Hurling & Camogie

‘They are nearly too good...’ Limerick will take some stopping in bid for hurling history says Gleeson

Clare, Galway and Kilkenny among counties that could stop Treatymen in drive for five

Limerick's Gearoid Hegarty with the Liam Mac Carthy Cup, won for a record-equalling fourth consecutive year.
Limerick's Gearoid Hegarty with the Liam Mac Carthy Cup, won for a record-equalling fourth consecutive year. Limerick's Gearoid Hegarty with the Liam Mac Carthy Cup, won for a record-equalling fourth consecutive year.

LIMERICK, with their high-octane mix of physicality, speed and skill, have been credited with changing how the game of hurling is played and they begin this year’s Championship as favourites to capture a record-breaking fifth All-Ireland title in-a-row.

John Kiely’s green machine have won the last four Liam MacCarthy finals by 9, 2, 16 and 11 points and they began 2024 with a 27-point victory over Antrim. Can anyone catch them this year? Austin Gleeson, who scored five points for Waterford in the 2020 All-Ireland final against the Treatymen, says Limerick’s rivals will believe they can stop their bid to make history.

“The likes of Clare have been knocking on the door a few times,” he said.

“And there was Galway two years ago in the All-Ireland semi-final, if some of the chances they had in the first half of that game had gone over that game could have been different, Kilkenny are there…

“I do think teams are nearly there. If Galway could find that extra bit in the tank, they have game-winners all over the field. There are a couple of teams there that would fancy their chances against them and you have to have the belief or else you would be better off sitting at home. I think it will be an exciting year again and I do think a couple of teams will have a right go off them.

“Whether it will be good enough, we will have to wait and see.”

Limerick haven’t won an All-Ireland minor title since 1984 but they were losing finalists in 2014 and 2016 and those teams included the likes of Tom Morrisey, Cian Lynch and Kyle Hayes – all of whom have five senior medals now.

“A lot of those guys are my age or maybe a year below me and I remember growing up playing against those boys and they were always unreal,” said Gleeson.

“So when they got to minor they were the same. There was a team building there for years and look at them now, they are nearly too good, they have the players, the subs, the gameplan and the management.

“When things are going against them in games, they never take the foot of, they never change or deviate too much from their plan.”