The All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship has come and gone for another year, and if you’re not over it yet, that’s ok. We aren’t either!
If you think that we saw one of the greatest hurling Championships of all time, you wouldn’t be wrong. We completely agree.
With more teams playing at a competitive high level, even the avid GAA fan or pundit could not have predicted how thrilling this Championship was going to be.
Even during the All-Ireland Final, when it looked like we were watching a standard final, the game turned completely on its head and we were all gripped to the edge of our seats for the last 10 minutes.
So from the heaps of outstanding #StyleOfPlay that happened over the course of the summer, choosing the biggest moments is not an easy task. There were moments where we could barely watch. So without further ado, here are our biggest moments from the All-Ireland Senior Hurling championship this year.
Limerick end their drought after 45 years
Watching this young team win the Liam MacCarthy Cup was the pinnacle of the year’s Championship. To see any team win is always a pleasure, but it is always that little bit extra special when it is a team who have waited so long to see silverware again.
After 45 long years, the Liam MacCarthy Cup headed back Shannonside, and what a fitting welcome the team got. An estimated 90,000 came out in Limerick City, the Monday after their triumph.
This team are the perfect example of what hard work, teamwork, and true belief can achieve regardless of how young you are.
Tipperary’s shock exit
There is no way anyone could have predicted what was going to happen throughout the Championship, however, it is fair to say that very few would have expected Tipperary to finish second from the bottom in the Munster Championship table and exit the Championship early.
They fell unfortunate to the hands of the Bannermen. Clare’s two-point win over the Premier County opened the exit door for Tipp. A tremendous day for Clare as it was the first time they have defeated Tipperary on their home turf in 92 years. But an unfortunate and unlucky finish for Tipperary who had shown great courage after two brilliant comebacks against Cork and Waterford.
Rest assured though, this will surge Tipperary on and we can be guaranteed they will be back on the pitch meaning business next year.
The Waterford / Tipperary Goal Affair
This was probably the most controversial issue of the Championship this year. Waterford and Tipperary clashed back in June when it was all still to play for, as both teams were desperately fighting for a win.
Waterford were in sixth gear gaining a substantial lead against Tipperary. However, when Tipperary hit a goal, they began to rally against in the Déise. Patrick ‘Bonner’ Maher whacked a shot in towards to goal line, only for Austin Gleeson to catch it and run straight down the field.
However, the umpire had deemed that Gleeson had stepped back, crossing the goal line and therefore awarded a second goal to Tipp. Cue scenes of huge protesting from the Waterford players and management, and a storm on Twitter from spectators watching the game.
It ended in a draw, but it also ended Waterford’s Championship run. A crucial decision from the umpire and it lead to some pretty heated debates. It also raised the question of whether goal-line technology is needed in hurling.
What did you make of it all?
Being a goalkeeper in hurling is no easy task. We saw some brilliant goals this summer but also save some fantastic saves.
Had Cork got the goal during additional time of the All-Ireland Senior Hurling Semi-Final, it may have been a very story for Limerick this year. Quaid kept his team in that game with his outstanding goal-saving ability.
We also have to acknowledge Kilkenny’s keeper Eoin Murphy, who was simply sublime this summer. During Kilkenny’s Quarter-Final clash with Limerick, Aaron Gillane was trying his utmost best to get a goal into Kilkenny’s net, but Murphy was having none of it.
Limerick may have won the game, but Murphy’s sharp saving skills were one of the huge talking points, with many thinking he could take the goalkeeping All-Star in November.
Canning last-chance free during the All-Ireland Final
As Joe Canning stood over this free in the All-Ireland Final, the atmosphere around Croke Park was electric. Enormous pressure sat on Canning’s shoulder as Galway trailed by a point. Should Canning hit it over, they would have equalised and a replay would have been taking place.
His shot, however, dropped short into the goal mouth. Limerick’s Tom Condon got his hands to sliotar and cleared it out of any danger. What came next was an explosion of noise and celebration from the Limerick supporters, coincided with the bitter disappointment for Galway.
Surely a hard pill for Canning to swallow, though then again, that’s sport.
So, is anyone else beyond excited already for the Championship next year?