“We’ve been here before” | Drawing on experience crucial for final man of the match Peter Casey

The Na Piarsaigh native cited the team’s ability to stick together, and also heaped praise on the work of a “phenomenal” backroom team.

When Limerick needed him most, Peter Casey stepped up. Trailing by three at the break, the Shannonsiders came out with a powerful second half display, and Casey was at the forefront, putting over five points after the interval.

It was a full circle moment for the corner forward who emulated his total from the 2021 decider. However, on that day, despite the result, Casey’s game came to an end prior to the half as he suffered an ACL tear. Missing out on much of the last season, the former All-Star renounced himself in Croke Park.

The Na Piarsaigh man struggled to get into the game early on, but speaking after the game he stressed that “patience” was key, and that the team had “been here before.”

“It’s just patience, we’ve all been here before, it’s just trying to stay patient as best we can, and hopefully they come our way.”

28 May 2023; Peter Casey and Michael Casey of Limerick celebrate after the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 5 match between Limerick and Cork at TUS Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

This team is seasoned, and is well used to dealing with blows, already navigating the loss of important defenders Sean Finn and Declan Hannon to injury.

When the tide seemed to be turning in the second half, Paddy Deegan struck a goal that Casey admits was a “sucker punch,” but the Shannonsiders didn’t drop their heads, and they found a way back.

“Kilkenny were that small bit hungrier than us on the breaking ball, and I think we addressed that. We started the second half well, Paddy Deegan’s goal was a sucker punch, but we’ve been here before, we have loads of reference points, just absolutely delighted to get the kick out of the boys again.”

It is the second time Casey has thrown over five second half scores in an All-Ireland final, and it hasn’t been an easy road for the forward, having had to make the most of limited time in the Munster championship with the likes of Graeme Mulcahy, Cathal O’Neill, David Reidy and Casey all given time from the start.

He cited the team’s ability to stick together, and also heaped praise on the work of a “phenomenal” backroom team, who all played their part to get Limerick over the line.

“We’ve all grown up, we’ve been successful underage, we’ve been unsuccessful, there’s been plenty of ups and downs throughout our careers, we manage to stick together. Our backroom team is absolutely phenomenal, I can’t speak highly enough of them, it’s fantastic to see and obviously the lads kicking on there just brilliant to get over the line.”

Now as the dust settles, the realisation may sink in that Limerick have won four Liam MacCarthy cups in a row, matching the great teams of Kilkenny and Cork.

It truly is a golden age for Limerick hurling, following years in the dark, and this team will go down as one of the greatest ever.

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