Limerick will be appearing in a fifth final in six years, as many as they did in the previous 40+ years.
Limerick’s victory over Galway a fortnight ago means the Shannonsiders have earned yet another All-Ireland final appearance, as they prepare to face Kilkenny.
It will be the 21st All-Ireland Hurling final the Treaty county have competed in, and their fifth final appearance since 2018, as they bid to win four in a row for the first time ever.
Between Kilkenny, Cork, Waterford and Galway, the Shannonsiders’ opponents have varied across their last five finals, of which they have won four.
With time running out until John Kiely’s men lock horns with the Cats, take a look back at the last five All-Ireland finals Limerick have competed in.
Kilkenny 2-19 : 1-15 Limerick (All-Ireland Hurling Final)
2 September 2007 in Croke Park
Kilkenny’s early blitz was enough to condemn Limerick to yet another All-Ireland as the Cats retained their title.
Andrew O’Shaughnessy would get Limerick off the mark and they would get four of the next five scores to leave it at 2-4 to 0-5 middway through the first half.
However, the Cats would reassert themselves and were seven clear at 2-10 to 0-8 at the short whistle.
Limerick would get the first two scores of the half before Kilkenny once again hit their groove.
Ollie Moran would hand Limerick a lifeline on 48 minutes when he blasted to the net.
But Kilkenny would soon re-establish their dominance and kept Limerick at arms length for the remainder of the tie as the Treaty famine continued.
Limerick 3-16 : 2-18 Galway (All-Ireland Hurling Final)
19 August 2018 in Croke Park
Limerick’s 45-year wait for All-Ireland glory finally came to an end as they held on from a late Galway fightback to secure the Liam MacCarthy cup.
John Kiely’s youthful side held an eight point lead heading into as many minutes of additional time before the Galway onslaught.
Graeme Mulcahy’s goal middway through the half helped Limerick into a 1-10 to 0-9 lead at the break which should have been more given Limerick’s dominance.
A trio of scores from Kyle Hayes coupled with goals from Tom Morrissey and Shane Dowling looked to have given the Shannonsiders an unassailable lead approaching added time.
Quickfire goals from Conor Whelan and Joe Canning gave the defending champions hope as they reduced the lead to a point.
Mulcahy would grab Limerick’s final score of the year which was cancelled out by a Canning ’65.
The Galway man would have a chance with a long range free with the final puck off the ball but it dropped short as Tom Condon raced clear with sliotar in hand.
Limerick 0-30 : 0-19 Waterford (All-Ireland Hurling Final)
December 13th 2020 in Croke Park
Limerick won their second All-Ireland in just three years against Waterford last December in a vacant Croke Park.
For the most part, the game was largely one sided as Limerick dominated from pillar to post.
Despite a few early shots at goal, Waterford’s striking through the fixture was no match for Limerick’s precise and calculated offence.
Limerick had all but a three point lead at half-time but they were anything but fazed upon the games resumption, stretching their lead to 11 points.
Waterford managed to square up the game early on but spent the games final hour on the back foot, struggling to keep up with their Munster rivals.
Limerick not only sealed an All-Ireland win but their 10th win over 10 games, completing what could be considered a Hurling grand-slam.
Limerick 3-32 : 1-22 Cork (All-Ireland Hurling Final)
22 August 2021 in Croke Park
Cork would be the opponents in 2021, as Limerick claimed their third All-Ireland in four years with arguably the most dominant final display of all time.
It was an incredible performance as the Shannonsiders totalled the highest winning score ever achieved in an All-Ireland final, surpassing a record set by Kilkenny in 2008 in their dismantling of Waterford.
With Croke Park restored to half capacity, the Limerick faithful were treated to a near flawless opening half from the Shannonsiders as they plundered 3-18 on a starstruck Cork.
The first half was full of goals, with both sides netting in the opening minutes, Gearoid Hegarty first gosling before Shane Kingston got his customary goal against Limerick. Aaron Gillane got a second goal for the champions before Hegarty shot to the bottom corner for his second, and his team’s third. That had the Treaty well in command at half-time, holding a thirteen point lead.
They managed to fend off any Cork threat in the second half, and add another fourteen points of their own as they went on to retain the Liam McCarthy cup for the first time in their history.
Limerick 1-31 : 2-26 Kilkenny (All-Ireland Hurling Final)
17 July 2022 in Croke Park
Kilkenny and Limerick locked horns for the first time since the Cats dumped Kiely’s men out of the championship in 2019, except this time it was in the final, and the Shannonsiders were on the hunt for their third Liam MacCarthy in a row.
A defiant Kilkenny display fell just short of the mark, losing by two points to an incredible Limerick side blessed with skill and style.
The first half made Limerick’s superiority clear, and an early Gearoid Hegarty goal put the Shannonsiders in the ascendency.
But the Cats were playing with desire, and managed to stay within touching distance, trailing by just four points at the break.
The second half proved to be a tighter affair, as Limerick extended their lead to six, only for Kilkenny to fire a goal courtesy of Billy Ryan.
Martin Keoghan would find a second goal for the Cats, leaving Limerick with just a one point lead.
Kiely’s men managed to hit a purple patch late on, with Cathal O’Neill, Conor Boylan, Aaron Gillane and Hegarty all throwing over scores to build a healthy lead.
Kilkenny did put on a late fight back, but it was too late, and ultimately they would fall two points short.
The final whistle sounded and once again Limerick were All-Ireland champions, three in a row!
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