Eddie Brennan was full of praise for Limerick speaking after the game…
Limerick had too much class for Kilkenny in the All-Ireland U-21 Hurling Championship final today in Semple Stadium, winning out on a scoreline of 0-17 to 0-11.
For Kilkenny, it comes as a disappointment following their Leinster triumph, but it was a huge improvement from 2016 for manager Eddie Brennan. Last year, the Cats fell to Westmeath in the provincial championship, and therefore pressure was piled on his shoulders this year.
However, they went on an impressive run, beating Dublin, Westmeath and Wexford, before slaughtering Derry in the semi-final.
While he was clearly disappointed with the result today, he showed true sportsmanship when speaking to the media after the game, making no excuses and only had good things to say about the Treaty.
“[We won] the toss, and we said ourselves that we’d play against the wind. But when a team comes with absolute hunger and desire like Limerick did, the match went away from us quickly as their foundations were set early.
“They always had somebody coming chomping at the bit with the ball, they were strong in the tackle. That was the difference for me.
“That’s what All-Ireland finals are about. It’s about going in and willing to get hurt. You could see it in them all. They were well up for it.
“We went in seven points [behind] and it was a huge ask. They were going to sit back with their sweeper set in place. When you’re playing with the wind, you can play into a team’s hands, and that’s a system they’re well used to. We can have absolutely no complaints.
“The hungrier team won out, and that was it. Limerick had an energy about them today and they chased down everything. They left nothing on the field.”
The challenge for Limerick now is to push on at senior next year, as the likes of Kyle Hayes, Aaron Gillane, Cian Lynch and Barry Nash were hugely impressive throughout the summer.