2016 saw Kyle Hayes captain Limerick to an All Ireland final from full forward. The following year he was Limerick’s lynchpin at centre back in the triumphant U21 All Ireland team. Yesterday, the Kildimo/Pallaskenry man was named Man of the Match at centre-forward as Limerick secured a first Liam McCarthy victorying 45 years. After the game, the 20 year old was lost for words at the support he and the side received on what will be forever remembered as one of the great days in Limerick hurling.
(Celebrations in Limerick) “I’d say it will be ecstatic. Walking around there (Croke Park), there was still fans there. Half an hour, 45 minutes after the final whistle, it just shows you the support we have in Limerick is absolutely ridiculous. It was something special walking around there.”
“It’s not just hurling, football or rugby, whatever is going well in Limerick, there’s always a huge support. We new coming up, even driving on the bus, it was literally streets of green al around the place so we knew there was going to be a big crowd there.”
Despite his age, Hayes has shown maturity beyond his years this summer for Limerick, notching four points in the final yesterday, including three crucial scores just after half time to give Limerick a commanding lead. In Pairc Ui Chaoimh he nailed the late leveller to secure a crucial point in the Munster round robin series. Yet despite this maturity, the emotion of winning was evident in his post match interview with the young star lost for words.
“It’s know its cliché saying you can’t put it into words. Kind of shellshocked at the moment. It hasn’t kicked in yet. I know we’ve done something great but I literally cant describe what it feels like.”
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