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25/09/2021

On Point: Just one more hurdle for Limerick - Shane Dowling

On Point: Limerick's  - Shane Dowling

On Point - In association with the Longcourt House Hotel

AND so we are here, for the second year in a row, and for third time in four years!
We are once again looking forward to the All-Ireland Final. Sometimes, indeed , a lot of times, I think back to the days where we were not so lucky.

I think of 2009, being hammered by Tipp, 2010 the year of the strike, 2011 and 2012 where every game you played you were nearly underdogs and not expected to win.

Because I played during the hard times and because I supported Limerick when they weren’t winning I can relate. And if I can relate, the generations older then me can relate a hell of a lot more.
I think that’s why we are so passionate. It is because we appreciate the good times having experienced the bad times to often.

Then, when you look at the 6, 7, 8 and 9-year-olds, all they can remember is seeing Limerick teams in Croke Park.

And hopefully they will think that is normal and grow up knowing that not only getting to Croke Park but competing for All-Irelands will suffice.

I must say my heart goes out to all the genuine supporters who travel the length and breadth of the country year after year and wont be able to get a ticket.

Last year was different because nobody was there, but this year there is 40,000 so for the people that are going to miss out it is really tough. But for the people that are lucky enough to go they will insure they enjoy it and take it all in.

To be talking about trains, hotels, Mondays off is great again, considering we took it for granted.

In terms of the game then. First of all I think we were all relieved and delighted for Peter Casey when he was notified last Tuesday evening that he was successful in his appeal and allowed to play the All-Ireland final.

There were a number of people who were involved in that process who did trojan work, and credit to everybody who ensured that they put their best foot forward.

What was also great is that it was done so early in the week and they have a long run in with no distractions to be worrying about.

Limerick versus Cork

I guess the perception is out there that Cork are Limerick’s bogey team. Would that perception be correct? Well I am not so sure. When I hear that I think it is an insult to Cork. They are a very good team, who know how they are going to play the game, and do it so at a ferocious pace.

Yes in terms of actual speed I would think they are faster than Limerick. How fast can Cork be if they don’t have the ball though? What I mean by that is, how are Cork going to get the ball in their hands?
If you think about it, there will probably be the bones of 80 puck outs in the game.

On their own puck out, Cork have struggled big time this year against Limerick. They don’t like hitting too many of them long, or at least a 50/50 one long, and when they played it short this year against Limerick we turned them over many times.

It was unreal stuff in the league game and to a lesser extent in the championship game. Limerick can not allow Cork to play the ball around the back and build it going forward, because that’s where they are dangerous. Limerick do well on their own puck-outs, and it’s a well oiled machine at this stage.

So, for me, if Limerick can frighten Patrick Collins early, get a number of turnovers from his short puck-outs, it could go a long way towards winning the game. And if some of his puck-outs are turned over, the Limerick roar will remind him of it every time.

The other side of the coin is, leave Cork build it, have them do well on their puck-outs, and then they can play.

Then you will see Cork in full flow, and you will see their deadly pace all around Croker.

When you go analysing Limerick, it’s funny, I know what they are going to do, ok maybe that is biased because I was in there, but what I mean is the dog on the street knows how Limerick are going to play, or within reason anyway, and you can be damn sure Kieran Kingston knows it as well.

But because they do everything to the highest standard, and at such a pace, consistently, it becomes very hard to stop. I just hope that standard, that pace, that telepathy and that bond can get us over the line this one more time.

These are the times of our lives and we are very lucky to be from where we are from and we all know this group will represent Limerick in that very way.

It goes without saying, Limerick are not going to Croke Park just to march behind the band, but indeed to bring Liam back to the Shannonside.

Thankfully I’ll be there on Sunday, and if you will be too, make sure to make up for the bodies that cant be there and if you are one of them make sure to be dressed in the green and white and shout down the radio or the TV and get these boys over the line!

This year is ours, not because that’s what people are saying, but because this group has no limits, have no glass ceilings, and the Limerick tide is rising!

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