Aaron Gillane revealed that he lined out for Patrickswell in Sunday’s Limerick SHC final against medical advice. Gillane suffered a broken jaw in a group game against Kilmallock in early August and then suffered another setback in training last month.
“There was never a doubt. You are never going to turn down the opportunity to play in a final,” explained the Limerick star who converted six frees in their victory over Na Piarsaigh at the Gaelic Grounds.
“A broken jaw is a broken jaw. Obviously, it was sore but nothing is going to stop you playing in a county final with your club. It was definitely worth it. I was advised not to play but I took the risk and thankfully it paid off.”
Gillane was leading scorer when Patrickswell beat parish rivals Ballybrown in their 2016 final but the All-Star nominee couldn’t hide his joy at helping to put the club at the top of the all-time Limerick SHC honours list on Sunday evening.
“This might be the sweetest one of all. We went all year unbeaten and this win makes us the most successful club in Limerick ever. We haven’t lost all year and we don’t intend on stopping now. We are going to keep going for as long as we can.
“Winning an All-Ireland was great with Limerick. But I honestly mean this, with my hand on my heart, this is better than anything. Winning with your club (is better) ... I honestly mean that.”
Gillane, Cian Lynch and Diarmaid Byrnes will soon be reunited with Na Piarsaigh men like Mike and Peter Casey, Shane Dowling and William O’Donoghue at JP McManus’ Sandy Lane resort in Barbados as a part of a reward from their sponsor for Limerick winning League and Munster titles this year. However, Gillane is where he wants to be this week.
Even if the holiday was tomorrow, I would prefer to spend the week in Patrickswell. We are definitely going to enjoy it. We have worked so hard since last December. These things don’t come around too often so when they do you have to grab it with both hands and enjoy it.
Patrickswell’s season could have been in jeopardy following that draw with Kilmallock given the injury to Gillane and a suspension for Lynch after he was red-carded. But the fortitude of the group was shown in the next game as they maintained their unbeaten run.
“Even losing the best player in Ireland in Cian Lynch, other teams would have panicked. This year there are 38 players listed on our programme. The strength in depth in our squad is incredible.
“Take a young fella like Josh Considine, this is his second year playing senior. Cian just pipped him for man-of-the match in my eyes. You can depend on fellas like him. He really stood up when it counted. This team isn’t about one or two players: it is about the squad.”
Yet Gillane couldn’t say enough about Lynch.
“The one thing that stands out in mind with Cian Lynch is that when he is needed he always stands up. Even going back to Fitzgibbon Cup, we were in the final, the chips were down against us, Cian came up with a great performance and got us over the line.”