Reeling in the Years: Limerick GAA’s 2011

Our Reeling in the Years of Limerick GAA continues today as we go back to 2011!

Catch out previous years.

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2000200120022003, 2004

2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009

2010


2011

Hurling

National Hurling League

There was an immediate upturn in fortunes for the hurlers under the tutelage of Donal O’Grady.

After losing each of their games the previous year, Limerick went perfect in their seven games in Division 2 to earn promotion.

They beat Clare, Laois, Antrim, Down, Carlow, Kerry and Westmeath to set up a league final clash with Clare.

13 March 2011; Andrew O’Shaughnessy, Limerick, in action against Joe Fitzpatrick, Laois. Allianz Hurling League, Division 2, Round 4, Limerick v Laois, Gaelic Grounds, Limerick. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

In the decider, they beat the Banner 2-13 to 4-12 to end the campaign as League champions.

Their goals on the day would come from new stars Kevin Downes, Declan Hannon and Seanie Tobin who would help change Limerick’s fortunes over the coming years.

Munster Hurling Championship

Despite this progress, a first Munster championship win since 2007 continued to elude the Treaty as they lost out to defending champions Waterford by a point, 3-15 to 3-14 in the semi-finals.

The Deise held a slender 1-9 to 1-6 lead at the break with Wayne McNamara getting Limerick’s goal from wing back.

The game burst into life in the second half and a double from 19-year-old Kevin Downes helped Limerick into the lead.

The sides were level approaching injury time before a double from David Breen and Niall Moran looked to have given Limerick the desired result.

However, a second goal from John Mullane in the last hour snatched the game for the Deise.

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All-Ireland Series

Limerick would get their campaign back on track in the qualifiers as they defeated Wexford 1-21 to 2-13 in the Gaelic Grounds.

Declan Hannon, fresh from his Leaving Cert lead the way for Limerick with 0-9 on the day with Graeme Mulcahy adding a further 1-4.

Next up was Antrim in Parnell Park for a place in the last six of the competition.

The experience of defeating Wexford stood to Limerick as they dominated the Ulster men, winning 3-22 to 0-12 with the green flags coming courtesy of Niall Moran, Richie McCarthy and David Breen.

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This saw Limerick into the All-Ireland quarter-final where they met Dublin.

This game pitted the Division 1 and 2 champions against each other with Dublin’s spring experience clearly helping as three first half goals from Ryan O’Dwyer had them 3-6 to 0-6 to the good.

Limerick would finish the half strong and four unanswered had them five in arrears at the half.

Three more on the bounce at the resumption had the gap down to just two.

Dublin would get the next couple but Limerick refused to relent and were dominant across the park.

They were unable to make this possession tell as they were wasteful in front of goal, letting Dublin off the hook.

With time running out, Limerick had it back to 0-18 to 3-11 but Dublin were not to be denied a first All-Ireland semi-final spot since 1947.

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There was some positives for Limerick however as the U21 side won a first Munster Championship since 2002.

In a titanic tussle with Cork in the Gaelic Grounds in the Munster final, extra time was needed with Limerick eventually pipping the rebels, 4-20 to 1-27.

Goals from Graeme Mulcahy (2) and Seanie O’Brien had Limerick ahead 3-14 to 1-19 before Aidan Walsh’s long range free brought the game to extra time.

Here Declan Hannon’s goal would ultimately prove the difference to spark joyous scenes on the Ennis Road.

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Limerick would fall to Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final but the seeds had been set for Limerick hurling.


Football

National Football League

After earning promotion the previous year, Limerick’s stay in Division 3 would last just one term as they were relegated after finishing second from bottom.

Their round one loss to Tipperary would prove crucial with the Premier County’s superior head-to-head record resigning Limerick to the bottom tier with the sides both finishing on the same points and points differential.

Nonetheless, Limerick would record wins over Cavan, Louth and Wexford but it would prove futile in their bid for safety.

Munster Football Championship

In the Munster semi-final, Limerick were completely outclassed by Kerry who ran out 1-26 to 3-9 winners in the Gaelic Grounds.

Jim O’Donovan opened the scoring for Limerick but that was as good as it got for Limerick who would concede the next 1-11.

They would register 1-3 before the break with Seanie Buckley’s goal seeing his side trail 1-11 to 1-4 at the break.

The game was over as a contest with twenty minutes remaining as they stretched their lead to 1-18 to 1-6.

Limerick would manage goals from Ger Collins and Seamus O’Carroll to put some respect on the final score.

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All-Ireland Series

Limerick faced Offaly in the second round of the qualifiers where the duo of Ian Ryan and Ger Collins would prove the difference as the propelled Limerick to a 3-13 to 0-15 victory.

Ryan’s goal gave Limerick an early lead which was helped by Seamus O’Carroll’s three pointer midway through the first half.

As such Limerick lead 2-5 to 0-8 at the half.

The sides traded scores throughout the second but Collins’ goal late on ensured the victory.

Next up for Limerick was Waterford in round 3 of the qualifiers in the Gaelic Grounds.

Both sides exchanged scores during the first quarter of an hour before four on the bounce for Llimerick saw them into a commanding 0-8 to 0-3 lead.

Waterford duly responded and they gap was just two with Limerick leading 0-9 to 0-7 at the break.

The Deise were level on 40 minutes but were dealt a huge blow when Gary Hurney was sent off after 60 with Limerick leading by two.

From here, Limerick cruised to a five point, 0-14 to 0-9 win.

They faced Wexford in round 4 of the qualifiers with a place in the quarter finals up for grabs.

At the conclusion of the game controversey reigned as Ian Ryan’s last gasp point was allowed to stand despiet an umpire signalling the ball had drifted wide.

That point gave Limerick a 1-18 to 1-17 victory and a place in the All-Ireland quarter-finals for the first time ever.

In the end, Limerick will have felt they deserved the break after Wexford’s contentious goal in the first half.

Nonetheless, in true Limerick fashion, Mauric Horan’s side left it late as they trailed the hosts by three with time running out.

Eoghan O’Connor managed to fire past the packed Wexford rearguard in injury time before Ryan finished the job.

All-Ireland Quarter-Final

In Limerick’s first ever All-Ireland quarter-final, they were drawn to face Munster rivals Kerry in Croke Park.

Munster champions Kerry held Limerick scoreless for the first 16 minutes and were 1-5 to 0-2 to the good after 25 when Darran O’Sullivan notched a brilliant goal for the Kingdom.

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At the break they lead 1-8 to 0-4.

Limerick did offer some resiliance as three quickfire points after the break brought them to within four.

Kerry would get seven of the next eight scores to end the game as a contest as they ran out 1-20 to 0-10 winners.


Club Championships

Hurling

Na Piarsaigh got their hands on a first ever Limerick SHC title as they defeated Ahane 2-18 to 0-13 in the Gaelic Grounds.

The city side led throughout and were deserving winners, just two years after suffering a seventeen point loss to Adare in the final.

Kevin Downes early goal was the catalyst for Nap to hold a 1-11 to 0-7 lead at the half.

Ahane responded but a 47th minute goa from Shane Dowling from the penalty spot helped Na Piarsaigh ease to the historic title.

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Na Piarsaigh were not content with their lot and defeated Waterford kingpins Ballygunner 3-9 to 0-12 in the Munster semi-final.

From here they faced Crusheen of Clare in the decider.

In a tentative final, there was nothing to separate the sides in Thurles as they played out a 1-11 to 0-14 draw.

In the replay, Na Piarsaigh finished strongly as 1-6 without reply saw them secure a first ever Munster championship win with a 1-13 to 0-9 victory.

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12 months on from their Junior success, Effin made it two in a row as they beat Ballybrown 1-9 to 1-8 in the Intermediate Final.

Cappamore succeeded them as Junior Champions while Kileedy came out on top in the Junior B Championship.


Football

Monaleen retaned thier Limerick SFC title against Newcastle West in an dogged yet entertaining affair at the Gaelic Grounds.

Monaleen started brightly but went 28 first half minutes without scoring. Nonetheless they lead 0-5 to 0-3 at the break.

Further points pushed them 0-8 to 0-3 before Newcastle West got their first score of the half.

By the time the West side would score again, 24 minutes later, Monaleen had stretched their lead 1-11 to 0-4.

Sean Neville’s goal gave them hope but it prove too little too late as Monaleen secured the 1-12 to 1-7 win.

In the intermediate championship, a replay was needed between Mountcollins and Oola as the sides played out a 1-4 apiece draw the first time around.

In the replay, Mountcollins made now mistake, clinching a 1-10 to 1-6 win and promotion to boot.

Rathkeale defeated Glin in the Junior Final while Blackrock took Junior B honours.

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