ALMOST 11 months after preparations began Limerick arrive into Croke Park this Sunday for an eighth ever All Ireland MHC final.
It’s a journey that has included almost 110 outings between five championship matches, challenge games, training sessions, gym work and team meetings.
Limerick 2-11 Clare 1-18
Wednesday, April 6, in the Gaelic Grounds
Second half goals from two substitutes propelled Limerick past Clare in a game that was all square at half time – Limerick 0-7, Clare 1-4.
The first goal came 22-minutes into the second half from Josh Ryan to move Limerick 1-11 to 1-7 ahead. In the remaining eight minutes they were to score just once more but the goal from Cian Magner Flynn sealed the win.
LIMERICK: Mark O’Kelly; Brian Nash; William O’Meara, Brian Timmons; Josh Adams, Ciaran O’Connor 0-1, Finn Hourigan; Conor Nicholas, Cal McCarthy 0-1; Kyle Hayes 0-2, Darragh Carroll 0-1 (lineball), Brian Ryan 0-1, Conor Boylan 0-2, Anthony Barrett, Mark O’Dwyer 0-3 (3frees). Subs: Cian Magner Flynn 1-0 for Anthony Barrett (h-t), Josh Ryan 1-0 for Mark O’Dwyer (43mins), David Woulfe for Cal McCarthy (56mins), Conor Flahive for Brian Timmons (57mins), Dan Minihan for Ciaran O’Connor (62mins).
Limerick 0-18 Waterford 0-17
Wednesday, June 29, in Walsh Park
After a 13-week gap Limerick produced a brilliant second half display to reach a fourth successive Munster final.
Limerick played with the aid of the strong wind in the first half and led 0-9 to 0-4 at the break.
LIMERICK: Mark O’Kelly; Brian Nash, Conor Nicholas, Finn Hourigan; Michael O’Grady, Josh Adams, Brian Timmons; Brian Ryan 0-3, Cal McCarthy; Darragh Carroll 0-2 (1lineball), Cian Magner Flynn 0-1, David Woulfe 0-1; Conor Boylan, Kyle Hayes 0-2, Paul O’Brien 0-10 (8frees). Subs: John Flynn for Cal McCarthy (h-t), Ciaran O’Connor for Brian Timmons (40mins), Micheal Bourke for Josh Adams (54mins), Anthony Barrett for David Woulfe (57mins).
Limerick 0-10 Tipperary 1-24
Sunday, July 10, in Gaelic Grounds
Back-to-back Munster final defeats for Limerick after a display that manager Pat Donnelly described as a “no show”.
Tipperary were 0-13 to 0-7 ahead at half time after setting the pace for much of the first half and Limerick played most of the second half with 14-men after two yellow cards for Brian Nash.
LIMERICK: Mark O’Kelly; Brian Nash, Conor Nicholas, Brian Timmons; Michael O’Grady, Josh Adams, Finn Hourigan; John Flynn, Darragh Carroll; Brian Ryan, Kyle Hayes 0-2, Conor Boylan 0-2, Ronan Connolly, Cian Magner Flynn 0-1, Paul O’Brien 0-3 (3frees). Subs: Jerome Boylan for Brian Timmons (19mins), David Woufle for Brian Ryan (35mins), Aaron Kennedy 0-1 for Paul O’Brien (35mins), Cal McCarthy for Josh Adams (40mins), Anthony Barrett for Michael O’Grady (52mins).
ALL IRELAND QUARTER-FINAL
Limerick 0-17 Wexford 0-9
Sunday, July 24, in Semple Stadium
Two weeks after the Munster final loss Limerick bounced back to book a spot in Croke Park.
Pat Donnelly’s men took an 0-8 to 0-5 lead in the dressing room at the interval. Limerick pushed on for victory, hitting four points in added time.
LIMERICK: Mark O’Kelly; Brian Nash, Conor Nicholas, Ronan Connelly; Josh Adams 0-1 (free), Ciaran O’Connor, Finn Hourigan; Jerome Boylan, Darragh Carroll; Michael O’Grady 0-1, Kyle Hayes 0-1, David Woulfe 0-1; Conor Boylan 0-3, Anthony Barrett, Brian Ryan 0-9 (6frees). Subs: Cal McCarthy 0-1 for Darragh Carroll (30mins); Paul O’Riordan for Anthony Barrett (46mins); John Flynn for Cal McCarthy (48mins); Cian Magner Flynn for David Woulfe (53mins); Conor O’Grady for Michael O’Grady (57mins).
All Ireland semi final
Limerick 1-18 Dublin 0-15
Sunday, August 7, in Croke Park
The best display of the year saw the Leinster champions dispatched.
What a first half from Limerick it was to lead 1-13 to 0-7 at half time.
LIMERICK: Mark O’Kelly 0-1 (free), Brian Nash, Conor Nicholas, Ronan Connolly; Josh Adams, Jerome Boylan, Finn Hourigan 0-1; Ciaran O’Connor, Darragh Carroll; Michael O’Grady, Anthony Barrett, Conor Boylan 0-2; Brian Ryan 0-10 (8frees), Kyle Hayes 0-2, Cian Magner Flynn 1-1. Subs: John Flynn for Darragh Carroll (45mins), David Woulfe for Anthony Barrett 0-1 (48mins), Paul O’Riordan for Cian Magner Flynn (57mins), Micheal Bourke for Michael O’Grady (60mins).