Reeling in the Years: Limerick GAA’s 2002

Our Reeling in the Years of Limerick GAA continues today as we travel back to 2002!

Catch out previous years.

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2000, 2001


2002

Football

National Football League

There was huge strides made by the footballers in Division 2A of the 2002 National League under Liam Kearns.

The side would start with a win away to Antrim which was followed by a 21-point win over London.

They would defeat Leitrim in round three to keep up their 100% record.

Limerick’s biggest scalp in decades would come in round four as they defeated Kerry 2-12 to 0-16 to make it four from four.

They would eventually lose to Armagh, who would go on to win the All-Ireland later that year, in the next round.

Defeat to Louth in the next round would prove a fatal blow as a last day win against Wicklow was not enough to see them earn promotion, missing out to Kerry on points differential after finishing with the same win-loss record.

That pair of Armagh and Kerry who finished ahead of Limerick would contest the All-Ireland final in September.

Munster Football Championship

Despiet this staggering progress in the League, Limerick coulrn’t muster the Munster championship victory, over a decade in waiting.

Drawn against Kerry in the quarter-finals once more, Limerick couldn’t find the form that saw them topple the kingdom earlier in the year as Kerry ran out 0-14 to 1-7 winners in the Gaelic Grounds.

All-Ireland Qualifiers

Limerick were drawn away to Cavan in the first round of the qualifers. Cavan had earlier reached the Division 1 National Football League final where they would lose out to Tyrone.

In Breffni Park, nothing could separate the sides as the game finished in a 1-15 to 2-12 draw.

In the replay, Limerick would finally get their first championship win since 1991 as they ran out 2-8 to 1-11 winners.

15 June 2002; Limerick Manager Liam Kearns celebrates with John Galvin, left, after winning. Limerick v Cavan, Bank of Ireland Football Championship Qualifier, Breffni Park, Cavan. Picture credit; Aoife Rice / SPORTSFILE *EDI*

This set up a tie with Offaly in the Gaelic Grounds in Round 2 of the qualifiers.

Buoyed by the Round 1 win, Limerick had five points to spare against the Leinster side winning 3-9 to 2-7 on the Ennis Road.

Round 3 would prove a step too far for the Treaty however, as Mayo did just enough to earn a 0-13 to 1-9 victory in Dr Hyde Park to end a hugely successful season for Limerick.


Hurling

National Hurling League

Limerick were drawn in Division 1B for the 2002 National Hurling League where they reached the knockout stages.

They opened their campaign with a 0-9 to 0-11 loss before winning their remaining four games to qualify for the quarter-finals.

Those wins cam against Tipperary, Wexford, Offaly and Derry.

In the quarters they proved too strong for Clare, winning out comprehensively 0-23 to 0-9 in Thurles.

They couldn’t overcome Kilkenny in the semis however, falling to a 0-15 to 2-14 loss in the Gaelic Grounds.

Munster Hurling Championship

In a repeat of the previous years Munster Final, Limerick faced Tipperary, this time in the semi-finals.

Ollie Moran goaled for Limerick within the opening ten minutes to give Limerick the ascendancy.

John Carroll gave Tipp the lead middway through the half and from here Tipp would never relent as they ran out 1-20 to 1-13 victors.

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Cork were waiting for Limerick in the qualifiers in Semple Stadium.

Limerick lead 0-11 to 0-7 at the half before Ollie Moran’s strike at the start of the second period had their lead out to seven.

However a run of 1-4 without reply saw Cork level proceedings.

Limerick regained the lead with three of the next four scores. But three on the bounce saw the rebels into a 1-15 to 1-14 lead with time running out.

Mark Keane looked to have sealed the draw but a late point by Ben O’Connor would prove the difference as Limerick were knocked out.

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The Llimerick U21 Hurlers would make it three successive All-Ireland titles however.

They were tested throughout Munster beating Clare 1-12 to 1-9 before defeating Cork by the minimum, 1-15 to 1-14 to set up a tie with Tipp in the final.

The sides finished all square 2-12 to 3-9 in the final before Limerick won out 1-20 to 2-14 in the replay.

Antrim were accounted for in the semi-final before Limerick turned in arguably their finest performance of the three-peat, defeating Galway 3-17 to 0-8 in the final.

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Club Championship

Football

Monaleen would face Adare in the Limerick SFC Final in a novel pairing with Adare seeking a first ever title while Monaleen hadn’t won at this level since 1978.

Adare had only been promoted the previous year but were hoping to follow Drom Broadford who won the SFC just two years after winning Intermediate.

Not to be phased in their first ever final at the grade, Adare put it up to Monaleen with the sides playing out a 1-7 to 0-10 draw.

In the replay, the city side would get their hands on the title once again winning by a solitary point 1-10 to 1-9.

Athea were winners of the Intermediate Football Championship.

South Liberties took home Junior A honours with Granagh/Ballingarry taking the Junior B crown.

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In the SHC, Adare made it back-to-back wins, accounting for Ahane, 0-14 to 0-12 in the final, making up for the SFC loss.

Ahane controlled the game throughout and held a 0-12 to 0-8 lead against he defending champions with ten minutes of normal time remaining.

However a red card to county player Sean O’Connor saw Adare assume control as they rattled off four unanswered scores to level the game with five minutes of extra time added.

Mark Foley put Adare to the lead as they continued to keep their opponents at bay before adding the insurance point to secure a second title.

Pallasgreen reigned supreme in the Intermediate hurling championship with Kildimo and Monaleen taking Junior A & B honours respectively.

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