‘Limerick could dominate next three or four years’: Sky Sports pundits react to All-Ireland final
Limerick saved their best for last, hammering Waterford in Sunday’s All-Ireland final with 11 points to spare to cap a remarkable 2020.
The Treaty’s performance saw them claim a second All-Ireland title in three years, as they underlined their status as one of the county’s greatest-ever teams.
But could they now go on and pick up even more silverware in the coming seasons?
“All over the field, they were dominant from the off. Kyle Hayes, particularly in the first half, was massive. It was absolute domination on his flank,” said Jamesie O’Connor, speaking after the match.
“Dan Morrissey and Barry Nash in the full-back line, obviously they lost Mike Casey and Richie English at the start of the year. And they didn’t miss them. Those guys went in and did a job seamlessly.
“The thing for other counties – with the age profile, resources, third-level facilities they have down there, and every young player in Limerick wanting to be a part of this, they look like they could dominate for the next three or four years. And it’s a credit to John Kiely and the backroom team.
“Credit to Waterford. They kept fighting to the end. They were that little bit flat, but Limerick came out, as great teams do, with a statement of intent from the off.
“The work-rate, physicality and intensity they brought, Waterford just couldn’t live with it.
“Huge credit to Limerick. They are deserved champions and look like they are not going to settle for two, and they could win many more.”
They look like they could dominate for the next three or four years.
O’Connor feels Limerick might not be done just yet
English: No team could live with Limerick in that form
In commentary, Nicky English was hugely impressed with the Treaty’s display.
“[It was] their best performance of the year. And that’s what must be so satisfying for Limerick supporters and John Kiely,” said the six-time All-Star.
“As a team, that’s now the validation for winning their first All-Ireland two years ago; they have won the second one.
“It was an outstanding performance.
“It was a very good year for Waterford. It ends in disappointment, as so often has happened to Waterford before, and they will be very disappointed. But they fought it out to the end. The tried manfully, but they were outclassed on the day. They were out-muscled and overpowered in the middle third by Limerick.
“I don’t think there’s any team in Ireland that could have lived with Limerick in the form they were in today. Just outstanding.”
Delaney: Hegarty is Hurler of the Year
Former Kilkenny defender JJ Delaney was in awe of the Treaty team, and in particular their totemic wing-forward.
“We said before, if Limerick brought this intensity, I don’t think anyone would have lived with them. Their second-half performance was unbelievable. Gearoid Hegarty was absolutely unmarkable. He was popping up anywhere around the field, and snapping the ball over the bar at will. He’s a beast of a man,” said Delaney.
“He’s been so consistent the whole season. Seven points from play again [in the final]. Just phenomenal.
“The other front-runner is Tom Morrissey on the other wing…but for me, Gearoid Hegarty is my Hurler of the Year.
“You talk about this Limerick team. Where do you stop them? You don’t take one player to stop this Limerick team at the moment. Everyone steps up. So it’s absolutely phenomenal.”
Ollie Canning was in agreement.
“Limerick had too much power and too much pace. Their scoring ability – 24 points from play. Unbelievable. Tom Morrissey and Gearoid Hegarty on the two wings came up trumps,” said the former Galway star.
“Seamus Flanagan just broke into the team and finished up with three great scores.
“They were very relaxed in the run-up. They obviously knew they were ready for today. And I was just amazed with their work-rate and the pressure they put on Waterford.
“In fairness, Waterford tried hard but had no answers.
“They’ve made great progress this year under Liam Cahill. Liam has a three-year term down there. So he’s really starting out with this team, and he will be hoping to build on the foundation that he has laid there this year.”
Watch Inside The Game on Wednesday evening on Sky Sports Mix, as we review the hurling final and look ahead to the football decider.
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