Limerick captain Declan Hannon
LIMERICK and Kilkenny went 31 years without meeting in championship hurling but on Saturday the sides clash for the fifth time in eight years.
Limerick captain Declan Hannon, Nickie Quaid and Graeme Mulcahy are in line to start all five recent meetings.
While Limerick are now hot favourites to add another Liam MacCarthy Cup, team captain Declan Hannon stresses they are solely focused on Kilkenny.
“You learn from previous experiences. Getting caught up on anything outside the camp is pointless – what will happen is that you won’t turn up on the day to give a performance and that’s not what this team is about. We want to focus on ourselves and whatever happens outside is irrelevant,” said Hannon.
“Its great for family and friends and supporters to go up Saturday and enjoy the occasion but we have a job to do and that’s what we will focus on. We are going to have to be 100% on Saturday to give it a good lash against them,” said Hannon.
“We are there and we are going to give it a lash,” added the centre back.
“We are looking forward to it and there is great excitement in the camp and around the county again, which is great for Limerick to have that buzz around the place – it’s all systems go at the minute.”
As Munster champions Limerick went the direct route to the Croke Park semi final and could watch Kilkenny’s quarter final.
“They were very impressive – they really took over there at the start of the second half and that was the winning of the game for them. You would have to be impressed with them – they were very good and deserving of their win over Cork. We have had our troubles against Cork in the past couple of years and they are very hard to beat, so it takes a good team to beat them,” said Hannon of Kilkenny.
He added: “I watched it and it was fine but then we got back training again and focused on ourselves and getting ready.”
It’s June 30 since the Munster title win over Tipperary.
“We have played so many matches already this year between getting to the league final and the Munster final – in years gone by you might only play two games and be in an All-Ireland semi final but now we have played five to be in the semi final. Having the extra week break will do us no harm given the way the structure is now,” Hannon told the LeaderSport at SuperValu in Castletroy at a Kellogg’s GAA Cul Camp promotion.
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