Limerick and Tipperary’s trilogy an inspiration

Cian Lynch was an 11-year-old whippersnapper at the time but the impression lasts. 

Limerick and Tipperary’s trilogy an inspiration

For most Limerick kids in their formative years, that Munster semi-final trilogy against Tipperary in 2007 resonates, but for a host of reasons it was even more poignant for Lynch.

On the sideline on those three occasions were local Patrickswell icons Richie Bennis and Gary Kirby. But in his home there was his blue and gold-clad father, Loughmore-Castleiney man Sean, on one side of the table and the rest of the family on the other.

“Jesus, sure you know yourself, the banter flying over across the table! I’d say there was more chicken flung at each other, but no, Jesus no, some oul experience. It was great for hurling, it was great for hurling, three games, top flight, unreal players playing against each other, what you dream of going to watch and what you dream of playing in.”

Lynch even went to school for a couple of months in Castleiney as his mother was working in Dublin at the time and his father was doing the same in Limerick. John Meagher’s injury means he won’t get a chance to face his friend but he’d know the McGraths well and John is expected to start on Sunday.

As for his father’s allegiances at the weekend? “Jeez, I’d say he will be sitting on the fence, anyway! You wouldn’t know which side he would be – think he will be happy either way.”

Lynch was brought to all three games in 2007 as he was the All-Ireland final later that year when Bennis’ face appeared on the big screen before the game and the crowd erupted.

The result, of course, went Kilkenny’s way but Lynch was hooked. Patrickswell was the place to be, hurling was the thing to do.

“The oul ‘Well contingent. There was great atmosphere in Patrickswell, great buzz around the place, just the joys of it. It was great to be able to say you were part of that, that your parish were kind of involved at it. I remember seeing Seamus Hickey, sure he was only 19, 20 at the time. It was an experience that they would have dreamt of.”

Raised on such sustenance and blessed with the pedigree shown by his maternal uncles Ciaran and Pa Carey, it’s hardly surprising Lynch has made such a stunning start to his senior career.

To paraphrase Ciaran in his Laochra Gael programme earlier this year, it’s obvious a mile off that the 19-year-old is a county player.

But there is an innocence about Lynch too. For one, he thought the 70-minute game would drag a bit. “I’m still half thinking I’m minor,” he smiles. “You’re playing it for so long and all you’re thinking is ‘when is the next match?’ Thankfully, it came quick enough. TJ (Ryan) gave me the opportunity, myself and Tom Morrissey, to see if we’re up to it. If we are, we are, and if we’re not, we’re not. We’ll try and take every chance we get.”

Much as there was a backlash for Limerick after 2007 when Tipperary got their hands on them again in the 2009 All-Ireland semi-final, Lynch anticipates they will be fired up to avoid a “three-peat” of defeats against Limerick.

“Yeah, Jesus, do you know, third consecutive defeat, stop it, they don’t want that to happen. Two years in a row, they are hurt, they are going to come out trying to throw everything at us. Sure, we’ll have to throw everything back.”

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up