Opinion: Limerick senior club hurling Team of the Decade selected - Jerome O'Connell

Opinion: Limerick senior club hurling Team of the Decade selected - Jerome O'Connell

N the aftermath of the All-Stars last weekend I set myself the task of assembling a Limerick club SHC Team of the Decade.

It was a decade that saw Limerick win one All-Ireland SHC, two Munster SHC titles, one Division One Allianz League title, one Division Two League title and two Munster Leagues.

But this Team of the Decade selection is based solely on performances in the Limerick club senior hurling championship.

There were 10 Limerick SHC titles won since 2010 – five to Na Piarsaigh, three to Kilmallock and two for Patrickswell.

On top of Daly Cup success, Na Piarsaigh progressed to win four Munster club titles and of course Limerick’s first ever All-Ireland club SHC title.

There was also provincial success and an All-Ireland final appearance for Kilmallock in this decade.

Across the last 10 years, 21 different sides played in the county SHC. Seven clubs were ever present – Na Piarsaigh, Kilmallock, Patrickswell, Adare, Ahane, Doon and South Liberties.

The only other clubs to spend more than half the decade in the top flight were Murroe-Boher, Knockainey and Ballybrown.

Across the last 10 years, while there were only three county champions, another five sides contested finals – Emmets, Ahane, Adare (2), Ballybrown and Doon.

Na Piarsaigh won five titles from seven final appearances, Kilmallock won three titles from four finals and Patrickswell returned two wins from three finals.

My Limerick SHC Team of the Decade includes six players from Na Piarsaigh, three from Kilmallock, two from Patrickswell and one each for Doon, Adare, Ahane and Murroe-Boher.

Just three of the team haven’t played senior championship for Limerick – Padraic Kennedy, Jake Mulcahy and Willie Griffin.

Na Piarsaigh’s Padraic Kennedy gets the goalkeeping spot.

Others on the short-list were Brian Murray, Barry Hennessy and Eoghan McNamara.

In the full back are Na Piarsaigh duo Cathall King, Mike Casey and Seanie O’Brien from Patrickswell.

Honourable mentions to Kilmallock’s Mark O’Loughlin, Liam Hurley and Aaron Costello, Na Piarsaigh’s Kieran Kennedy, Stevie O’Reilly of Ballybrown and Doon’s Richie English.

In the half back line it’s Doon’s Denis Moloney, Diarmaid Byrnes of Patrickswell and Gavin O’Mahony of Kilmallock.

Among the others in contention were Shane O’Neill (South Liberties), Wayne McNamara and Declan Hannon (Adare), Nigel Finch (Knockainey), Nickie Quaid (Effin), Dan Morrissey (Ahane), Liam Walsh, Kevin O’Donnell, Philip O’Loughlin (all Kilmallock), Mark Carmody (Patrickswell) and Seamus Hickey (Murroe-Boher).

Midfield is Alan Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh) and Jake Mulcahy (Kilmallock). 

Other options were Paudie O’Brien (Kilmallock), Donal O’Grady (Granagh-Ballingarry), Cian Lynch (Patrickswell), John Fitzgibbon (Adare), James Ryan (Garryspillane) and William O’Donoghue (Na Piarsaigh).

The trio selected in the half forward line are Shane Dowling (Na Piarsaigh), Seanie Tobin (Murroe-Boher) and Niall Moran (Ahane).

>Others among those considered were David Breen (Na Piarsaigh), Barry Foley, Kevin and Thomas O’Brien (Patrickswell), Tom Morrissey (Ahane), Donie Ryan (Garryspillane) and Padraic Barron (Knockainey).

The inside line of attack is Adrian Breen (Na Piarsaigh), Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock) and Willie Griffin (Adare).

Among those to miss out are Eoin Ryan (Kilmallock), Pat Tobin (Murroe-Boher), Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell), Kevin Downes and Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh) and Alan O’Connor (Ballybrown).

Where possible, players are selected in positions that they played in and longevity was a big consideration given it’s the Team of the Decade.

My selection is largely one to spark debate and I’ve no doubt there are players who have sparkled in recent seasons that will leave a huge legacy but aren’t included here.

TEAM: Padraic Kennedy (Na Piarsaigh); Cathall King (Na Piarsaigh), Mike Casey (Na Piarsaigh), Seanie O’Brien (Patrickswell); Denis Moloney (Doon), Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell), Gavin O’Mahony (Kilmallock); Alan Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh), Jake Mulcahy (Kilmallock); Shane Dowling (Na Piarsaigh), Seanie Tobin (Murroe-Boher), Niall Moran (Ahane); Adrian Breen (Na Piarsaigh), Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock), Willie Griffin (Adare).

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