WHAT A YEAR for LIMERICK GAA on the playing field with Magnificent 7 Titles
On Friday night 20th. December 2019, Limerick Senior Hurlers began their 2020 Hurling Season, when they played All Ireland Champions, Tipperary, in the opening of Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League 2020, in LIT Gaelic Grounds where Limerick scored a 2.22 to 1.17 victory and went on to win the Munster League in what was the start of a great year on the playing field for Limerick, while it was also a year like no other, with Coivid-19 restrictions, during the year, who would have ever thought that exactly twelve months later Limerick were still involved when on Sunday 20th. December 2020, Limerick Minor Hurlers retained the Electric Ireland Munster Minor Hurling Championship title defeating Tipperary in LIT Gaelic Grounds by 2.22 to 0.25 after extra time was played to bring the curtain down on what was a great for Limerick, winning no less than seven titles at Provincial and National level.
It was on a cold December evening on 20th. December 2019 in LIT Gaelic Grounds that the 2020 playing year began, when All Ireland Champions were visitors in the opening Round of the Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League in which Limerick scored a well deserved win on a score line Limerick 2.22 Tipperary 1.17 The next outing for Limerick was on Sunday 29th. December and it was the turn of the Senior Footballers when entertained neighbours Clare in Mick Neville Park in the opening Round of the McGrath Cup and they scored a 0.14 to 0.06 victory, the footballers were back on the road on the following Thursday night 2nd. January with a trip to Fraher Field in Dungarvan to play Waterford in the McGrath Cup, where a win would give them a place in the final, and after an entertaining game Limerick scored a well earned 2.10 to 0.10 victory.
The Senior Hurlers travelled to Sixmilebridge to play Clare on Sunday 5th. January in the Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League where they scored a 6 point win, Limerick 1.25 Clare 1.19 to reach the final fixed for Saturday 11th. January
FIRST SILVERWARE of 2020 For Limerick on the Double in January.
A crowd of 5296 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
It was the Football side that got proceedings underway with a 5.30pm throw in and they lifted the First Trophy for 2020 when winning the McGrath Cup defeating a fancied Cork team by 0.20 to 0.16 much to the delight of a large Limerick support in the Mackey Stand when the McGrath Cup was presented to joint Captains Donal O’Sullivan and Iain Corbett by fellow Limerick man, Liam Lenihan, Chairman Munster GAA
The Hurlers followed up with a big win in the final of the Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League also defeating Cork by 1.32 to 0.20, marking a double victory and the supporters showed their delight when Cian Lynch was presented with the Cup by Limerick man, Jim Woulfe CEO Dairygold
Double Success in Allianz Hurling and Football League for Limerick
Just two short weeks after the McGrath Cup and Munster Senior Hurling League Final victories, the Allianz Hurling and Football Leagues got underway on Saturday 25th. January and Limerick were on the road for opening Rounds.
The Hurlers were Division 1 Allianz League holders and they were up against All Ireland Hurling Champions Tipperary in Semple Stadium Thurles, in front of a crowd of 11,867, and following a great second half display Limerick scored a well merited 2.14 to 0.18 to secure the League points on offer. Meanwhile in Fraher Field Dungarvan , the Senior Footballers opened their Division 4 Allianz Football League campaign with a hard earned win over Waterford by 1.10 to 0.10
The following week on Sunday 2nd. February both the Footballers and Hurlers were back in Allianz League Round 2 action, the footballers hosted London in Mick Neville Park and secured their second brace of League points with the narrowest of margins victory on a score-line, Limerick 0.08 London 0.07
The Hurlers played Galway in LIT Gaelic Grounds where the attendance was 14,151, once again victory was achieved Limerick 1.19 Galway 0.14 to secure the League points. On Sunday 9th. February, Limerick Senior Footballers made the journey to Dr Cullen Park to play the home side in Round 3 Allianz Football League where Limerick recorded their third League victory in a row winning by 1.07 to 0.09. Two weeks later on Sunday 23rd. February the Hurlers and Footballers were in action in Round 4 Allianz League games, the Hurlers made to journey to Pairc Ui Caoimh where there was a big Limerick support in the crowd of 11,212 that witnessed Limerick score a victory, Limerick 0.29 Cork 2.21, while the Footballers played host to Wicklow in Mick Neville Park where they scored a very win on a score-line Limerick 5.10 Wicklow 1.14.
In the Munster Under 20 Football Championship, Limerick defeated Tipperary on Wednesday19th. February in the Quarter Final game played in Mick Neville Park, Limerick 0.07 Tipperary 0.06. One week later also in Mick Neville Park in the Munster Under 20 Football Championship Semi Final, Kerry were visitors and they reached the Provincial on a score- line, Kerry 0.14 Limerick 0.07 .
Allianz League Round 5 games were played on Sunday 1st. March, the Footballers made the long journey North, to play Antrim in Portlenone, where they suffered their first defeat losing out by 2.21 to 1.12, the Hurlers played Westmeath in LIT Gaelic Grounds in front of 5,124 and a nine point win, Limerick 1.24 Westmeath 0.18
On Saturday evening 7th. March in a refixed Round 3 Allianz Hurling League Waterford were visitors to LIT Gaelic Grounds where the attendance was 9,057, Limerick kept up their unbeaten run in the league on score-line Limerick 1.21 Waterford 1.17
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 and on Sunday 18th. October, Wexford were visitors to Mick Neville Park in Round 6 Allianz Football League and it was the visitors that scored 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.
Another Munster Hurling Double
On Sunday 25th. October, Semple Stadium Thurles was the venue for the meeting of Limerick and Clare in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship Quarter Final, the game also doubled up as the Division Allianz Hurling League Final, and it was Limerick that scored a 0.30 to 1.23 victory to retain the Division Allianz Hurling League title and advance to meet Tipperary in the Provincial Hurling Semi Final.
Declan Hannon accepted the Cup from John Costigan (Central Council) in the Ryan Stand after the game.
The following weekend Limerick were in Munster Championship action in both Football and Hurling, on Saturday 31st. October, the Footballers made another journey to Fraher Field in Dungarvan to play Waterford, this time in the Munster Senior Football Championship Quarter Final and for third time this year they were victorious Limerick 2.14 Waterford 0.09 and reach the Semi Final where Tipperary were the opponents
On the following day, Sunday 1st. November , Pairc Ui Caoimh was the venue for the clash of the Champions, All Ireland Champions, Tipperary and Division 1 Allianz League Hurling Champions, Limerick. In the Munster Senior Hurling Championship Semi Final. The game played in very poor weather conditions saw Limerick emerge winners by a nine point margin, Limerick 3.23 Tipperary 2.17 and a place in the Munster final two weeks later
On Saturday 7th. November in LIT Gaelic Grounds, Limerick Footballers played Tipperary in the Munster Senior Football Championship Semi Final and it was the visitors that reached the Munster Final after winning, Tipperary1.15 Limerick 2.11 after extra time was played.
For Limerick Hurlers, it was back to Semple Stadium Thurles on Sunday 15th. November for the Munster Senior Hurling Championship Final, where Waterford provided the opposition and after an entertaining game, Limerick retained their Munster Championship title defeating Waterford by 0.25 to 0.21 and qualify for the All Ireland Semi Final
All Ireland Semi Final Win.
Galway were the opponents in the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Semi Final played in Croke Park on Sunday 29th. November and after a tough encounter, Limerick reached the All Ireland with a 4 point win over the Tribesmen Limerick 0.27 Galway 0.24
A very busy weekend of Championship action saw Limerick with three teams in action in Munster Minor Football and Hurling as well as Under 20 Hurling Championship on Saturday 12th. December. The Minor Footballers played Waterford in LIT Gaelic Grounds in the Munster Quarter Final game and they secured a victory, Limerick 2.12 Waterford 1.05 to reach the Semi Final. Semple Stadium Thurles was the venue for the meeting of Limerick and Cork in the Electric Ireland Munster Minor Hurling Championship Semi Final, where the holders Limerick scored a good win Limerick 2.19 Cork 0.13 to reach the final.
In the Munster U20Hurling Championship Semi Final played at LIT Gaelic Grounds, where Cork were visitors and it was Cork who were victors after extra time was played, Cork 2.29 Limerick 1.21
All Ireland Champions
On Sunday 13th December the All Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final was played in Croke Park, it was a repeat of the Munster final, with Waterford providing the opposition. Limerick put on a superb performance to regain the Liam MacCarthy Cup on a score-line, Limerick 0.30 Waterford 0.19
GAA President John Horan made the Presentation and Declan Hannon lifted the Liam MacCarthy Cup for the second time in three years much to the delight of those present and indeed Limerick Supporters glued to the TV and Radio far and near.
On Wednesday 16th. December in the Electric Ireland Munster Minor Football Championship Semi Final, Clare were visitors to LIT Gaelic Grounds when they defeated the home side, Clare 4.20 Limerick 1.10 to reach the Provincial decider.
Munster Minor Hurling Champions again
On Sunday 20th. December the .Electric Munster Minor Hurling Championship Final was played in LIT Gaelic Grounds where Limerick who were hoping to retain their title met Tipperary in what was a very fine game of hurling and it was the home side that emerged victorious after extra time was played, Limerick 2.22 Tipperary 0.25. Limerick Captain Adam English lifted the Cup in the Mackey Stand amid great joy for those present . The Minors will play Galway in the All Ireland Minor Hurling Championship Semi Final on a date to be fixed
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.
Club Scene : In a very short season because of the Restrictions during the year, most of the Club Championship were completed prior to the Inter County Championship commenced, and after some very exciting games played in front of restricted attendances, Na Piarsaigh regained the County Senior Hurling Championship title, as did Adare in the County Senior Football Championship final, Kildimo-Pallaskery won the Premier Intermediate Championship title, while Newcastlewest took the Intermediate Hurling Championship title. Claughaun won the County Intermediate Football Championship, while Crecora-Manister won the Junior ‘A’ Football Championship title.
Little did anyone know what 2012 was to bring, with Covid-19 Lockdowns, Restrictions etc., A Year like no other, that brought challenges to the entire Community local and national and we all look forward to 2021 with renewed hope that many things might return to normal in time.