The Patrickswell native bagged three from play to go with a pair of frees in the win over Cork at the weekend to surpass the Clare legend.
Aaron Gillane moved into the top-15 of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Scoring Charts following another brilliant display against Cork at the weekend.
In the All-Ireland semi-final last year, Gillane became the counties highest ever scorer, moving past Shane Dowling with his latest salvo helping him pass Ben O’Connor in 15th.
His tally of five points at the weekend moves him onto 11-233 (256) from 33 championship outings at 7.8ppg. The Patrickswell native bagged three from play to go with a pair of frees in the win over Cork at the weekend to surpass Clare’s Niall Gilligan.
The star forward will face Gilligan’s native Banner next in a repeat of last year’s Munster final in just under a fortnight’s time in a venue yet to be announced.
Gillane’s average of 7.8 points per game is the fifth highest in the top-20 behind Joe Canning (9.3), Eddie Keher (8.8), Patrick Horgan (8.3) and Henry Shefflin (8.0). Horgan is the record scorer, just ahead of TJ Reid as they both passed the 600 threshold earlier this year.
The Patrickswell man is Limerick’s main free taker in the opposition half with his club mate Diarmaid Byrnes taking those from further out. Byrnes also made his own bit of history at the weekend, surpassing Sean McMahon to become the highest ever scoring defender in the All-Ireland championship.
Byrnes was level with McMahon (1-95 vs 0-98) prior to the contest but the Limerick man’s tally of 1-4 (1-1 frees) pushed him past the century mark, becoming the first defender to achieve the feat. Last year, Byrnes made history as the highest scoring defender in a single season with 0-36 en route to winning a third All-Ireland on the trot.
However, Gillane has not neglected his duties in open play and has clipped over 9-72 from play in his championship contests as a regular on the edge of the square. This year alone, Gillane has accounted for 0-25 (0-17frees) with his contribution so often more than scoring with countless assists as shown in the win over Cork as he found Seamus Flanagan for the games first goal.
His scoring exploits have coincided with Limerick’s most successful period of all time as he was the top scorer in each of their All-Ireland winning seasons since 2018 as well as collecting four successive Munster championship medals. Gillane and co will be looking to extend their extensive trophy cabinet on June 11 against Clare in the provincial final with a place in the last four of the All-Ireland on offer.
But on a personal level it is another accolade for the three-time All-Star with Joe Deane next in line, just nine points clear of Gillane with the top-10 within 29 points of the Patrickswell man.
Based on his current attacking return, that mark could be achieved on All-Ireland final day should all go well for Gillane and his team-mates .
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