2011 – 2020 A DECADE OF UNLIMITED SUCCESS FOR LIMERICK GAA
As we come to end of a decade and enter a new one, we look back on what was a remarkable 10 years, the past decade 2011 to 2020 have been a decade of unlimited Success for Limerick GAA on the playing fields winning Provincial, National and International Finals, in League and Championship, atMinor, Under 21 and Senior Hurling and Football and Club Senior Hurling.
The Roll of Honour include :
3 Munster Senior Hurling Championships (2013, 2019 and 2020).
3 Munster Under 21 Hurling Championships ( 2011, 2015 and 2017).
5 Munster Club Senior Hurling Championships, (2011,2013, 2015,2017 Na Piarsaigh),( 2014 Kilmallock).
4 Munster Minor Hurling Championships (2013, 2014, 2019 and 2020).
1 Munster Waterford Crystal Senior Hurling Cup (2015).
2 Munster Co-Op Superstores Hurling Leagues (2018 and 2020).
1 Munster McGrath Cup Senior Football (2020)
2 All Ireland Senior Hurling Championships (2018 and 2020).
2 All Ireland Under 21 Hurling Championships (2015 and 2017).,
2 Division 1, Allianz Hurling League Titles (2019 and 2020).
1 All Ireland Club Senior Hurling Championship (2016 Na Piarsaigh).
2 Division 4, Allianz Football League Titles (2013 and 2020).
1 Fenway Classic Boston (2018)
Many people speak of the Limerick success story of the Limerick Hurlers in the 1930s, playing in five All Ireland Finals, four in a row 1933, 1934, 1935 and 1936 as well as 1940. Victory was achieved by the great team of the time in 1934, 1936 and 1940, to add to the titles won in 1897, 1918 and 1921.
It was a long wait until 1973 when Limerick won their seventh title, and it was another 45 years until the Liam MacCarthy returned to Shannonside in 2018 much to the delight of Limerick people the world wide.
In the year 2011,we witnessed what was to be the start of a decade of unlimited success, the Under 21 Hurlers won the Munster Championship when they defeated Cork in the Provincial final in the Gaelic Grounds. Meanwhile Na Piarsaigh took the Munster Club Senior Hurling title defeating Crusheen (Clare) in a replayed final.
2013 saw the Senior Footballers win Division 4 Allianz Football League title defeating Offaly in the final played in Croke Park, , a unique Munster Hurling Final double was achieved, when the Senior Hurlers bridged a 17 year gap, defeating Cork in the Munster Final in the Gaelic Grounds, the Minors won the Provincial title when bridging a 19 year gap, when the defeated Waterford in a replayed final in Semple Stadium Thurles. Na Piarsaigh regained the Munster Club Senior Hurling title defeating Sixmilebridge (Clare) in the Provincial final in Cusack Park Ennis.
Two more Provincial Hurling titles came to Limerick in 2014, the Minors retained the Provincial title, once again in a replayed final defeating Waterford in Semple Stadium Thurles, Kilmallock won the Munster Club Senior Hurling Championship final defeating Cratloe (Clare) in the Gaelic Grounds
2015 was to another very successful year, Limerick Senior Hurlers got the year off to a good start winning the Waterford Crystal Cup defeating Cork in the decider played in Mallow. The Under 21 Hurlers regained the Provincial title defeating neighbours Clare in Cusack Park Ennis. in the final and they went on to bring All Ireland honours defeating Wexford the All Ireland Final played in Semple Stadium Thurles. Na Piarsaigh capped off a great year when they regained the Munster Club Senior Hurling title when they defeated Ballygunner (Waterford) in the Provincial decider in Semple Stadium Thurles.
St Patrick’s Day 2016, saw Na Piarsaigh win the Ireland Club Senior Hurling Championship in Croke Park defeating Ruairi Og Cushendall (Antrim) to bring The Tommy Moore to Limerick for the first time.
2017 saw the Under 21 Hurlers regain the Munster Championship title defeating Cork in the final, they went to defeat Kilkenny in the All Ireland Under 21 Hurling Championship final in Croke Park. Na Piarsaigh regained the O’Neill Cup for a fourth time when they won the Munster Club Senior Hurling Championship Final defeating Ballygunner (Waterford) in Semple Stadium Thurles.
Limerick winning the 2018 Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League defeating Clare in the final played in The Gaelic Grounds witnessed what was to be another great year for the County, the hurlers put in a huge performance in Pearse Stadium in Salthill to defeat Galway in Division 1B AllianzHurling League game to win promotion to Division 1A.
Sunday 19th. August 2018 was a day that Limerick people will remember for a long time, when Limerick Senior Hurlers ended a 45 year wait to win the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final in Croke Park defeating Galway to bring back The Liam MacCarthy Cup to Limerick amid great scenes of joy and jubilation. Fenway Park in Boston was the next Port of call for the newly crowned All Ireland Champions, when played in the Fenway Classic, defeating Wexford in Semi Final and Cork in the final to be presented with The Players Champions Cup to bring the curtain down on what was another year of great games and memories
2019 saw the Senior Hurlers win the Division 1 Allianz Hurling League Final defeating Waterford in the decider played in Croke Park, another Munster Hurling Double was also achieved, the Minor Hurlers defeated Clare in the final played in LIT Gaelic Grounds as part of a double header with the Senior Final in which Limerick overcame Tipperary to regain the title
2020 will be remembered for many reasons, A Year like no other with Covid-19 Restrictions , but for Limerick GAA it was a year to remember on the playing field lifting no less than seven titles.
On Friday night 20th. December 2019, Limerick Senior Hurlers began their 2020 Season in the opening game of the Munster Hurling league. A crowd of 5,296 attended at LIT Gaelic Grounds on Saturday 11th. . January for a Double Header, where Limerick met Cork in the Final of the McGrath Cup and the Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League and victory went to Limerick in both finals.
The Covid-19 lockdown was announced on 12th. March brought the Country to a standstill and after a seven month delay the remaining Allianz Football League games were refixed to be played behind closed doors.
On Sunday 18th. October where Wexford were visitors to Mick Neville Park in Round 6 Allianz Football League and recorded a 1.13 to 1.10 win, leaving the Round 7 games the following weekend to decide the League winners, it was indeed another long journey on Saturday 24th. October for Limerick to play Sligo in Markievicz Park and in a game that Limerick led from start to finish to win by 2 points, Limerick 1.16 Sligo 1.14, and were crowned Division 4 Allianz Football League Champions and promotion to Division 3.
Limerick Senior Hurlers retained the Division 1 Allianz Hurling League Title when they defeated Clare in a game that doubled up as a Munster Senior Hurling Championship Quarter Final in Semple Stadium Thurles, the final score was Limerick 0.36 Clare 1.23. Limerick reached the Munster Senior Hurling Championship Final and retained the title defeating Waterford in the final. Limerick then defeated Galway in the All Ireland Semi Final to qualify for the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship final in Croke Park on Sunday 13th. December, where once again Waterford would provide the opposition in a game where Limerick gave their best display of the year to win by 0.30 to 0.19, regaining the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship title and The Liam MacCarthy Cup for the second time in three years much to the delight of those present and indeed Limerick people glued to the TV, Computers and Radio far and near.
Meanwhile the Minor Hurlers reached the .Electric Munster Minor Hurling Championship Final where they met Tipperary, played in LIT Gaelic Grounds with Limerick retaining the title winning by 2.22 to 0.25 after time was played on Sund
It was indeed very ironic that the 2020 Inter County playing year came to an end exactly 12 months from the opening game of the 2020 playing year, which commenced on Friday 20th. December 2019.
We all look forward to a New Year and a New Decade with hopes of continued success on the playing field.