Former Kilkenny hurler Brian Hogan said that talk of hurling tactics is “blown out of all proportion” and echoed Brian Cody’s sentiments that workrate and determination are much more valuable attributes in players.
The Tipperary match-day cavalcade lost a vehicle this year. For years, Conor O’Mahony’s Skoda Superb pulled up the rear. A bad traveller, he was given special dispensation to drive, with Shane McGrath riding along for company.
It’s taken time for the recent exploits of Clare’s footballers to migrate beyond the county’s traditional heartlands but Odran O’Dwyer knew Colm Collins’ team was on to something when hurling folk began to mention them on their visits to his performance therapy clinic in Ennis.
The short-term focus for Éamonn Fitzmaurice is tomorrow’s visit of Clare. The long-term focus is getting back to Croke Park to atone for the catalogue of Dublin defeats which have been accumulating.
When the sides met in last year’s National Football League, Limerick pulled themselves out of a four-game losing streak to kickstart an unlikely Division Three survival with a double-scores victory. Sadly for them, history did not repeat itself yesterday as they were brushed aside far more comprehensively by Clare than the final margin of six points suggests.
Kilkenny’s last two All-Ireland successes haven’t been replicated in the All Stars honour lists, where the runners-up in both years, Galway in 2012 and Tipperary last year, trumped them. As of now, Kilkenny look set to take the lion’s share of personal honours but Galway have plenty of strong contenders too.