The numbers behind Limerick’s 2023 All-Ireland triumph

For John Kiely, it was a 13th final in charge of Limerick as he maintained his perfect record in deciders with 5x All-Ireland’s, 5x Munster’s and 3x league titles.

Perhaps this was the hardest of all of Limerick’s four in a row All-Ireland victories, but after somewhat of a slow start, this great side powered over the line last weekend to make it four on the trot.

It was a difficult route to the final, which saw clashes with Waterford, Clare, Tipperary, Cork and Galway, before once again locking horns with Kilkenny on All-Ireland final day.

There were stellar performances throughout the field as all played their part in ensuring success. In a team sport, Limerick had to rely on their squad depth with injuries hugely impacting their make up.

But in the end, Kiely’s outfit had all the answers with Liam MacCarthy returning to Shannonside again.

23 July 2023; Limerick players Cian Lynch, left, and Declan Hannon lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup after his side’s victory in the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship final match between Kilkenny and Limerick at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Numbers Game

Across their seven championship games this year, Limerick scored 9-165, averaging out just below 28ppg, a slight decrease on last year’s average of 30.

In the same games, Limerick conceded 6-153, averaging just over 24ppg. Last year they conceded 25ppg on average, with a slight improvement on 2022.

In total, Limerick used 24 players during the championship. Two players made their debuts, Adam English in the Munster final win over Clare and Aaron Costello in the final.

Nickie Quaid, Dan Morrissey, Barry Nash, Diarmaid Byrnes, Kyle Hayes, Darragh O’Donovan, William O’Donoghue, Tom Morrissey, Seamus Flanagan and Aaron Gillane started each of the games. In addition to that, Mike Casey, Gearoid Hegarty, Cathal O’Neill and Peter Casey featured in all seven games.

Of the 24 players that were used, 16 Limerick men had scores in this year’s championship.

Aaron Gillane was once again Limerick’s top scorer, hitting 3-47, with 3-15 of that coming from play, making him the fourth highest scorer from play in the country this year.

8 July 2023; Aaron Gillane of Limerick celebrates after scoring his side’s first goal during the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final match between Limerick and Galway at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Gillane was ably assisted by club mate Diarmaid Byrnes on placed balls hitting 1-27 during the campaign as he became the highest scoring defender of all-time.

Seamus Flanagan (4-9) who started with four goals in as many games, Tom Morrissey (0-18) and Cathal O’Neill (1-12) all followed the defender on the scoring charts.

Once again, TJ Reid topped the overall scoring chart, hitting 2-73 throughout the year.

Limerick 2023 Championship Scorers

Limerick 1-18 : 0-19 Waterford (Munster Championship)

Aaron Gillane 0-7 (5fs), Seamus Flanagan 1-1, Diarmaid Byrnes 0-3 (0-2 frees), Peter Casey and Tom Morrissey 0-2 each, Barry Nash, Gearoid Hegarty, 0-1.

Limerick 2-20 : 1-24 Clare (Munster Championship)

Aaron Gillane 0-7 (0-6 frees); Seamus Flanagan 2-1; Diarmaid Byrnes 0-5 (0-5 frees); Tom Morrissey 0-4 (0-1 free); Cathal O’Neill 0-2; Cian Lynch 0-1.

Limerick 0-25 : 0-25 Tipperary (Munster Championship)

21 May 2023; Tom Morrissey of Limerick celebrates after scoring a late second half point during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 4 match between Tipperary and Limerick at FBD Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Aaron Gillane 0-6 (3fs) Cathal O’Neill 0-5, Diarmuid Byrnes 0-4 (3fs), Tom Morrissey 0-4, Seamus Flanagan, Graeme Mulcahy 0-2 each, Peter Casey, Declan Hannon 0-1 each.

Limerick 3-25 : 1-30 Cork (Munster Championship)

Diarmaid Byrnes 1-4, (1-0 pen, 0-1 65); Seamus Flanagan 1-3; Aaron Gillane 0-5 (2fs); Cathal O’Neill 1-0; Darragh O’Donovan, Gearoid Hegarty 0-3 each; Tom Morrissey 0-2; William O’Donoghue, Barry Nash, Peter Casey, Declan Hannon, Kyle Hayes 0-1 each.

Limerick 1-23 : 1-22 Clare (Munster final)

Aaron Gillane 1-11 (0-8 frees); Tom Morrissey, David Reidy 0-3 each; Cathal O’Neill 0-2; Darragh O’Donovan, Tom Morrissey, Kyle Hayes, Adam English 0-1 each.

11 June 2023; Aaron Gillane of Limerick celebrates after scoring his side’s first goal during the Munster GAA Hurling Championship Final match between Clare and Limerick at TUS Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Limerick 2-24 : 1-18 Galway (All-Ireland semi-final)

Aaron Gillane 2-6 (5fs), Diarmaid Byrnes 0-3 (3fs), Kyle Hayes, Gearóid Hegarty, Tom Morrissey, Peter Casey, Seamus Flanagan all 0-2, Darragh O’Donovan, Graeme Mulcahy, Cathal O’Neill, David Reidy, Cian Lynch all 0-1

Limerick 0-30 : 2-15 Kilkenny (All-Ireland final)

Diarmaid Byrnes 0-8 (7fs), Peter Casey and Aaron Gillane (3fs) 0-5 each, Cian Lynch, David Reidy, Cathal O’Neill, and Gearoid Hegarty 0-2 each, Barry Nash, Darragh O’Donovan, Kyle Hayes, and Tom Morrissey 0-1 each.

Scorers

  • Aaron Gillane 3-47 (32f)
  • Diarmaid Byrnes 1-27 (1-0 pen, 20f, 1 ’65)
  • Seamus Flanagan 4-9
  • Tom Morrissey 0-18
  • Cathal O’Neill 1-12
  • Peter Casey 0-11
  • Gearoid Hegarty 0-8
  • David Reidy 0-6
  • Darragh O’Donovan 0-6
  • Kyle Hayes 0-5
  • Cian Lynch 0-4
  • Graeme Mulcahy 0-3
  • Barry Nash 0-3
  • Declan Hannon 0-2
  • William O’Donoghue 0-1
  • Adam English 0-1
28 May 2023; Diarmaid Byrnes of Limerick celebrates after the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 5 match between Limerick and Cork at TUS Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

The All-Ireland win also brought Limerick to 12 titles, which is fourth in the all-time roll of honour behind Kilkenny (36), Cork (30) and Tipperary (23).

2023 was Limerick’s 21st All-Ireland final, as they followed in the footsteps of Kilkenny and Cork as the only sides to win four Liam MacCarthy titles on the bounce.

The win in 2023 is the first time Declan Hannon didn’t lift the cup for Kiely’s side, as Cian Lynch climbed the steps of the Hogan stand. He became the first man from Patrickswell to lift the trophy.

For John Kiely, it was a 13th final in charge of Limerick as he maintained his perfect record in deciders with 5x All-Ireland’s, 5x Munster’s and 3x league titles.


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