Kilmallock captain Mulcahy wants to maintain Limerick record

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

Kilmallock's Donal Barry, Bryan O'Sullivan, David Barry,Graeme Mulcahy, Conor Barry, and Jake Mulcahy celebrate their Limerick SHC title success
KILMALLOCK captain Graeme Mulcahy has won Munster senior and U-21 hurling championship with Limerick in recent years.

KILMALLOCK captain Graeme Mulcahy has won Munster senior and U-21 hurling championship with Limerick in recent years.

He has won a Fitzgibbon Cup medal with UCC and an interprovincial title with Munster.

With Ireland he has played shinty against Scotland and just over 12-months ago he travelled to the USA’s Notre Dame to play Super 11s.

But Kilmallock offers something different ahead of this Sunday’s Munster club SFC final against Cratloe.

When Mulcahy makes his way to the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday he will be joined by brother Jake and cousins Bryan O’Sullivan and Barry’s Donal, David and Conor.

Last month Mulcahy became the 11th different captain to lead Kilmallock to their 11 Limerick SHC title.

On Sunday he bids to follow in the footsteps of Paddy Kelly and Mike Houlihan to lift the Munster cup.

Another ambition is to match uncle Donal Barry, who was wing back on the provincial winning teams of ‘92 and ‘94.

Like most of Sunday’s Kilmallock team they are too young to have vivid memories of those Munster club titles of 20-years ago.

“I would have a small recollection but that is more from watching videos. It would be great for us to win another Munster club and I would be very happy to join those teams as Munster winners,” said the Kilmallock captain this week.

Aside from bidding to add a third Munster crown to the club’s roll of honour, Sunday can also be the first time since 1989 and 1990 that Limerick win back-to-back Munster club championships.

“It would be a big achievement for us to follow in the footsteps of Na Piarsaigh,” said Mulcahy.

“Na Piarsaigh beat Sixmilebridge last year and again this year it’s Limerick and Clare so that rivalry does add a little bit extra to it.”

He added: “We would know a lot of the Cratloe players - some would have gone to LIT together while others like Barry (Hennessy) would have been in Ardscoil Ris with some Cratloe lads”.

The bookies make the south Limerick men the 5/4 outsiders against a star-studded Cratloe side.

“There is no point in us targeting one or two of their players because they are strong all over the field and have six very strong forwards. We will focus on ourselves more than them and focus on getting our own game right - it’s a happy medium,” said the corner forward.

“We are hugely experienced, bar maybe the two minors (Robbie Hanley and Paddy O’Loughlin) but even they played in Croke Park this year. But Cratloe are the same with their six inter-county men and everyone else has plenty experience of Munster club hurling and football. We won’t be looking to one or two players - we want leaders all over the field. We need three leaders in each line. We have the inter-county lads but if you look throughout our team most have played with Limerick at some level,” outlined Mulcahy.

Both sides were back in the winners enclosure this season after county glory in the recent past. Both also harboured Munster glory after falling short on their previous recent visits.

“Having won two county titles previously we had to take things up a level and try to do what Na Piarsaigh have done,” said Mulcahy.

It’s a first final at this level in 20-years for the club but the captain wants to keep all low-key.

“It’s a Munster final but we will treat it like any other match at the same time - it’s no different to any game in the Limerick SHC. It will be no bigger that the Na Piarsaigh or Sarsfields games. There is a bit of a buzz around the place but the players try to keep away from that. It’s great for the supporters but we are just concentrating on the match.”

Last May Na Piarsaigh beat Kilmallock in round one of the county championship, but Mulcahy is hoping that their title run-in will stand to them on Sunday.

“Adare, Doon, Na Piarsaigh - were some massive games. They were all extremely tough and all of them were in the Gaelic Grounds,” he recalled.

For many, the best display produced to date, was the second half display against Cork’s Sarsfields.

“We hurled some very good passages but we know we need to concentrate for the full 30-minutes of each half,” stressed the captain.

Kilmallock are managed by former Clare manager Ger ‘Sparrow’ O’Loughlin.

“Ger has been in a final with Adare (2008) and was there as a player (Clarecastle) and he knows what needs to be done. But ultimately its about the players that take the field,” said the captain.