Kyle Hayes picked up a third successive Munster Championship title on Sunday as his goal helped pave the way for Limerick’s triumph.
With 54 minutes on the clock in a sun drenched Pairc Ui Chaoimh, the Limerick wave had fully engulfed Tipperary as John Kiely’s men turned a screw, rarely seen before.
Tipp were gasping for air with Limerick fully on the throttle.
And after turning a ten point deficit into a two-point cushion, Limerick and Kyle Hayes had no intentions of slowing down as the Kildimo Pallaskenry man embarked on a dazzling run that saw him finish to the net after collecting the ball inside his own ’65.
Hayes’ goal all but ended Tipperary’s hopes with Limerick cantering to a third successive Munster triumph.
The solo strike came in the midst of a difficult week for Hayes who lost a close friend and teammate in tragic circumstances last weekend.
Prior to throw in, a minutes respect was paid to the late Darren Whelan of Kildimo Pallaskenry who was laid to rest earlier today.
Speaking on the goal, John Kiely praised the efforts of Hayes on the field.
“A cracking goal and I am delighted for him. He has had a really tough week, along with Darren O’Connell as well. Their good friend Darren Whelan passed away tragically last weekend. It’s an awful blow to them young lads and it’s a reminder to us about about the fragility of life.
“We saw it again this weekend with Monaghan U20 captain Brendán Óg Duffy, what a terrible tragedy. All valuable young men to their families and communities and making a huge difference to their communities and wider communities. We are just grateful we have these young men and Tipperary, Limerick, Galway and Cork or wherever they are from, we are very lucky to have them and we have to try and mind them. Terrible tragedies and desperate losses and it hits these boys tremendously when something like that happens.
“Hats off to Kyle because it was difficult for him to do what he did today. At times he found it hard outside there on the pitch but like everything that Kyle does he gives it his all. There is no reverse, there is only going forward with Kyle Hayes and that’s the bottom line and I hope that’s the way he continues to be.
“He can dedicate that performance to his great friend.”
We would like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Darren Whelan.
Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.