Monaleen bid for All-Ireland hurling glory

Andrew La Touche Cosgrave of Monaleen.

MONALEEN are in a cautious mood ahead of their AIB All-Ireland Intermediate Hurling Final against Tooreen of Mayo at Croke Park on Saturday night.

That’s according to their most experienced player Andrew La Touche Cosgrave. 

“You couldn’t write what’s happened,” Cosgrave told of Monaleen’s remarkable season, which has already earned them Limerick and Munster Championship victories, and now brought this marvellous bunch to the brink of All-Ireland success. 

The team’s average age is a mere 21.

Cosgrave is a little older and featured with Limerick’s All-Ireland Under-21 teams of 2017 and ’18 but was hindered thereafter with a persistent Achilles injury.

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Thankfully for Eoin Brislane’s Monaleen, he’s had surgery, and all now appears okay. Cosgrave hit a crucial 1-1 in the semi-final defeat of sticky Bray Emmets (Wicklow). 

“To be honest, when I was looking on, with this injury, I was thinking ‘there’s no way I’m going to get in here, the boys are playing so well’. Even to this day the ‘B’ team as we call it, they’re putting it up to us every single day. There’s no position safe, not one,” stated Cosgrave.

“So, in the time you’re training you’re thinking ‘Jesus, I need to pull up my socks here.’ And when you go home and think about it there’s no better place to be, fellas pushing other fellas everywhere, from one to 36. Every one of us is pushing and contributing.”

Monaleen are favourites but are cautious. 

Said Cosgrave: “Torreen are Mayo senior champions and we’re coming up from Intermediate, so that’s definitely one thing in play. They’ve 15 Mayo senior hurlers and, yeah, Mayo might not be competing in the Liam MacCarthy, but it doesn’t matter.

“They’re still doing county training and have the hurling done that Limerick are doing. They’re still hurling five or six nights a week.

“Yes, we might have the favourites tag but they’re not there for no reason and it’s all going to come down to who wants it more on the day. They’re a very good side and we’ll have our homework done on them.”