Na Piarsaigh overcame Kilmallock yesterday at the Gaelic Grounds to make another Limerick SHC final, but the former All-Ireland club champions had to fight all the way, having lost centre-back Ronan Lynch to a red card early in the second half.
The memories came flooding back to me in Thurles yesterday from all angles. It was almost 20 years to the day since we, Clarecastle, won our only Munster title in 1997. We had beaten Ballygunner in the semi-final. There was a Limerick team in the final again yesterday, just like there had been when we met Patrickswell.
Limerick IT 1-15 Carlow IT 0-14: This fixture lay in doubt up until two hours before throw-in, but IT Carlow and Limerick IT finally locked horns at the third time of asking — the Limerick college holding off a spirited second-half revival from the visitors to advance to the Fitzgibbon Cup semi-final.
If Sam doesn’t reside in Dublin next winter, the likelihood is that last week’s defeat to Tyrone will be pinpointed as the first blip when the season’s narrative is written, the first time Jim Gavin’s men revealed a chink in their armour.
For those of you nostalgic for the way hurling was played before the days of tactics and game plans, for those of you who long for the time when you got real value for money at the turnstile, the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick is the place to be this evening, as Limerick face Tipperary in the first semi-final of the Bord Gáis Energy Munster U21 hurling championship.