Return to action for Limerick’s All-Ireland champions

Limerick manager John Kiely and selector Donal O'Grady are aiming for another good year with Limerick.

FRESH from a well-deserved holiday in the US, All-Ireland Senior Hurling champions Limerick return to action with a Co-Op Superstores Munster League opener against Cork at Páirc Uí Rinn  at 2pm on Sunday. 

A travelling party of around 80 returned from their two-week vacation earlier this week, so while they will obviously be feeling refreshed, the nature of their match fitness is unclear. 

It will be Limerick’s first outing since completing the remarkable three-in-a-row at Kilkenny’s expense six months ago. 

It’s likely that Limerick will have just the one collective gathering ahead of their trip Leeside, but may have managed a few worthwhile sessions prior to their departure to Florida.

Explained Limerick selector Donal O’Grady: “Last year we decided to come back that little bit later and we found that things kind of just caught up on us a bit, so this time around we went back those few weeks earlier.” 

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“Once we’re back, we’ve two games pretty thick and heavy (also out against Kerry at Austin Stack Park, Tralee, on Tuesday next) and then the National League is only just down the road (opener away to Cork, February 4).”

On that earlier return, he added: “It was great to see the boys smiling coming back, which was a good start. There’s a freshness about it so far which is good to see.”

Manager John Kiely will announce his team on Friday night. It’s likely that the Galbally maestro will try out a few fringe or possibly new players, ones that would have caught his eye across all grades of the 2022 Limerick Championships. 

In their opening fixture, the Pat Ryan managed Cork overcame Kerry (2-30 to 2-17) at Austin Stack Park in Tralee, with goals arriving from Declan Dalton and Shane Barrett. 

Shane Kingston pulled up injured in this contest and is now considered a doubtful starter at the weekend. 

This weekend’s winners will advance to the final on Sunday week, where the opposition will either be Clare, Tipperary, or Waterford.