It’s Solely February However Limerick Proving Prepared For Summer season Battle
“Solely a journalist would assume like that”, was John Kiely’s quick-witted response when requested if Limerick had been hurling too properly for therefore early within the yr.
It should be troublesome for Limerick supporters to not get carried away with the present hype surrounding their crew. This time final yr, nobody would have thought-about them to be All Eire contenders. Even after their Allianz League promotion win over Galway, it was nonetheless ‘solely the League’, no have to learn an excessive amount of into it.
Earlier than the All Eire last, the narrative was that it might be too huge of an event for the younger gamers to deal with. It could be a simple win for Galway however Limerick would study useful classes to hold into the close to future, however for 2018, it was ‘a step too far’.
This crew has been constantly proving the media, analysts and basic hurling followers fallacious. So when the query arose about their means to deal with the stress of being All Eire champions, it’s no surprise that they started 2019 so brightly.
Jackie Tyrell was extensively criticised for his feedback earlier this week through which he claimed that Limerick wouldn’t win the All Eire, nor had been they one of many prime three groups within the nation. Whereas there is no such thing as a doubt that they’re at present one of the best crew in Eire, historical past has taught us that February type counts for little come August/September.
Tyrell was erring on the aspect of warning as most Limerick followers must be attempting to do to keep up life like expectations. The reality is, only a few counties have managed to retain the Liam MacCarthy Cup. The truth is, previously 20 years, solely Cork and Kilkenny have managed the feat.
Suppose again to 2010, had been we not predicting that Tipperary would rule the championship for years with their younger crew? Even this time final yr, the vast majority of pundits and followers had tipped Galway for additional glory.
The brand new system has made it even tougher to win your provincial championship, not to mention the general competitors. One poor efficiency might be the distinction between trophies and an prolonged summer time break. Groups can’t afford to slide up as a result of there are six or seven different counties proper on their tails, sniffing for any delicate weaknesses that they will use to their benefit. It’s cut-throat and solely the strongest survive.
So historical past has taught us to handle expectations or at the very least be cautiously optimistic at greatest. The issue for Limerick is when you’re going so properly, when all of the indicators level to you being unstoppable, how on earth are you able to try this? ‘It’s going too properly for this time of yr’ appears to be the one approach of quelling any flashing photos of Declan Hannon climbing the steps of the Hogan Stand come August 18, 2019.
Groups which have been of their place beforehand have fed the media the standard traces about how they’re solely specializing in every sport because it comes, and about how aggressive different groups are and rising requirements and all that. Sure, Limerick have toed the road as properly. Kiely completed off yesterday’s post-match feedback by reminding everybody of the date and the truth that there are nonetheless solely two extra video games within the League. But their strategy is fascinating.
However their actions fail to match their phrases. For durations throughout that sport in Nowlan Park yesterday, they confirmed a championship stage of depth. Their forwards had been decided to not let any ball out of their sight whereas any hopes of a objective down the opposite finish had been in a short time snuffed out. And it was gamers that didn’t begin the All Eire last who had been driving these requirements, the likes of Tom Condon, Conor Boylan and Robbie Hanley who was thrown in on the eleventh hour. Whereas in interviews they’re saying ‘it’s solely February’, on the pitch they’re constantly sending a warning to different groups that they’re the crew to beat come the enterprise finish of the season.
What’s much more spectacular is the truth that they genuinely appear to be having fun with themselves whereas doing so. Usually we anticipate profitable groups to behave in a robotic sort method through which their sole focus must be solely to keep up the profitable streak quite than savouring the second – David Brady’s feedback being a chief instance. Limerick are proving that you are able to do each. As Kiely stated yesterday, a lot of the crew had not picked up a hurley in months, “which was good for them to have”, he continued. It could’t all be work and no play and even the supervisor acknowledged that.
The Treaty males have been doing all the pieces proper in 2019. They’re saying all the appropriate issues, behaving the way in which they need to be, and are having fun with themselves alongside the way in which. Limerick followers don’t have any want to fret about this crew getting forward of themselves, regardless of their apparent confidence and ambition that they’re displaying, there is no such thing as a sense of entitlement or cockiness surrounding this bunch. However, it’s solely February and supporters ought to brace themselves for the wave of feelings that’s heading their approach within the type of summer time 2019.