Sunday 4 December 2016

Foley urges Treaty to 'right the wrongs' of Munster final drubbing

Michael Verney

Published 03/09/2016 | 02:30

Limerick’s consistent power at underage can be traced back to the magnificent work of the Limerick Hurling Academies (Stock photo)
Limerick’s consistent power at underage can be traced back to the magnificent work of the Limerick Hurling Academies (Stock photo)

Overturning a 17-point Munster final deficit outlines the scale of the task facing Limerick's minor hurlers against Tipperary tomorrow but they're keen to right some wrongs from that dark day in the Gaelic Grounds.

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Morale was low after their humiliation on home soil but harsh lessons were learned and the Treaty have bounced back. And just eight weeks later, they're 60 minutes away bridging a 32-year gap.

After putting Wexford and Dublin to the sword, they travel to Croke Park with nothing to lose, and selector Brian Foley feels they're ready to put their best foot forward. All he wants is a display that matches their undoubted ability.

"We regrouped, that championship was over. We focused on the All-Ireland championship. We tried to get rid of that hurt after losing to Tipp - we had a few meetings with long faces to see where we went wrong," Foley told the Limerick Leader.

"We know we're playing a formidable side in Tipperary but finals are finals and they're there to be won. It's all on the day and we didn't turn up on Munster final day.

"Please God tomorrow if we turn up we have a chance. They are as well prepared as possible but once they step inside the white lines it's down to the players to try and right the wrongs of the Munster final."

Exciting

Those sentiments are echoed by manager Pat Donnelly, a member of the victorious side of 1984, who hopes his exciting young side can banish the memories of their 1-24 to 0-10 mauling, and lift The Irish Press Cup for just the fourth time in their history.

"We want them to embrace it - it comes and goes too quick. They are young and think that things are always going to be like this; you have to embrace it but also channel the energy in the right way," Donnelly said.

Limerick's consistent power at underage can be traced back to the magnificent work of the Limerick Hurling Academies with plans such as Lifting the Treaty and Lifting Limerick bearing fruit in recent years.

"The one thing that the academy is, is organised. At minor level there isn't much between the top teams and the margins are small. If you are organised you are competing," Foley explained.

"It's not always about winning at underage, at U-14, U-15, U-16, but we need to be competitive and develop young lads and hopefully some of these minors will play for Limerick's seniors some day."

The current minor crop, coached by Clare legend Anthony Daly, draws from 21 clubs and is backboned by this year's Harty Cup winners Ard Scoil Rís.

The likes of Ciaran O'Connor, Mark O'Kelly, Conor Boylan and Brian Ryan are prodigious talents and it says a lot about the county's underage conveyor belt that Croke Park was the target destination after their first meeting on October 14.

With that box ticked Foley wants "to go and finish the job and win it".

Irish Independent

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