Are Limerick beatable?

Former Clare captain Anthony Daly, who lifted the Liam MacCarthy Cup in 1995 and 1997, pictured before the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship final match between Clare and Limerick. Photo: Ray McManus.

NO, unless it is a “smash-and-grab job late on,” according to Clare’s two-time All-Ireland winning senior captain Anthony Daly.

Limerick now have a four-week break before an All-Ireland semi-final showdown at Croke Park, quite possibly against age-old rivals Cork.

Daly-led Clare and Limerick served up many a thrilling Munster Championship battle in the 1990s.

Skip forward some 30 years and the same counties are challenging for provincial honours, only this time around Limerick very much have the upper hand, winners over the Banner in the last three finals.

In his highly-respected Irish Examiner column, Daly suggested that Limerick “look so imperious now that the only way they will be beaten is if it is a smash-and-grab job late on”.

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“I never thought I would see a team win six Munsters in a row but I am not surprised that it was John Kiely’s men that eventually did so.”

He singled out Limerick goalkeeper Nickie Quaid for special mention.

“Nickie was immense again,” stated Daly. “As well as making a couple of top-class saves, he also made a brilliant reaction stop just before the goal before scooping it away to Duggy (Peter Duggan). Throughout, Quaid’s distribution was of an elite standard.”

Limerick remain odds-on favourites to again lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup, followed in the betting market by Kilkenny, Cork, Clare, Wexford, and 100/1 shots Dublin.

Next up in the Championship, this weekend, are the All-Ireland Preliminary quarter-finals: Offaly v Cork in Tullamore and Laois against Wexford in Portlaoise.

The winners here will advance to meet Dublin and Clare, respectively.