“Both sides have huge respect for each other” | Captains Mike Casey and Aaron Gillane speak ahead of SHC final

Patrickswell and Na Piarsaigh face off in the Limerick Senior Hurling Championship Final in the TUS Gaelic Grounds at 5.15pm on Saturday.

Mike Casey and Aaron Gillane have been speaking ahead of their side’s meeting this weekend. Patrickswell and Na Piarsaigh face off in the Limerick Senior Hurling Championship Final in the TUS Gaelic Grounds at 5.15pm on Saturday, and both captains are looking forward to the game.

Reigning champions Na Piarsaigh are going for their eighth SHC title, having beaten Patrickswell in the 2015 final.

Patrickswell defeated the champions in the 2019 decider, and also in this year’s group stage, and captain Casey says his team have “great respect” for their opponents.

“Anytime you play Patrickswell it’s always an unbelievable game, it’s incredibly physical, high skill levels, real high quality players playing. The last time we played in the group stage they turned us over by a point. It’s going to be a great game, both sides have huge respect for each other.”

Mike Casey
Mike Casey and Darragh Stapleton challenge for a high ball in the 2020 Limerick Senior Hurling Championship Final between Na Piarsaigh and Doon in the LIT Gaelic Grounds. Mandatory Credit: Sport Action Photography

Casey will be tasked with keeping Gillane at bay when the sides meet this weekend, a challenge that many of the country’s best defenders have failed this term.

The Patrickswell man has been in electric form for both club and county, and has the ability to decide a game on his own.

While Casey acknowledges the tough assignment he’s been handed, he says he’s “looking forward to it.”

“It is an incredibly hard task, one that we’re relishing as a group. It’s never really one man on one man, it’s a group, it’s a back six with us, everyone making sure they’re getting their job done, trying to cut off the supply of ball. We know each other’s games very well and it’s something I’m definitely looking forward to.”

Mike Casey

Gillane was in relaxed mood as he discussed his team’s chances ahead of Saturday’s decider.

Patrickswell have won the SHC a record 20 times, with majority of the current crop involved in wins in 2016 and 2019.

“There is such a rich history in Patrickswell, we’re blessed to be born into a club like this and a village like this. We’ve got over the line twice ourselves as a group, and we have a great opportunity next Saturday to add a third one.”

Aaron Gillane
6 October 2019; Aaron Gillane of Patrickswell during the Limerick County Senior Club Hurling Championship Final match between Na Piarsaigh and Patrickswell at LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Being without a SHC title win since 2019, the Well opted for new management this year, as Tipperary man Eamonn Kelly took the reigns.

It is fair to say his opening season has been a success, as his side have produced some magnificent goal-filled displays.

Gillane was quick to heap praise on his manager, saying that the side have played “his way” all year, and are reaping the rewards.

“To be fair to Eamonn, he’s very approachable, he listens, whatever he thinks is going to benefit the team he implements straight away. He has his own ways, we’ve stuck to one thing all year, that’s Eamonn’s way of playing. He gets on with everyone, he’s a very good man manager.”

Aaron Gillane

Na Piarsaigh come into the tie as the bookies favourites, but Patrickswell will take confidence from their win when the pair met in the group-stage earlier this year.

These are two fantastic teams who are guaranteed to serve up a magnificent game when they face off this Saturday.

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