Tuesday, 21 August 2018


Limerick Captain, Declan Hannon, with the Liam McCarthy Cup

There were joyous celebrations around town on Sunday night following Limerick’s magnificent win over Galway in the All Ireland hurling final. The Sporting Limerick jersey was being worn with pride, and the green and white flags fluttered from passing cars and over the streets and buildings. We had waited forty five years for this day and were determined to enjoy every moment of it.

There was also a great sense of relief. After so many near misses, we had finally managed to break the hoodoo and come out on the winning side.

Limerick hurlers never do things the easy way. With just two minutes of normal time left on Sunday and leading by eight points it seemed like a good time to crack out the champagne (or the crate of Guinness)

But then Galway suddenly cut loose and scored two goals and a point in injury time to narrow the gap to one. And when Joe Canning stood over a long-range free as the clock ticked down, visions of the Offaly nightmare in 1994 came back to haunt us. Surely lightning could not strike us twice?

Thankfully for Limerick, Canning’s free fell short, the ball was cleared and the referee finally called it a day, creating mayhem and releasing forty five years of pent-up emotion and joy.

Limerick. All Ireland Hurling Champions 2018. It has a nice ring to it.

Irene Lyons and friends from Abbeyfeale travelling to the All Ireland Hurling Final last Sunday

We remember the mighty Mick Mackey
And the heroes of seventy three.
We poured in to Croke Park on Sunday
Like a tide rolling in from the sea.

Supporters were there from all over.
Some travelled from lands far away.
For forty five years we had waited.
Would the famine be ended today?

The players emerge from the tunnel
And are met with a deafening din.
We stand for the national anthem,
And watch as the ball is thrown in.

Diarmaid Byrnes picks out Gearoid Hegarty,
In Limerick, a great hurling star.
Aaron Gillane looks up at the target
And strokes the ball over the bar.

Graeme Mulcahy is a skilled corner forward.
Kyle Hayes was named Man of the Match.
Declan Hannon, an inspiring captain.
Seamus Flanagan makes the high catch.

Nickie Quaid is a giant of a goalie
Mike Casey goes up for the ball.
Corner backs, Sean Finn, Richie English,
Always ready to answer the call.

Darragh O’Donovan brilliant at midfield,
Helped out by hard-working Cian Lynch.
The Morrisseys, Daniel and Thomas,
Refuse to give Galway an inch.

Our subs were McCarthy and Casey,
O’Donoghue and Condon all set.
A cheer went up for Shane Dowling
When he stuck the ball in the net!

The final ten minutes were frantic
As Galway came chasing their crown.
But the lads from The Treaty denied them.
To a man they refused to back down.

The bonfires burn bright in Kilmallock
The green flags fly over Adare.
Liam McCarthy is heading for Limerick.
Pairc na nGael, Ennis Road; he’ll be there!

Three cheers for the brilliant John Kiely
Who guided our team to this win.
And a mention for JP McManus.
Sporting Limerick are champions again!

                                                                           Raymond Fennelly

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