Limerick secretary hits out at U-21 hurlers

LIMERICK GAA secretary Mike O’Riordan has hit out at the county’s U-21 hurling team for their performance in this year’s Munster championship.

LIMERICK GAA secretary Mike O’Riordan has hit out at the county’s U-21 hurling team for their performance in this year’s Munster championship.

Writing in his annual report, that will come before this Sunday’s Limerick GAA annual convention in the Strand Hotel, O’Riordan addresses a wide range of topics but his views on the county’s hurling teams will provoke the most interest.

The Limerick U-21 team were reigning Munster champions this year but were beaten by 1-16 to 1-11 by Tipperary in the Gaelic Grounds.

“Limerick drew Tipperary in the semi-final of the Munster U21 Hurling Championship after they defeated Cork in the Quarter Final,” he begins.

“This game was absolutely awful from a Limerick perspective. Nothing went right on the night and (the) performance in particular looked as if the team had no interest in the game. They rallied some bit in the second half with Shane Dowling in fine form.”

O’Riordan goes on to thank the management team of John Fitzgerald, Ollie Moran, Frank Houlihan and Natal O’Grady for their contribution. However, that management team aren’t involved in 2013 as TJ Ryan was recently appointed manager with Clem Smith and Peter Finn as his selectors.

The Limerick secretary also comments on the senior hurling team.

“Overall there was progress made this year even though it was disappointing not to have gained promotion to Division 1A,” he writes.

He cites a lack of fitness as one of the main reasons Limerick didn’t beat Clare in the Division 1B final.

“In a game where Limerick dominated in certain areas, the lack of fitness in the final quarter of the game cost the home side the League and promotion to Division 1A, losing to Clare by two points.”

In relation to Limerick’s Munster championship loss to Tipperary, O’Riordan saw it as an opportunity lost.

“The team went into this game as underdogs and all the pundits didn’t give them much of a chance against the Munster champions. In reality, Limerick should have won this game as some of the changes made in the second half didn’t work out - also the team tired again in the later stages of the half.

“In saying that the team showed tremendous heart and endeavour right through the game only to lose out by four points.”

The Limerick intermediate hurlers, who were beaten by eventual All Ireland champions Tipperary, are also mentioned briefly. “Tipperary dominated this game right through,” he writes. “Limerick showed signs of recovery midway through the second half only for a mindless sending off on the Limerick team.”

The Limerick GAA convention takes place this Sunday in the Strand Hotel. The event begins at 1.15pm with mass. Outgoing chairman Liam Lenihan will hand over the position to Patrickswell’s Oliver Mann who is going in unopposed. There will be three elections on the day however with Seamus McNamara (Fr Casey’s) up against Michael McDonnell (Croom) for the Assistant Secretary position, Geraldine Neenan (Dromin-Athlacca) taking on Con Danagher (Blackrock) for Assistant Treasurer and John Cregan (Dromcollogher-Broadford) taking on Eamon Phelan (St Patrick’s) for the role of PRO.