Monday 17 December 2018

Family link makes victory sweeter than Morrissey thought possible

Family affair: Tom (left) and Dan Morrissey lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup following Limerick’s victory over Galway. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Family affair: Tom (left) and Dan Morrissey lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup following Limerick’s victory over Galway. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

The euphoria of All-Ireland final victory is something only a select few can relate to with those priceless minutes soaking up victory together on the Croke Park sod among the most cherished of their lives.

There are few things that could heighten the experience but achieving something special with Limerick this summer alongside his older brother Dan did just that for Limerick attacker Tom Morrissey.

Having grown up hoping to emulate his elder sibling, it's something that Morrissey will never forget and an event totally alien to the pair as they had never been on a successful side together before this.

They say you never forget your first and Tom definitely won't forget the moment they walked up the Hogan Stand steps arm in arm to raise Liam MacCarthy as the Treaty's 45-year All-Ireland wait was banished.

"It's been very special. For a family to have one on the team is huge but to have two is absolutely massive. It's the first time we've won anything together. We haven't been successful on a club team," he said.

"So to win this was a special moment and I don't think it will get any better. That moment when we were walking up the steps together and bumped into the father, brother and uncle was unreal.

"And when we lifted the trophy together they are memories that we'll have forever and the family will have forever. It's someone you've known all your life and grown up trying to emulate because he's always been three years ahead of me. Watching him play minor and U-21 and following in his footsteps and now to be soldiering alongside him is pretty cool."

While he may not have joined Dan among an honoured group of brothers to have collected All-Star awards last Friday night, Morrissey played a huge part in Limerick's breakthrough success with his four points against Kilkenny in their All-Ireland quarter-final win of particular importance.

That game was symbolic of a new breed taking off the shackles which had weighed down other Limerick sides but their Division 1B triumph over Galway was another watershed for John Kiely's squad.

"Beating the All-Ireland champions in Salthill after being eight behind at half-time was no mean feat and gave the group a huge amount of confidence. You're not thinking, 'we're going to win an All-Ireland' but you're thinking, 'why can't we win an All-Ireland?'," the 22-year-old said.

"If you're being honest, during the Munster Championship you're not even thinking about it but probably after beating Kilkenny and getting into an All-Ireland semi-final your mind can't help thinking that there's an All-Ireland here for us."

Morrissey is back in UL - whom he won a Fitzgibbon Cup with earlier this year - studying for a Masters while he is part of the Limerick side heading to Boston for the Fenway Hurling Classic on November 18.

It's been "all go" since August and "it'll be Christmas before I get to sit down and have a real recap of the year". His will have lots of highlights.

Irish Independent

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