Limerick hurlers begin 2024 with Munster league tie against Cork:

By John Keogh Limerick Leader Sport

LIMERICK’S senior hurlers begin their 2024 season with a clash with Cork on Sunday in the Co-op Superstores Munster Hurling League.

The fixture in Mallow is the first that John Kiely’s side will face since the 2023 All-Ireland final win over Kilkenny last July.

The competition likely see Kiely give a chance to some players that didn’t receive a huge amount of game time in 2023 and some new players that have just come into the panel.

“It’s a good opportunity for us to take a look at the new lads in particular that have joined the group,” said Limerick strength and conditioning coach Cairbre ó Cairealláin,” at the launch of the Munster Hurling League.

“The players are athletes all year round now with the modern GAA calendar the way it is. It’s important for us to get the balance right as well.

“It’s important that they get a chance to switch off and take it easy when the inter-county season is over. Some lads have it ingrained in them now to do a bit while not going over the top so they come back nice and fresh with us.”

Ó Cairealláin has played a vital role in Limerick’s fitness in the two seasons that he has been part of the set-up and gave a glimpse into the integration that new players have coming into the panel in 2024.

“This year we have 12 new lads that have come into the training panel. For me, it’s about keeping them together. Just to integrate them into the training programmes.
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“Myself and Joe (O’Connor) have been keeping a close eye on those lads just to make them at ease and comfortable as everyone else in the group.”

Both Limerick and Cork are likely to experiment during this year’s Munster Hurling League. The Rebels won the competition last year, beating Limerick along the way but failed to get out of the Round Robin in the Munster SHC.

Limerick’s game with Cork has a 2pm start in Mallow this afternoon and the team is as follows.

LIMERICK: David McCarthy (Glenroe); Emmet McEvoy (Na Piarsaigh), Dan Morrissey (Ahane, Capt), Fergal O’Connor (Effin); Mark Quinlan (Garryspillane), Ronan Connolly (Adare), Ciarán Barry (Ahane); Barry Murphy (Doon), Colin Coughlan (Ballybrown); Micheál Houlihan (Kilmallock), Paddy O’Donovan (Effin), Cathal O’Neill (Crecora-Manister); Donnacha Ó Dálaigh (Monaleen), Shane O’Brien (Kilmallock), Adam English (Doon).

Subs: Jamie Power (Monaleen), Aaron Costello (Kilmallock), Joe Fitzgerald (Monaleen), David Fitzgerald (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Luke Flynn (Granagh-Ballingarry), Gearóid Hegarty (St Patrick’s), Ethan Hurley (Newcastle West), Mike Keane (Adare), Darragh Langan (Monaleen), Liam Lynch (Mungret St Paul’s), Oisin O’Reilly (Kilmallock).