Dan Morrissey wants Limerick to keep hitting high notes

Michael Moynihan

Limerick star Dan Morrissey says there’s something different about the team in 2018.

Morrissey starred at wing-back in Limerick’s two-point All-Ireland quarter-final victory over Kilkenny on Sunday and acknowledged there was a different outlook among the men in green and white this year: “There is, well hopefully there is, there are seven or eight teams and there’s very little between them. Kilkenny are a savage team, we knew there’d be a savage battle.

The Galway game in the league was a huge game for us in that it gave us the belief we could compete with the very best. Since then we’ve been looking for incremental improvements each time.

“From the Clare game we’ve gotten slightly better with every game so hopefully we can keep that going for the Cork game.”

They needed to go to the well last Sunday, when Richie Hogan nudged Kilkenny ahead with a late goal.

“We’ve great faith in each other as a team, even when Kilkenny got the goal with a few minutes to go, we didn’t panic,” said Morrissey.

Limerick teams of old might have dropped the heads and let Kilkenny finish off the match, but we went down the field, won the next puck-out and put it over the bar. It’s a great feeling, a huge feeling, but at the end of the day it’s only a quarter-final, we’re back in a semi-final in two weeks.

“It’s huge this year that no matter what happens we stick to the game plan, we don’t change our process or plan. When the goal went in we knew we’d still get chances to bring it back, I think Tom (Morrissey) got the next point after the puck-out. There was just a savage workrate from one to 15, and from the lads who came off the bench. There’s just a great buy-in this year from one to 36 and all the backroom team, hopefully we can push on again in two weeks.”

The wing-back caught the eye with some spectacular fielding. “You have days like that,” laughed Morrissey. “I threw up the hand and some days you’d miss it completely, other days the ball falls into it. Thankfully a few balls fell into my hand Sunday and I didn’t do too badly.”

Dan Morrissey

The only blot on Limerick’s record this year in the Championship was that away loss to Clare when they played their third weekend in a row, but Morrissey said they’d taken some lessons from that defeat.

“I know some people said it was our third week in a row, but I think that’s more of a mental thing than a physical thing. We looked back on the video and we felt we didn’t play well but we were still very much in that game with 10, 12 minutes to go, though they got the last seven points.

“There were things in that game that we usually wouldn’t do, silly mistakes, thankfully we got those out of our system and rectified it. Hopefully there won’t be a repeat of that for the semi-final.”

Does a loss like that serve to damp down the hype a little?

Limerick fans are great but maybe we have a habit sometimes of getting ahead of ourselves — before the Clare game people were talking about All-Ireland finals and we hadn’t even gotten to a Munster final at that stage.

"Limerick fans are great, I’m sure they’ll be up in numbers for the semi-final, but Cork will be red-hot favourites for that. They’re unbeaten, they’ve won three Munster Championships in five years, but we’ll give it our best shot. We’ll leave it all out there on the field and we can’t do any more than that.”

They have that Munster Championship draw against Cork to look back on of course, when they played much of the game with 14 men following Aaron Gillane’s red card.

“There’s great belief between the young and the old lads, that belief is probably the big difference between previous years, and that may come from the big result against Galway in the league. Any team we go out against we believe we can beat them, so going up against Cork we’ll believe we can beat them.”

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