Limerick’s Tom Morrissey believes his side’s cool response to Tipperary’s two goals was the key to their first Munster title win since 2013.
That year, Morrissey was part of the minor panel who beat Waterford to the provincial crown and Sunday marked the first senior medal for the majority of the Limerick team.
It marks the first time in 80 years that Limerick have held the All Ireland title, Allianz League crown, and Munster Cup at the same time.
For Morrissey & co., it is a huge cause for celebration while thoughts of an All Ireland semi-final are being put to the back of the head temporarily.
“For us as a group, we have the three big ones that you can get as a senior inter-county player and it completes the set. You can see how much the Munster medal means to us and the supporters.
“Time flies being at the business end of the championship again. I haven’t really thought about it, I’m trying to soak in the atmosphere of this one. For a lot of us, this is our first Munster medal and these days mightn’t come too often and you have to enjoy it.
“Just because we’re having good times in Limerick hurling at the minute doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy these moments because this is why you play, for days like today.
“We’ll worry about the All Ireland semi-finals when we go back to training this week but for the next couple of days, it’s just about enjoying winning with this group.”
Sunday’s win was a huge statement from Limerick following their two round-robin losses to Cork and Tipperary earlier in the competition.
While John Kiely was adamant that Limerick have now answered those who questioned their desire, the 23-year-old feels the results were a fair reflection of how the Treaty men performed on every outing.
“It’s so competitive. you go out and if you’re one or two percent off, you can get well beat and you saw that against Cork and against Tipp in the round-robin stages, we didn’t bring that intensity and we got wiped. We got the results we deserved.
“Today, though, that’s the team we want to be known as. The level of intensity was savage and that’s the difference, when you’re on the money, you get the result and you have to be like that every day or else you’ll be gone.”
Though the final scoreline showed a 12-point loss for Tipperary, the opening half of the game was a much tighter affair. The sides were level on six occasions but it was Limerick’s response to both Seamus Callanan’s goal in the first half, and John McGrath’s in the second, that ultimately decided the game.
Kiely’s side scored three points immediately after the Tipperary captain struck for the first and they led by two points at the break.
Limerick came out in the second half with a point to prove, massively improving their work rate and that was the most pleasing aspect of the game for Morrissey.
“There was no banging tables or anything like that [at half-time], it was just a calm, measured approach. We saw where we were going right.
“We had a game plan of course, Tipp are a savage team but the talk was just to trust in that process and the game plan that we wanted to play today. We stuck to our guns and we got the reward.
“In sport you have to be used to dealing with setbacks and facing adversity and that’s what this group does so well. Those two goals did spur us to life. The resilience we showed, we didn’t panic, we had a game plan, we didn’t revert to old style hurling, we stuck to what we wanted to do.
“That’s what this team is. It’s no panic, level-heads, ice in the veins stuff. We don’t panic in any situation and we got the reward for it.”