Updated Dec 14th 2020, 3:00 PM
LIMERICK HAVE CONFIRMED their status as one of the great hurling teams after picking up their second All-Ireland title in three years on Sunday.
They simply outgunned Waterford in the final to complete a clean sweep of trophies for 2020, adding to their league and Munster triumphs in recent months.
Conversations about an era of potential dominance for John Kiely’s side are already underway after their impressive series of victories this year.
For Shane Dowling, Limerick were superior on every line of the pitch against Waterford. He explained his observation in great detail with Marc Ó Sé on this week’s episode of The42′s GAA Weekly.
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“I think they dominated every area,” the 2018 All-Ireland winner begins.
“You even go back to Nickie Quaid, we spoke about him last week. He’s just an incredible goalkeeper. I know a lot of the Waterford saves were probably hit at him yesterday but he just doesn’t make a mistake.
“It started from him, his puckouts again were unbelievable. Dan Morrissey [at] full-back. I’d say Dessie Hutchinson will be having nightmares about Seán Finn. That’s two days he marked him — the Munster final and the All-Ireland final.
“We talked about consistency a while ago and Sean has just been so consistent over the last number of years. Even the half-back line. Kyle Hayes is just an absolute man mountain of a young fella. There’s great characters in this team too.
“We talk about, ‘Are the characters gone from the game?’ But Kyle is a fantastaic character. He should have got the the first goal against Galway and the first goal against Waterford. He was up and down that line all day long and what do you do as a half-forward?”
Dowling continued by discussing how Limerick nullified the influence of Jack Fagan at Croke Park.
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Dowling points out that Fagan caught eight puckouts in Waterford’s All-Ireland semi-final victory over Kilkenny. He then contrasts that with Fagan’s aerial difficulties while being marked by Diarmaid Byrnes in the final.
“The first puckout that was hit down on top of him yesterday, Diarmaid Byrnes caught it over his head and went way up the field with the ball. What a signal of intent to set down very early that you’re not going to be doing that here today.
“I was waiting to see how Jack Fagan would get on because he was so good the last day. I fairly gathered that Limerick would be targeting him. Generally what you there is make sure he doesn’t catch the ball and try to get it to ground. But Diarmaid just plucked the ball over him.
“Throughout the whole field. Aaron Gillane and Seamie Flanagan in the full-forward line, just the space they create, the runs that they make.
“That’s all great but the delivery that comes in, you see the way they work the ball through the lines and then get it to the delivery zone where they’re only flicking the ball into space.
“Waterford just couldn’t live with that.”
Dowling also offered his thoughts on the Joe McDonagh Cup final where Antrim overcame Kerry as the curtain-raiser on All-Ireland final day.
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