THE Limerick U-21 hurlers won’t rest on their laurels vowed manager Pat Donnelly.
Speaking after his star-studded side won the Munster U-21 Hurling Championship on Wednesday, Donnelly insisted the focus would swiftly turn to the All Ireland.
After beating Tipperary, Clare and Cork to lift provincial honours for an eighth time, next up for Limerick is a Saturday August 19 All Ireland semi final with Galway.
”I was involved in 2011 and I will never forget it - we went down to Thurles and it’s a day that is hard to take. We won’t let that happen again and we will learn from experience,” said Donnelly, who referenced the semi final loss six years ago when he was a selector under manager Leo O’Connor.
”Galway came and caught us that day and we know what to expect this time,” said Donnelly.
On Wednesday, Limerick were two points winners, but had a seven point lead early in the contest.
”That form won’t be good enough but the work rate is what we will want and get a few more players playing a bit better would be enough,” said the South Liberties man.
Three years ago at minor level, Limerick were Munster champions and then beat Galway in the All Ireland semi final before losing to Kilkenny in the All Ireland final, which would be in Thurles.
”These lads were beaten in the minor final three years ago and there is no guarantee that you are going to go and win it but we are in with a chance,” said the U-21 manager of Limerick’s bid to reach the September 9 U-21 All Ireland final.
”They (Galway) will come out fresh and give it everything but we have a few hard matches behind us now and we were together a long time so we have no excuses - if we are beaten, we are beaten but we will give it everything,” promised Donnelly.
”I said to the lads before the game that they were working for seven years, it’s not seven weeks or seven months, it’s seven years that these lads are on the road,” he said referencing the Limerick Underage Hurling Academy which has done so much work in the background for these celebrated players.