History for Limerick’s Diarmaid Byrnes who eclipses 17-year scoring record

The Patrickswell man put up 1-4 from half back at the TUS Gaelic Grounds on Sunday, as he surpassed the record set by the Clare native in 2006.

Diarmaid Byrnes made history against Cork on Sunday as he became the highest championship scoring defender of all time. The Patrickswell man hit 1-4 from half back at the TUS Gaelic Grounds to surpass the record set by Clare legend Seanie McMahon in 2006.

Byrnes now has a total of 2-97 across his championship career, a record which stretches over 36 games, and has led to four Munster titles and four All-Ireland wins.

His most recent scoring exploits helped his Limerick side reach the Munster final for a fifth year in a row, where they will face Clare in the TUS Gaelic Grounds on June 11. The 29 year old’s first championship scores come against the Banner in 2016, when he scored 0-3 from half back on his debut in a sign of things to come.

This record could have been broken sooner, but for Byrnes missing the 2017 championship through injury. He returned in 2018 to rack up 1-10 as Limerick collected the first of their four recent Liam McCarthy cups. Byrnes scored in seven of the eight championship games he played that year, with only Waterford managing to hold him scoreless.

The defender would score 0-11 in the championship in 2019 as Limerick fell out of the competition at the All-Ireland semi final stage following defeat to Kilkenny. Byrnes had similar years in 2020 and ’21, scoring 0-12 each year as his side won back to back All-Ireland’s.

Last year the Patrickswell found his apex, notching 0-36 over the course of the championship, shattering the record for the highest tally scored by a defender in a single season, as Limerick went on to win their third Liam McCarthy in a row.

28 October 2022; Diarmaid Byrnes of Limerick with his PwC All Star Player of the Year award at the PwC All-Stars Awards 2022 at the Convention Centre in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

It meant that he would come into the 2023 championship with an impressive tally of 1-84, 12 points in arrears of McMahon. Tallies of 0-3 against Waterford, 0-5 vs Clare and 0-4 vs Tipperary left the defender on a total of 1-96, equaling McMahon’s record of 0-99 heading into the final round robin game of the year.

The defender put in a monstrous display as he scored 1-4, including a brilliant goal from the penalty spot, as his side booked their place in the Munster final, the green flag the score to push him past the Banner legend.

Byrnes has be come an incredible long range free taker over the years, nailing down the role of main ’65 taker early on in his career. Since he has reverted to long range efforts and has totalled 67 frees to go with 11 ’65s. Still that leaves 1-21 from play, at .67ppg. When placed balls are added to the equation, that rises to three points per game.

Not bad for a defender.

28 May 2023; Diarmaid Byrnes of Limerick celebrates after the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 5 match between Limerick and Cork at TUS Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Byrnes was not the only Limerick player to reach a scoring landmark over the weekend as his club mate moved into the top 15 scorers of all time.

And the Patrickswell duo will be hoping to continue his scoring exploits and push his record even further when Limerick face Clare in the Munster final on June 11.

GAA coverage on Sporting Limerick is brought to you in association with Noels Menswear, shop online here or visit in Dooradoyle, Limerick City or Newcastle West.

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