LIMERICK hurling’s poor 2015 doesn’t add any extra pressure on the county U-21 side ahead of this Thursday evening’s Munster final, according to Cian Lynch.
The Patrickswell teenager is the only member of the Limerick U-21 team to play senior championship this season and this Monday he was in the Temple Gate Hotel in Ennis for the media briefing ahead of Thursday’s Bord Gais Energy Munster final against four-in-a-row chasing Clare in Cusack Park.
Recent weeks have seen Limerick suffer Munster final defeat at minor and intermediate level and the seniors exit the championship ahead of the All Ireland quarter final for the first time since 2010, but Lynch stresses the U-21s are only focused on their task.
“The senior was disappointing and the minors went down to Galway yesterday but we focus on our own task at hand. The U-21s are different to the seniors and different to the minors. We are trying to keep focused with tunnel vision,” said Lynch ahead of the final, when Limerick are looking for a first title since 2011.
“Every players wants to be playing right up to September and even into October, even with your clubs. It would be weird to end the Summer’s hurling before August because for the last few years we had the minors that went on to the end of August so hopefully we can keep going,” said the man who captained Limerick into last September’s All Ireland minor final.
Thursday’s Shannonside derby will be televised live on TG4 but GAA officials still expect a capacity attendance of just under 15,000.
“In Ennis the stadium is so close to the pitch that they hit every ball with you. I would expect a big crowd from either side and hopefully we can produce the odds. They have great experience and have players that have been on their three-in-a-row teams. At the end of the day it will come down to the team that is going to work the hardest,” stressed Lynch.
Three years ago Limerick and Clare met at minor level and extra time was needed to separate the teams.
“That went to extra time and we were well beaten in extra time and Clare went on to the Munster final that year. Players improve and players dis-improve over the years. Thursday would be nearly the same panel of players and we will see,” recalled Lynch.
This Summer he made his Munster SHC debut with a Man of the Match display against Clare but his happy to be back among “friends”.
“I suppose there is less pressure coming back to your old peers that you grew up with. With the seniors you look up to them in their older generation but coming back to the U-21 there is big pressure because its a Munster final on Thursday night and there will be nerves leading up to it but it’s back with your friends,” said Lynch, who hurled U-21 last year when still minor.