My Favourite Game: Top 10 Limerick Hurling games this Century- 9

With no sport to keep us entertained for the foreseeable future, it is time to get creative and reminisce about all sport has offered us over the years.

As such, I began to examine my favourite hurling games involving Limerick since I first attended the Gaelic Grounds in 2007 as a 10-year-old.

There has been some huge highs and many more lows in Limerick hurling circles over the past thirteen years and for each of the next ten days I will count down my top ten favourite Limerick games.

Earlier this week I went through the honourable mentions, while yesterday I had number 10 on the list.


9.

Limerick 0-17 : 2-13 Kilkenny (All-Ireland Semi-Final)

10 August 2014 at Croke Park

GAA Hurling All Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final, Croke Park, Dublin 10/8/2014 Kilkenny vs Limerick General view of heavy rainfall during the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Tommy Grealy

Goals would prove the difference as Kilkenny overcame Limerick after a titanic tussle to advance to the 2014 All-Ireland final in biblical-like rain at Croke Park.

After a disastrous semi-final appearance 12 months previously, there were sceptics who wondered would Limerick be able to handle the challenge of Brian Cody’s Cats who had missed out on the All-Ireland final for the first time since 2005 the previous year.

Those doubts were quickly diminished as Declan Hannon and Donal O’Grady got Limerick off to the perfect start.

Limerick had five different scorers within the opening quarter of an hour and their ferocious workrate seemed to startle Kilkenny.

TJ Ryan’s charges lead 0-10 to 0-7 at the half hour mark before Kilkenny struck with their first goal.

Richie Hogan, who would go on to be crowned Hurler of the Year managed to evade the Limerick defence to fire past Nickie Quaid as Kilkenny propelled themselves into a 1-9 to 0-10 lead the break.

Once more, Limerick came out the better side, and with the rain falling extremely hard, their spirit was on full show.

Limerick V Kilkenny
JJ Delaney and Shane Dowling battle for possession in the 2014 All-Ireland Semi-Final between Limerick and Kilkenny at Croke Park.

Such was the rain and the blackening skies, the lights were on before 5pm and Limerick were flying it.

Points from Shane Dowling and Seanie Tobin had Limerick ahead with 15 minutes to play.

However, Cody was then able to call on the likes of Henry Shefflin and Richie Power who helped change the complexion of the game.

With 56 minutes on the clock, Kilkenny were back in front as a long range free was fired to the net by the lurking Eoin Larkin (Although it is debatle whether he or Power got on the end of it).

From here Kilkenny summoned all their fighting qualities to see out the brave Limerick.

GAA Hurling All Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final 10/8/2014 Kilkenny vs Limerick Kilkenny Goalkeeper David Herity attempts to prevent the sliotar from going over the bar Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

It was an incredible display from both sides in conditions the likes of which had never been seen in Headquarters before.

It is also chalked full of memories that will live long in my memory,

From Shane Dowling’s one handed flick, to Seamus Hickey’s post-match interview, it was a spectacle of the highest order.

Also, the game was so gripping, I was able to leave my seat in the lower Cusack at half-time and move to the Upper Hogan on the far side without any sort of interference from security.

Scorers for Limerick: S Dowling 0-7 (0-4f, 0-1 65), D Hannon 0-5, G Mulcahy 0-2, D O’Grady 0-1, D Breen 0-1, Seánie Tobin 0-1.

Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-5 (0-4f), C Fennelly 0-4, R Hogan 1-0, E Larkin 1-0, P Walsh 0-2, M Fennelly 0-2.

Limerick: Nickie Quaid; Tom Condon, Richie McCarthy, Séamus Hickey; Paudie O’Brien, Wayne McNamara, Gavin O’Mahony; James Ryan, Paul Browne; David Breen, Donal O’Grady (capt), Declan Hannon; Shane Dowling, Kevin Downes, Graeme Mulcahy
Subs: Seán Tobin for K Downes (41), Thomas Ryan for D Breen (62), Niall Moran for D O’Grady (67).

Kilkenny: David Herity; Paul Murphy, JJ Delaney, Jackie Tyrrell; Joey Holden, Brian Hogan, Cillian Buckley; Richie Hogan, Conor Fogarty; Pádraig Walsh, Michael Fennelly, TJ Reid; Colin Fennelly, Mark Kelly, Eoin Larkin
Subs: Henry Shefflin for M Kelly (52), Richie Power for P Walsh (53).

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)

Attendance: 45,478

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