So far so good for Limerick hurlers

Ahead of the final round of the All-Ireland senior hurling qualifiers, Jerome O’Connell looks back at the three games to-date and rates the performance of each of the 30-members of John Allen’s panel.

Ahead of the final round of the All-Ireland senior hurling qualifiers, Jerome O’Connell looks back at the three games to-date and rates the performance of each of the 30-members of John Allen’s panel.

Stephen Walsh (8)

Minutes played 210

Has really settled into the No2 shirt this season. The former inter-county footballer is tight marking with some memorable blocks in all three games.

Richie McCarthy (8)

Minutes played 210, scores 0-1

Continues to confound his critics at the edge of the square after his switch from attack this season.

After some shaky moments, during league clashes with Clare, has looked most assured in the championship with his biggest test to come.

Donal O’Grady (7)

Minutes played 210

Is holding the middle of the defence well following his switch from midfield. Nothing spectacular but no-one has surged through the heart of the defence in the three games.

Gavin O’Mahony (7)

Minutes played 210

NOt at his very best yet but the 2010 captain continues to improve with every game. Given the free-scoring forwards now in the team his accurate deliveries are key.

James Ryan (8)

Minutes played 210, scores 0-1

Has been huge in midfield with his continuous running. Adopting a defensive role and getting through a massive amount of work as always

Shane Dowling (9)

Minutes played 210, scores 4-25 (4-9 from play)

Revelling in his first season at senior level. Winning and distributing ball and is ultra accurate from frees and from play.

Graeme Mulcahy (9)

Minutes played 205, scores 3-10

Consistently the most dangerous forward to date this year. Has shown a great touch and his pace and direct running terrifies defences.

Wayne McNamara (7)

Minutes played 193

Last season was his best in a Limerick shirt and bit by bit returning to that form. Can be guilty of allowing his man too much space

Tom Condon (9)

Minutes played 176

Limerick’s best defender so far and now one of the best corner backs in the game. Thunders out of defence and only downfall could be his liking to deliver the odd long aimless ball.

Nicky Quaid (8)

Minutes played 175

Yet to keep a championship clean sheet, but undoubtedly Limerick’s No1. A safe pair of hands that is illustrated every time he collects a ball above his crossbar.

David Breen (7)

Minutes played 155, scores 1-2

The captain is a key member of the half forward line and is best with ball in hand and running at the defence. As a puckout option he needs to win primary ball.

Niall Moran (8)

Minutes played 145, scores 5-1

Came into the team for the Laois game with a point to prove after not starting v Tipperary. Needs to be out in front, to be the perfect target man in front of goal. Has scored five goals in two games.

Sean Tobin (7)

Minutes played 119, scores 1-7

With his hip injury behind him, Tobin can prosper fully. Looked very sharp against Antrim winning some great high balls of his marker before heading goalwards.

Brian Geary (6)

Minutes played 116

started the last two games at centre forward but unlikely to start the next day and will instead be used as a sub in final quarter

Declan Hannon (8)

Minutes played 101, scores 0-9

great to see him back to fitness and his scoring return is key. On top of that he creates opportunities for others with his pace and vision.

Paul Browne (7)

Minutes played 94

In a race against time for next game and his work rate up and down the field would be missed. A key link between defence and attack.

Thomas O’Brien (7)

Minutes played 82, scores 0-2

his best position remains unclear for club and county. Alternating between corner forward and midfield makes him a key panel member. Created some nice scores v Antrim.

Conor Allis (8)

Minutes played 63, scores 0-2

a superb debut against Tipp and such a pity he picked up a shoulder injury. Going to be a key player for a number of years if his progress continues.

Kevin Downes (7)

Minutes played 50, scores 0-2

what a pity that injury kept him out of the last two games after he showed glimpses of a return to top form v Tipp.

Paudie O’Brien (7)

Minutes played 46, scores 0-2

replaced the injured Paul Browne v Laois and took his chance with both hands to reproduce his fine club form.

Aaron Murphy (7)

Minutes played 35

Debut came with second half against Antrim and an ideal time to give game time to the U-21 player. Made some fine saves and has a huge puckout.

Shane O’Neill (NA)

Minutes played 34

got some valuable game time in last two games to show that he provides ample cover for corner backs.

Seanie O’Brien (NA)

Minutes played 19, scores 0-2

got his first senior championship appearance against Laois and didn’t look out of place in half forward line.

Seamus Hickey (NA)

Minutes played 16

great to see Hickey make a swift return after breaking a bone in his arm and didn’t look rusty. An option in defence or midfield the next day.

Thomas Quaid (NA)

Minutes played 5, scores 1-1

showed his eye for a score in his late appearance against Laois. Started some league games but never nailed down a starting berth.

Thomas Ryan (NA)

Minutes played 1

his championship debut came as a late substitute in the defeat to Tipperary when replacing Wayne McNamara.

Panel

just four players are yet to see championship action this season; David Moloney, Niall Maher, Mark Carmody and Mikey Ryan.