Home GAA Declan Hannon: “The Direct Route Is The Way Everyone Wants To Go”

Declan Hannon: “The Direct Route Is The Way Everyone Wants To Go”

Munster Senior Hurling Championship Round 4, LIT Gaelic Grounds, Co. Limerick 9/6/2019 Limerick vs Clare Limerick's Declan Hannon celebrates scoring a first half point Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

When Limerick last won a Munster title in 2013, Declan Hannon was named at full-forward to face Cork.

The then 20-year-old registered eight points that day in the Gaelic Grounds as the Treaty men ran out 0-24 to 0-15 winners and Donal O’Grady became the first Limerick man to lift the Munster Cup since Ciaran Carey in 1996.

TJ Ryan’s side couldn’t repeat the feat the following year, however, as they fell to a six-point defeat to Cork in the provincial decider.

Having experienced both the elation and heartbreak of the Munster final, Hannon can appreciate the enormity of the occasion.

“It brings a smile to your face when you think of it and you know you’re going to be involved in everything like that. Everyone wants to be involved in it, really. Especially in Limerick, they don’t come around too often so you want to make the most of it and enjoy them the best you can.

“2013 here was incredible for a lot of Limerick people. Obviously, they didn’t think it would happen and then to see the scenes on the field after the game, it was amazing and to be involved was fantastic.

“Then in 2014 when we went down to Pairc Ui Chaoimh, we were on the other side of the table. It was massively disappointing and we had to regroup very quickly to get back on the horse again.

“That’s the way sport is and especially in Munster it’s so competitive that you have to take these chances when they come. On Sunday, if we give a performance, hopefully, we’ll be there or thereabouts.” 

Limerick find themselves in unchartered territories now as they prepare for another Munster decider, however, this time as All Ireland champions. Despite their success in 2018, John Kiely’s side failed to make the provincial decider, instead they had to face off against Kilkenny in an All Ireland quarter-final.

With four games already under their belt, including two losses, Hannon is keen to travel the most direct route to the All Ireland final.

“Everybody wants to go the direct route. The great thing about Sunday is that if you win, there’s a trophy there as well which would be fantastic for this group of players in Limerick to add another one to the cabinet here in the Gaelic Grounds.

“Last year was a long campaign. You’ve four games in Munster and then a preliminary quarter-final, a quarter-final, semi-final, it takes its toll.

“The direct route is the way everyone wants to go but that’s a bit down the line so we’re just focussing on Sunday and trying to get to the field in 100% condition and take it from there.” 

Standing in their way is Tipperary, who made it through the Munster round-robin series unbeaten. Limerick faced Liam Sheedy’s side just two weeks ago, falling to a four-point defeat.

Hannon sat out that match with a groin strain and having watched on from afar, he knows the size of the challenge that faces his side on Sunday.

“Tipp have been very, very impressive over the Munster championship, they’re the form team, they have four wins from four. I think the last day, they were very good and impressive the way they dealt with Bonner Maher going off early in the first half and how they responded and kept going.

“It’s a massive, massive game for us and it’s a big task that we’re going to be up against on Sunday but look, we’re there and we’re there with a shout. We’ll be giving it everything on the day.” 

 

About Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. She is a former reporter with Sporting Limerick and is a huge fan of the GAA. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter