But they refuse to end their pursuit of silverware. On Sunday they passed their first 2012 championship test against Waterford and will now battle with Clare on June 9th for the right to participate in another provincial decider.
“We’ve loads of room for improvement,” reasons the team’s long-serving defender Stephen Lavin.
“We were pretty rusty in patches. They had a load of chances and had some bad decision making.
“We’ve to tighten up a lot in defence if we’re going to be contending for a place in a Munster final. They put it up to us in the first-half and missed a load of chances. We weren’t working hard enough.
“To be fair when you finish the league, it takes about four or five weeks to get to championship. So after about 10 or 15 minutes, you’re wrecked at the start of a championship game. You’re building up to the pace of it. We needed the game badly.
“We only played one game between the end of the league and this championship game. We’ve had club championship for a few weeks in a row. There have been a lot of interruptions so this game was invaluable to get the structures in place.”
Lavin is one of the few remaining lynchpins in the side from the Liam Kearns era with injuries preventing several stalwarts from starting on Sunday.
Only eight of the team that started last July’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Kerry in Croke Park were in the side that began last Sunday’s game.
“It’s a different team from last year,” agrees Lavin.
“But we bring players through every year. It’s not like there’s no footballers in Limerick.
“Guys like Ian Corbett, James O’Meara and Eoin Barry all came on and they’re three young players. It’s about getting 28-30 players out now for training and preparing properly.”
Lavin freely admits the absence of Cork and Kerry from their side of the Munster championship draw has enthused the Limerick players this season.
“It’s a great incentive. Cork and Kerry are the two best teams in the country so it’s great when they’re not on the same side as us. It gives us all a chance and if you get to a Munster final, it’s all up for grabs then.’’