Pause pressed for Limerick

Limerick manager John Kiely after the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final match between Limerick and Cork at Croke Park. Photo: Seb Daly.

LIMERICK’S modern-day dominance of the hurling landscape – one that yielded an astonishing five All Ireland, six Munster and three National League titles in quick time – has been paused by Cork at Croke Park.

In a pulsating All-Ireland semi-final, a brave fightback by John Kiely’s marvels – after the opposition had pushed into a significant lead – came up just short against the Leesiders, and thus the Drive for Five, like it was in times past for Cork (1945) and Kilkenny (2010), will now be left to another team to, possibly, achieve.

“It was a difficult one and it hurts. It hurts immeasurably,” admitted Kiely in the wake of the loss. “But we will process it. I have no doubt that Limerick hurling and those boys in that dressing room will bounce back come 2025.”

He added: “We have a lot of lads coming through. They’re young and they’re learning as well.”

Kiely continued: “Hats off to Cork. Congratulations to them, we wish them well. They fought to the bitter end.They were that bit more efficient than us. But I have to say I am incredibly proud of the efforts of our team.

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“It’s not easy to come back time after time after time and show the levels of hunger and desire that our lads have shown for so many years.”

In conclusion, he praised his side: “I’m grateful to them, as everyone in Limerick should be for what they have done over the last number of years. It’s been an incredible achievement. We had hoped that 2024 we could push on and find new levels again and we have in many respects but it just wasn’t to be,” said the famed son of Galbally.

For the moment, however, Limerick will watch from the stands as new favourites Cork and Clare tussle for the Liam McCarthy Cup at GAA Headquarters on Sunday week.