Tuesday 17 September 2019

Liam Fennelly: 'Limerick will rue the ending but they have to rue the wides too'

27 July 2019; Limerick players following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Kilkenny and Limerick at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
27 July 2019; Limerick players following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Kilkenny and Limerick at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Liam Fennelly

Limerick will rue the ending, but they have to rue the wides too, they simply fired far too many of them from many scoreable positions. To me, Limerick were playing to a team plan, Kilkenny won the match because of individual brilliance.

Three of Limerick’s biggest players, Gearoid Hegarty, Cian Lynch and Kyle Hayes were quiet yesterday. They have to look at their forward line too where Aaron Gillane’s 1-9 was more than half of the team’s total - the rest of the starting Limerick attack managed just four points from play.

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By contrast, Kilkenny had flashes of brilliance with TJ Reid scoring 0-8, Padraig Walsh magnificent at centre-half back and Colin Fennelly got 1-3 from play. If any Limerick forward had come up with that total, the All-Ireland champions would still be alive.

And I know he’s a Ballyhale clubmate of mine, but I cannot let this game pass without a word about Adrian Mullen. He scored four points from play in this All-Ireland semi-final, the last one, an over the shoulder beauty.

But to put it in context, six weeks ago Adrian was doing his Leaving Cert. He’s some young man!

Tribute too to Brian Cody. How he got these Kilkenny players to work during this match. They hunted in packs and would not give in against a bigger Limerick side. Crucially I think Kilkenny had an idea that if Limerick ever got level in that frantic last 20 minutes, they would push on and win. The Kilkenny hurlers gave their all to make sure that Limerick never hauled this match back to equality.

‘Honesty of effort’ is a great catchphrase of Brian’s and by God there was honesty and effort from the Kilkenny boys last night.

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