Our Reeling in the Years of Limerick GAA continues today as we travel back to 2007 with a first All-Ireland final for the county for 11 years!
Catch out previous years.
National Hurling League
After reaching the decider the previous year, the league would prove disastrous for Limerick as they ended up in a relegation play-off.
Their ony win in the group came against Antrim with losses to Dublin, Kilkenny and Galway. They would draw with Tipperary which would prove a sign of things to come.
In the relegation play-off, they flexed their muscles to defeat Offaly 6-20 to 1-18 to maintain their Division 1 status.
Munster Hurling Championship
Limerick were drawn to play Tipperay in the Munster quarter-final. While these contests are always memorable affairs, what followed over the next fortnight will live long in the memories for the Treaty population.
Tipperary dominated the game in the Gaelic Grounds and lead thorugh a Frankie Carroll goal.
Donie Reale’s dismissal helped the Tipp cause but Limerick were in a determined mood and a late goa from Pat Tobin levelled the game at 1-19 apiece bringing the sides to a replay.
In Semple Stadium, a similar pattern followed with the Premier County in control throughout.
With six minutes of normal time, they held a seven point lead which looked unassailable.
However, lead by the inspiration Ollie Moran, Limerick clawed their way back with Andrew O’Shaughnessy’s last gasp free sealing another draw, once again 1-19 apiece.
The game was brought to extra time and it would be the Tipp who took the ascendancy once more.
Yet, there was to be a final twist as O’Shaughnessy would level late on, this time through a ’65 to take it to a second replay.
Back in the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick were the ones to make the early running, leading 0-6 to 0-1 within the opening quarter of an hour.
From here Tipp would reel them in and amazingly, the sides were deadlocked 0-15 to 1-12 after 70 minutes.
Tipperary got their second goal but Limerick responded to level in the second period of extra time.
With the sides seemingly destined to play each other once more, the Moran brothers inspired Limerick to a three point lead to seal the deal.
After Moran’s long range point that all but secured the victory, the Limerick supporters, who had suffered so long could not contain themselves as they entered the field prior to the final whistle.
This was Limericks first Championship win since 2001 and earned them a place in the provincial final against Waterford.
In the decider, Andrew O’Shaughnessy opened the scoring and Brian Begley’s 7th minute goal gave Limerick some daylight.
But Waterford were level by the quarter hour and held a slender 0-9 to 1-5 lead.
In the second half the Deise’s class would tell as they eventually ran out easy 3-17 to 0-14 winners, as Limerick’s wait for a Munster title carried on.
All-Ireland Quarter Final
Nonetheless, the provincial final loss saw them into the quarter-final where they played Clare in Croke Park.
Clare had won each of their three qualifier games and had defeated Limerick in the championship twelve months previously.
Yet, Limeric made light work of the Banner as Andrew O’Shaughnessy’s haul of 0-11 and Donie Ryan’s goal helped them to a 1-23 to 1-16 win.
All Ireland Semi-Final
That Clare win set up a rematch with Waterford in the last four. The Deise’s provincial win saw them enter as heavy favourites.
The underdogs would get off to the perfect start with goals from Donie Ryan and O’Shaughnessy saw them off to a flyer, leading 2-4 to 0-1 early on.
Waterford regrouped and had the gap down to four at the half.
An early second half goal from Ryan pushed Limerick further ahead but Ein McGrath’s goal brought the gap back to three before Tony Browne’s effort brought the sides to within a point.
A brilliant goal from penalty from O’Shaughnessy gave Limerick new life and Brian Begleys late goal sealed a historic 5-11 to 2-14 victory and a place in the All-Ireland final.
Limerick’s first All-Ireland final since 1997 pitted them against Kilkenny who were defending champions.
Limerick’s last win against the Cats came in 1973 when they last won the All-Ireland title.
Within the opening ten minutes, the final was effectively over as Kilkenny raced into a 2-3 to 0-0 score lead with goals coming from Eddie Brennan and Henry Shefflin.
Limerick responded with three unanswered points but Kilkenny were totally in control at the half, leading 2-10 to 0-8.
Ollie Moran grabbed a Limerick lifeline on 47 minutes as his goal brought it back to 2-13 to 1-10.
Limerick battled valiantly but never got closer than five points to Kilkenny who ran out comprehensive 2-19 to 1-15 winners.
While it counts for little, Limerick outscored Kilkenny in the final 60 minutes but in the end that early blitz was the difference between the sides.
National Football League
After earning promotion to Division 1 alongside Donegal 12 months earlier, the sides went in vastly different directions in the 2007 edition of the League.
Donegal won their first ever crown while Limerick were relegated to the newly formed Division 3 for 2008, beating just Fermanagh in their seven games.
Limerick did however, manage a draw with Donegal but it would count for little in their relegation.
Munster Football Championship
Limerick were paired with Cork in the Munster semi-finals in Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
The Rebels proved far too strong and repeated their victory from ’06 as they claimed the 2-14 to 0-7 win to send Limerick to the qualifiers.
Limerick were given home advantage for their first round qualifier tie with Louth.
Limerick headed into the game as favourites but Louth would come away with the victory, winning by a solitary point, 0-14 to 0-13 to eliminate Limerick.
Adare won their first Limerick SHC title since 2002 and a third overall as they beat Croom 0-14 to 0-5 in the decider.
Adare’s experience in these situations certainly benefited them as Croom, who hadn’t won a title in over 60 years failed to turn up.
The west side held a 0-10 to 0-4 lead at the half with just a further five points in the second period.
Dromin Athlacca earned promotion to the senior ranks as they won the Intermediate Championship.
Caherline were victorius in the Junior A Championship while Templeglantine took Junior B honours.
In the Limerick SFC, Ballylanders won a first title since 1999 as they completely outclassed Drom Broadford 2-13 to 1-3 in the final.
Kieran O’Callaghan was the star of the show for Bally with 1-7.
Drom got off to the perfect start and lead 1-1 to 0-1 inside the opening five minutes, they would add just two more points as goals from Johnny Murphy and O’Callaghan secured the title.
Athea moved into the senior ranks as they won out the Intermediate championship while Fr Caseys won the Junior A Championship.
Ballylanders completed an incredible double as they were crowned Junior B kingpins.