As the anticipation builds for this year’s All Ireland final, both counties’ tongues are wagging giving perspective on the two finalists.
Kilkenny are coming into the affair as perceived underdogs with Limerick vying for three in a row. The young side from Shannonside have really come into their stride since winning the All-Ireland back in 2018. With one single glaring blip blemishing their record. The All Ireland semi-final versus Kilkenny in 2019.
Scoreline recently caught up with former Limerick Captain James Ryan, to get a fresh view on the feelings of the Treaty faithful.
“It is very hard not to become borderline cocky about matches. Going for three in a row. We were like it is all new to us in 2018 had not won an All Ireland for forty-odd years, kind of going up with hope rather than expectation. The hope and expectation turned into a bit of confidence.”
“There is no doubt about it we have become a bit cocky as in we have very few matches we lost since 2018.With the semifinal in the 2019 All Ireland semifinal against Kilkenny being the main one. However, I don’t think there are too many (Limerick) people going up to Croke Park cocky and they respect the way Kilkenny are playing and tradition they have.”
It is all well and good to respect your opponent ahead of a big game but does that respect amount to any type of advantage to the Cats. The 2019 semi-final was three years ago, does that bode any advantage to Cody and his cohorts now? Arguably Limerick can gain more for that, with the thirst for vengeance strong. There is no doubt the hurt is still there. Does Limerick actually fear Kilkenny? or is it not fear, just respect?
“Kilkenny might not know about it, but Kilkenny are the level, they are the standard. You could compare it to Dublin and Kerry in football. Kilkenny comes out at a level and it is up to you to match that level. I suppose Limerick have brought that on since 2018, they are playing at that level. It is amazing Kilkenny and Limerick have not met much since that 2019 All Ireland semi-final.”
“I think Limerick people are a bit worried with the way Kilkenny are going. They struggled their way through the Leinster Championship, and got their wins but the way they played against Clare and just put them away. I know Clare did not perform to the best of their abilities but the way Kilkenny are mixing it long and short, they are starting playing ball through the lines and finding the running man.”
“They are probably the only team that can play the long ball out of nowhere and it can be won inside and laid off to one of the runners. Kilkenny are the standards and are always dangerous and Limerick are no fools and they know that.”