Wednesday 25 April 2018

Laws of sequence support Limerick

On Sunday, Davy Fitzgerald will hope that Clare can beat Limerick
On Sunday, Davy Fitzgerald will hope that Clare can beat Limerick
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

If you believe in sequences, then get your money on Limerick at 15/8 to beat Clare in the Munster hurling quarter-final next Sunday.

Here's why. This will be the 11th championship game between the sides since 1991, and all have been won in sequence. That's most unusual for any rivalry, all the more so when it extends to 10 championship games.

Limerick triumphed in 1991, '94, '96, 2007 and 2012, while Clare won in '93, '95, '06, '08 and 2013.

On that basis - which, admittedly is not very scientific - it's Limerick's turn this year.

Another supporting feature for Limerick is that the outsiders often win this particular derby.

The Treaty men were favourites to beat Clare in 1993, only to be stunned in Cusack Park.

Two years later, the Banner County were even bigger outsiders going into the Munster final against Limerick, who were reigning champions, but won by nine points.

In 1996, Clare were well fancied, only to lose their All-Ireland and Munster titles to Ciarán Carey's wonder-point in the Gaelic Grounds.

And Limerick went into the 2013 All-Ireland semi-final as Munster champions, but never raised a gallop against rampant Clare.

That defeat still rankles with Limerick, who felt that if they hurled at full capacity, they would have won. Instead, they had to live with the frustration of under-achievement as they watched Clare go on to win the All-Ireland, beating Cork in a replay.

Limerick had earlier beaten Cork in the Munster final.

Davy Fitzgerald made his championship debut for Clare in 1991, the year this remarkable sequence of results began.

Now, 24 years on he will be hoping that Clare can end it by beating Limerick in successive championship games for the first time since 1977-78.

Irish Independent

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