Attendees at the Limerick PIHC launch in LIT this week
A change in format for 2017 means that for the first time promotion is on the cards in Sunday’s LIT Limerick Premier IHC Final.
For the previous three years of this championship, both finalists were promoted but all was changed from the outset of this season so Garryspillane and Murroe-Boher go head-to-head for silverware, promotion and a spot in the Munster club championship.
The curtain-raiser to the Limerick SHC in the Gaelic Grounds has a 1.30 start on Sunday. It’s noteworthy that if the final is a draw, the replay will be the following Wednesday night as the new champions are due in Cusack Park in Ennis on Sunday October 22 to play Clare champions Kilmaley in the Munster club IHC quarter final.
It appears neither side will be at 100% full strength – James Ryan a major injury doubt for Garryspillane, while Murroe-Boher have had to plan for the later stages of the championship without Mikey Ryan and Paudie McNamara.
The east Limerick men are managed by Ger Bradley, with Ray Ryan, Declan Kett, Mike Hickey and Denis Mulcahy.
”We have been building all year and the results were pretty good with only game we have lost the one against Garryspillane – It’s payback time on Sunday we hope,” said Murroe-Boher selector Ray Ryan.
”From our point of view we learned a lot - I believe you can learn more from losing games than winning games. We didn’t play as good as we can on that day, so there is more in us,” said Ryan of the loss to The Bouncers during the round robin phase.
Murroe-Boher beat Pallasgreen in their semi final.
“Semi finals are for winning - it’s not about performing, it’s about getting a result and getting through the game. We know we will have to perform a lot better on Sunday to have a chance of winning,” said Ryan.
The men in blue, red and green had been senior from 2000 to 2016.
“We had struggled in senior level for a few years and it would be great to get straight back up. Probably the best thing to happen to us was to come down and regroup - we have a young team and a lot of young lads coming through and we had to get back to a winning mentality, which I hope we have learned and take into Sunday’s game,” said the selector.
Garryspillane are managed by former club goalkeeper Darren Hayes with former Limerick manager TJ Ryan as hurling coach and Mark Ryan as fitness coach.
”This is our fourth year in a row down from senior and we are after losing three semi finals so hopefully it will be fourth time lucky. A lot of boys have put in a big effort just to make sure that we got to this point.” said Hayes.
”We had a bad start to be fair - we lost the first two games. We were training well but a couple of things happened and the manager left us and we brought in TJ (Ryan) and that as huge for the club and we kicked on after that. Third game was a huge win for us and we haven't looked back since,” he said.
”Last weekend was a big boost with the minors and we have a couple of them involved with us. It was a massive boost. To be fair since these lads were U-13 they have been awesome - winning all the way up and hopefully next year six or seven of them will be able to play with us and will help us go from strength to strength,” said Hayes, referencing the club's minor county final victory.