Opinion - 'Hurling heroes warm the hearts' - Jerome O'Connell

Jerome O'Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O'Connell

Email:

joconnell@limerickleader.ie

Opinion - 'Hurling heroes warm the hearts' - Jerome O'Connell

Declan Hannon and John Kiely pictured ahead of Limerick's win over Tipperary

IT wasn’t the victory or the impressive performance that warmed the heart but the hundreds of kids that raced onto the Gaelic Grounds pitch at half time last Saturday.

Yes, Limerick made it back-to-back wins in the Allianz Hurling League.

Yes, John Kiely’s All-Ireland champions continue to look very impressive.

But last Saturday for me was about building for the future.

What good would August 19 last be, if there was no boost to Limerick hurling.

The half time puck-around by the kids proved that the Liam MacCarthy Cup has won over the hearts of the next generation.

Kids need heroes and the half time scenes were repeated at the final whistle with hundreds racing to greet their heroes and secure autographs or photos.

For almost 30-minutes the players mingled with the fans – all oblivious to the freezing temperatures.

Credit this Limerick group of players they provide value for money on and off the field of play and the crowd respond to their endeavour with almost 9000 making for a fine atmosphere in the Gaelic Grounds.

It’s big crowds and fine games like last Saturday that Limerick missed when outside of the top flight of the league for the last eight years.

As for the performance of the team - they were top class once again.

There was a real sense of pride among supporters leaving the Gaelic Grounds.

Of course Limerick won't win all games but for now, it's best to sit back and enjoy the show because this crop of hurlers are worthy ambassadors, worthy of support and more important they are eager to improve in every outing.