Speaking after Limerick's surprise semi-final victory over Derry City, captain Shane Duggan was visibly moved with the result and the emotion of the night. Despite only coming back from injury two weeks ago, Duggan played a crucial role in securing Limerick's first cup final in 14 years. He said:
"I'm delighted. It was a big goal for us at the start of the season. We wanted to be promoted in the league and to do really well in the cups. To get to a cup final is brilliant. All the effort the lads put in all season - they deserve it."
While they were underdogs going into it, their plan wasn't simply to catch Derry on the break. Not straying from their usual free-flowing, attacking movement off the ball, Limerick created plenty of problems for Derry. Despite how close the game was, Duggan felt they were the better side on the night.
"We had the better chances I feel. I think we could have had two or three. Their keeper, Ger Doherty, pulled off two unbelievable saves. I don't know how he pulled them off to be honest. They were going side to side - putting crosses into feet, but never really threatened us or cut us open, so we're happy overall," he explained.
Over one hundred and fifty Limerick fans made their way up the country for a six hour trek. Those in attendance were rewarded with a cup final and a shortened journey home, and Duggan took time to praise the support for their commitment. He declared:
"The support is brilliant and they were singing all night. I'm just happy we could do it for the supporters. They've been brilliant all season and hopefully they come out in their numbers for the final."
While not officially confirmed, the Markets Field is the front-runner for hosting the EA Sports Cup final. Being a Garryowen native, it would no doubt be a special occasion for Duggan to lead Limerick out there, but he insists he doesn't mind where it is.
"Any final we can get into - no matter where it's on - we'll be delighted with. It's brilliant for the fans. They follow us all over the country - especially when things weren't going so well and they continued to back us us all the time. This is for them. Something to be excited about in Limerick which is great."