Aaron Gillane has admitted he cringed when he reviewed a DVD of the Allianz Hurling League final, despite being named man-of-the-match. The Limerick attacker claimed the award after shooting 1-9 in the Croke Park win over Waterford.
He also registered a series of wides and admitted that looking back at the tape of the match made for surprisingly painful viewing.
“I watched it back, I’d say it could have been the Wednesday after, I was actually cringing watching it,” said Gillane.
“I had eight or nine wides and I was like, ‘Jeez, how did you get man-of-the-match in this?' But it was good from the point of view that after every match you always have stuff to work on.
“So I watched it and threw on a pair of shorts and then went straight up to the field and hit a few shots. I’d drive myself mad trying to perfect things but it’s good to have things to work on at the same time.
I suppose for a lot of them (the misses), I was hitting them off the back foot. That’s not something I’d usually do, I’d usually try to take on my man as much as I can.
"Maybe I had an extra yard or two of space and just said I’d shoot, I don’t know, maybe I just snatched at them. I had enough wides anyway and I got an earful off Cian (Lynch) during the match to tell me as much.”
It’s this potential for improvement, allied to the fact players like Mike Casey, Seamus Flanagan, Shane Dowling, and Paddy O’Loughlin couldn’t make the final line-up, which makes Limerick supporters so optimistic approaching the Championship.
“I’ll keep saying this — I don’t think you can ever be going too well. I know people say Limerick had a great game in the final against Waterford but even those wides I hit myself, like John (Kiely) and Paul (Kinnerk) are picking out things like that that I need to be working on. That’s how you keep improving.”
Gillane admitted that winning the league was another psychological boost for Limerick.
“If you come to Croke Park and you lose a few matches, it can be kind of daunting then but luckily enough I’ve played there three times and we’ve won three matches, so long may that continue."
“Even talking to a few of the boys after the final, you’re playing on the best field in Ireland, you feel like there’s nothing you can’t do then.”
Gillane scored a memorable first-half goal in the league final when he applied a deft touch to a drilled ball down the field from Tom Morrissey.
“I don’t know why he drilled the ball so hard,” said Gillane, who beat Noel Connors to the ball.
“It was all a fluke. He never hits the ball in like that and Noel Connors is never going to miss the ball like that again either. I don’t know, I think it was just instinct.”