Limerick's Gearóid Hegarty says prospect of winning Christmas All-Ireland motivated him in lockdown

Colm Kinsella

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Colm Kinsella

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ckinsella@limerickleader.ie

Limerick's Gearóid Hegarty says prospect of winning Christmas All-Ireland motivated him in lockdown

Man of the Match Gearóid Hegarty, who scored seven points from play, celebrates Limerick's All-Ireland hurling final success

MAN of the Match Gearóid Hegarty revealed that the thoughts of winning an All-Ireland at Christmas time inspired him to continue to train hard during the nation's Covid-19 lockdown earlier this year.

St Patrick's clubman Hegarty scored a terrific personal haul of seven points from play to scoop the RTE Man of the Match accolade in yesterday's All-Ireland final.

Afterwards Hegarty said: “It will be a great Christmas. I found it incredibly hard over the lockdown to keep the training going. There was no light at the end of the tunnel for a long time, we didn't know whether the championship was going ahead or not. There was 'ifs' and 'buts'.

“The one thing that kept me going over the lockdown was imaging winning an All-Ireland at Christmas time and how good Christmas would be. I'm going to look forward to the next few weeks.

“I suppose it's incredible that we have won an All-Ireland in December, but it is a bit bitter-sweet that we have no fans here with us.

“Limerick fans had waited a long time to see the county win an All-Ireland and thankfully we did that in 2018.

“They want more and we wanted them to see another one, but unfortunately they are not here with us today.

“But as I said the most important thing is that when you go inside that white line nothing changes. It is still the exact same as it would have been before. That was where the battle was won and thankfully we did our job today and we got it done.

“We enjoyed ourselves out there today, it was unreal and fabulous. I can't wait to get to celebrate with the boys.

“Look, there were people saying we were disappointed with our performances so far but you don' get to an All-Ireland final easy. We had to fight and battle for every single ball, every single game so far this year. We judge ourselves internally in terms of our own performances.

“We were happy enough getting to the All-Ireland final today, but we knew were on an upward curve and we knew we were going to save our best until last and thankfully we did perform to the best of our ability today."