Sport Hurling

Tuesday 24 April 2018

The seven limerick let go . . .

Brian Murray (Patrickswell)

Aged 27, Murray was Limerick's goalkeeper in 2007, the year they last reached the All-Ireland final when he won an All Star for his performances. This year he has been beset by a troublesome back injury and featured in only one league match, against Down, as Nicky Quaid established himself as the No 1 goalkeeper. For most of the championship he wasn't even reserve goalkeeper.

Stephen Lucey (Croom)

Arguably the highest profile of those left off, Lucey was a peripheral figure in the 2011 championship, with a hamstring injury curtailing his input. He did feature as a late substitute in Limerick's last two championship games, against Dublin and Antrim, but it was clear under Donal O'Grady that he was becoming surplus to requirements. A member of two of Limerick's All-Ireland U-21 winning teams in 2000 and '01.

Paudie McNamara (Murroe Boher)

McNamara burst on to the scene in 2008 against Wexford in the qualifiers but in 2011 he was losing altitude, with only a handful of league appearances and a brief cameo against Antrim in the championship.

Pat Tobin (Murroe Boher)

A double All-Ireland U-21 winner, he always had potential and an eye for goal but one late appearance against Waterford in the championship was as much as he got.

Paudie O'Brien (Kilmallock)

One of the more surprising omissions given his potential, but 22-year-old O'Brien saw action just once in the championship -- in the second half against Antrim -- and had little exposure in the league.

Eoin Ryan (Kilmallock)

Looked to be heading in the right direction when he scored four points from placed balls against Westmeath in the league, but never saw much action after that.

Ciaran O'Rourke (Bruree)

A peripheral defensive figure who was on duty just once in the league.

And the two who retired...

Damien Reale (Hospital-Herbertstown)

Reale has been a consistent presence in the Limerick defence for most of the last decade and his battles with Tipperary's Eoin Kelly are well documented. Was right corner-back on all three All-Ireland U-21 winning teams and made an easy transition to senior hurling. He was Limerick captain in 2007 when they reached the All-Ireland final and took a principled stand in '09 when he opted off Justin McCarthy's 2010 squad over the manner in which the previous purge was handled by the then-manager.

Donie Ryan (Garryspillane)

Now in his 30s, the sum total of Ryan's championship involvement in 2011 was five minutes against Wexford. On his day he brought pace to the Limerick attack, but he had made it known to the new management that he didn't wish to be considered.

Irish Independent

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