Saturday 24 August 2019

Treaty have 'loads to work on' as Hannon parks 2018 heroics

Declan Hannon. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Declan Hannon. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Sometimes the hardest thing to do is to move on. And while Limerick hurling continues to bask in the success of their 2018 All-Ireland winning team, Declan Hannon (26) insists the players themselves are trying to move on and fix their eyes on the next horizon.

It hasn't been easy in that regard. Their League title win was a reminder of just how formidable group of players the Treaty are and what could be in store for them down the line.

And the feel good factor in the county continued this week when the board signed a deal with LIT for the naming rights for the Gaelic Grounds that comes with a host of other benefits along with €300,000 over ten years. Limerick have been looking for a naming rights partner for the Gaelic Grounds since 2015. The joy of last August still resonates around the county.

"I suppose the older generation in Limerick thought they'd gone to loads of All-Irelands and left disappointed and gone to semi-finals and lost, disappointed," Hannon said.

"Like, they were over the moon, and it was unreal to see the happiness.

"And I suppose the pride it brought to the county again. People are still talking about it, while we are trying to move on to 2019, but you know it's magnificent for the supporters there that if it makes them happy that's okay with me anyway."

They have hardly missed a beat this year with defeat to Cork the only blot on the copybook. The Rebels drew with them last year in Munster and brought them to the wire in the All-Ireland semi-final. And they are first up for Limerick in this year's Championship.

"They are a savage team. They have won the last two Munster Championships. They are unbeaten in Munster in the last two years. They are there in All-Ireland semi-finals over the last number of years.

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"They are a very, very good team and I suppose that's the reasons they are causing us trouble is they use the ball very well. They work it to the best man. We have struggled against him, like in the League this year they were up 1-8, 1-9 to two points, the first half in the Gaelic Grounds they just overran us completely.

"So we're going to have to look back on that game and see if we can counteract that any bit at all and take it from there.

"Look, every team goes for it from the start. Cork have a really good running game and they are nearly perfectionists at it at this stage.

"They just use the ball very well and it's hard to play against. Look, we can't wait for the challenge, we are looking forward to it, enjoying the build-up to the championship. All roads lead to the Gaelic Grounds for our first round then."

And what about the theory that Limerick are going too well, too soon this year?

"I don't read too much into it to be honest. Like, we focus on ourselves, we focus on putting in good performances in matches and we've done that too far," the Adare clubman said.

"Munster is very tough, it's so competitive. The League is the League, at the end of the day. Come Championship it's a totally different kettle of fish. Yeah, I don't think you can ever be going too well. There is always massive room for improvement.

"Even in the League final we didn't play to our best, I don't think. We had a lot of wides and gave away a lot of frees and even throughout the League we conceded plenty of goals.

"So there's loads to work on, I wouldn't say we are going as well as we could be anyway. So, look, we want to push on and get ready for the Championship."

Irish Independent

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