0-7.