Limerick’s scoring hero Shane Dowling yesterday condemned critics who had poured abuse on him and his teammates.
“Last week, the chairman of the club showed me a text message from a journalist in Limerick. I’ve no problem with someone voicing their opinion. Players play bad, they know they’ve played bad.
“That particular person personally abused me in that text message. I don’t say that lightly. Above anything else I’m just delighted I got my chance today. And I hope I answered him.
“It’s been incredibly frustrating. I’ve no problem with people voicing their opinions but when people go over the top and don’t show you any respect, it’s not nice.
“Thank God, that we answered that today.”
Dowling was warm in his praise for the Limerick fans, however: “Our supporters are absolutely phenomenal. You saw what it meant to them there today. It’s not just in Limerick that it’s a problem. You get written off and you just want a little bit of respect. That’s all.
“It’s been going on for the last three months. I don’t like bringing it up because everyone has been bringing it up. But when Donal (O’Grady) left, people thought the whole ship fell apart.
“Nothing fell apart. We’re Limerick hurlers. Let our hurlers hurl and that’s all we want to do. I saw Andrew O’Shaughnessy saying during the week, all the abuse they got in their time and things that were questioned about them. They were unfortunate not to win anything. We’re Limerick hurlers and all we want to do is hurl.”
Last year’s experience stood to Limerick, said Dowling.
“I said one thing at half-time — if Tipperary go out there and get a goal and a couple of points — funny enough that’s how it panned out — why would you panic? It was the same last year in the Gaelic Grounds. It was a carbon copy of last year’s game in the Gaelic Grounds.”
Yet Dowling also saw differences compared to 2013.
“It’s so different to last year because last year no one gave us a chance but that didn’t bother us because we didn’t deserve a chance.
“This year I couldn’t understand why no one gave us a chance.
“Our league form was the same as last year. We’re a championship team and we try to do it when it counts. You can see what it means to everyone there today, the players, the fans. It wasn’t just a once off.”
Dowling said he hoped people retained some perspective about the players.
“The lack of respect shown to that team during the week was unfair.
“But it’s funny, one thing I saw coming out from the GPA launch during the week, we’re only human.
“I don’t know if some people know that we’re only human. I go home tonight, go to bed and get up and go to work in the morning. We’re only here to try our best and I hope people realise that.
“People have questioned a lot of things over me, fitness, ability, the whole lot. I’m not saying I set the world alight on fire. I didn’t. But it’s nice to show that you’re still doing something good.”
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