First off, congratulations to Aidan Walsh on winning this year’s Bord Gáis Energy
Breaking Through Player of the Year.
Aidan was superb in this year’s Munster final, scoring eight points, including that fantastic last minute equaliser. He was up against players of serious talent but I don’t think anyone can begrudge Walsh. He is a fantastic player and hopefully hurling fans will be seeing more of him in the future.
A big congratulations is also due to to Bord Gáis Energy U-21 Hurling ambassadors, past and present, Liam Rushe, Paul Murphy, Richie Hogan and Padraic Maher, who were this week named in the 2011 GAA Hurling All-Stars. The four lads are fantastic players and worthy winners.
This week I have asked Limerick’s Kevin Downes to write a blog on his season just gone.
Kevin had an eventful year with both the Limerick senior side and the U-21s including that fantastic Munster Championship win. It will be interesting hearing Kevin’s outlook on Limerick hurling at the moment which is certainly going in the right direction.
I’ll leave you in his capable hands,
There hasn’t been much time to dwell on either the Bord Gáis Energy U-21 Championship or the Senior Championship over the past couple of months, as I have been ticking away with my club Na Piarsaigh and that has also gone pretty well with us winning a county title!
Thankfully my hand injury cleared up and after losing two County Championship finals in a row, it was great to finally get a winners medal. We are now in the mix for the Munster Championship so fingers crossed my season won’t be finishing any time soon.
I suppose looking back on the county season; it was somewhat of a mixed bag. The Senior Championship started off with the disappointment of that one point loss against Waterford but we managed to get it together and pulled off good wins against Wexford and Antrim before losing to Dublin in the All-Ireland quarter-final.
With a bit of luck on the day, I believe we could have beaten both Dublin and Waterford. We learnt a lot about ourselves this season, especially following the losses so I have no doubt we will come back even better next year. This Limerick team is young and full of up and coming talent, so I think we will take great confidence from this year’s Championship as we look to push on and improve next season.
Obviously there has been quite a bit of change off the pitch over the past while. It was disappointing losing Dónal O’Grady. We knew he was only in the job for the year but I think everyone was hoping he would stay on. In saying that John Allen who is coming in is a brilliant manager and I have no doubt he’ll do well in bringing this team forward.
As for the Bord Gáis Energy Championship, winning the U-21 Munster Championship was definitely the highlight of the year. It was a cracking game of hurling and to come out the right side of such a close game is fantastic for Limerick hurling and something the players will always remember.
Unfortunately, we went on to lose against Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final by two points which was a huge blow. We were full of confidence going into the game following the Munster final win but it just wasn’t to be on the day. They say you make your own luck in hurling, so I guess there is plenty of work still to be done.
Thankfully, there is a large number of last year’s team that will be eligible for next season so hopefully we can push on and stake a claim for the Cross of Cashel.
Until then, I’m looking forward to getting stuck into this Munster Championship with Na Piarsaigh and keeping our run going as long as possible.
Hopefully I’ll chat to you all again next season,