Treaty men tame Cats with scorching second-half display for fourth successive All-Ireland crown

July 23, 2023

Limerick's Gearoid Hegarty and TJ Reid of Kilkenny ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Limerick struck 21 points in an awesome second-half performance to power past Kilkenny towards their fourth consecutive All-Ireland senior hurling championship title.

It finished 0-30 to 2-15 at Croke Park, where the Leinster champions had led from captain Eoin Cody’s 10th minute goal to the 48th minute before the Treaty men cut loose.

Cody had made the most of his first opportunity in front of the Limerick goal to fire the Cats 1-1 to 0-2 in front and, from there, Derek Lyng’s men would puck over the scores that saw them 1-9 to 0-9 ahead come half-time.

As is so often their trademark in the third quarter, the Munster champions came out all guns blazing early in restart and two frees from the excellent Diarmaid Byrnes had them back within one.

Tom Phelan got a sorely needed point for Kilkenny ahead of Paddy Deegan’s rasping shot busting the Limerick net – literally – in the 41st to make it 2-10 to 0-11.

After that however, this showdown turned into a shutdown as the Shannonsiders caught fire, hitting five unaswered points in response to the goal, and hat-trick of frees from Byrnes along with the points of Aaron Gillane (free) and Darragh O’Donovan had them on the cusp of history.

TJ Reid’s free and John Donnelly point would bring it back to a three-point game but the closing minutes saw Kilkenny outscored by 0-9 to 0-2 as their counterparts in green were the ones that were purring.

The triumph sees Limerick joining the Cork team of 1941-1944 and the Kilkenny side of 2006-2009 as now one of three counties to secure a four-in-a-row success of Liam MacCarthy Cups.

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