Footballers aiming for Munster Final spot

Limerick’s senior footballers travel to Pairc Ui Rinn this Saturday looking for a place in the Munster Football Final for the first time since 2010.

Their opponents, Cork, will be aiming to appear in a third consecutive Munster decider but have not won the Munster title since they defeated Clare in the final in 2012.

Incredibly, the Munster Football Championship has been won by either Kerry or Cork since 1923 except for Tipperary’s victory in 1935 and Clare’s in 1992.

Limerick’s last Munster Championship victory came in the nineteenth century as they are looking to bridge a 123-year gap since their one and only Munster championship win.

However, confidence is high in the county after the victory over Tipperary in the Munster quarter final earlier this month. Limerick had been pretty much written off heading into the game having been without a victory in the province since 2012 against Waterford.

However, a swashbuckling display from Billy Lee’s side saw them cruise to a well-deserved 3-11 to 1-10 win in Semple Stadium, thus setting up this weekend’s clash.

Munster GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final, Semple Stadium, Co. Tipperary 11/5/2019 Tipperary vs Limerick Limerick’s Iain Corbett scores a goal despite Brian Fanning of Limerick Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

For manager Billy Lee, it was a performance that was a long-time coming. Limerick were extremely unfortunate in the league campaign to have not secured a few more victories with the team falling just short on a number of occasions.

However, having learned from these lessons, Limerick gave their best performance in years to come away with the win. Speaking about the Tipperary performance Lee said:

“We had been performing well in the league. Learned a lot of lessons that we hoped that we’d adsorb and learn from then and certainly on the night our shooting ratio went up which was very helpful.

“If you keep knocking on doors, you will get your breaks and it balances out over time.”

The age profile of this Limerick team is very young, and Lee says the experience of the Tipperary win will be crucial, not only on Saturday but in their development, regardless of the result against Cork.  

“They’re the future and they are the boys that are going to represent us over the next number of years. So, it was hugely important from that point of view.”

Limerick travel to Cork as underdogs once against as they were in Thurles. However, they will have little fear against a Cork side who, like Tipperary, were relegated from Division 2 of the National League in March.

Munster GAA Football Senior Championship Quarter-Final, Semple Stadium, Co. Tipperary 11/5/2019 Tipperary vs Limerick Limerick’s Cillian Fahy scores a goal Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

However, there is still a gulf between the sides with Cork winning an All-Ireland title as recently as 2010.

Cork like Limerick are in the midst of a transition and Limerick may use this to their advantage. Lee understands the importance of building on a win and Cork who received a bye into the Munster semi-final will come into the game cold.

As such, Lee will take his side to Pairc Ui Rinn with some confidence.

“Whatever comes up form Cork comes, it’s bigger than that for us and the journey we are on. But we will go and have a crack and see how we get on.”

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