Things are looking up for Limerick, with two wins in a row and facing into a slightly easier run of fixtures than the last few weeks. While Bohemians have been caught in what can only be described as a death spiral over the last six or so games, dropping points constantly and unable to score themselves, it is still no mean feat to travel to the capital, take three points and keep a clean sheet in the process.
By all accounts Limerick really should have won this game far more comfortably than they did, especially after a dominant first half, which ties in to the key weakness of the squad, namely the lack of bite upfront, or maybe a lack of service. Axel Bossekota’s strike was enough to get the win, but you would hope that the likes of Curran and Gaffney can step up and start adding to the “goals for” tally in a more substantial way. Chances are being created, but not scored, and that is an issue. With little seemingly being added during the transfer window, perhaps Taylor is satisfied with the squad that he has, and aims to try and perfect their manner of play during the rest of this season. Only a truly monumental collapse will see Limerick fall to the relegation places, so I have no problem with this really, but if Limerick really aspire to more in future years, I imagine issues relating to supply and finishing will have to be more carefully considered.
Bohs could have levelled this game, or worse, but thankfully Barry Ryan remains in truly great form. If he wasn’t, Limerick FC would probably be way down in the table, but thankfully he provides a last line of defence that is effective and inspiring.
So, the Lions won their series, despite the absence of one Brian O’Driscoll. As stated before, I have little time for the Lions as a concept, but I could not help but see the sheer amount of vitriol that poured from various social media platforms since the “BOD” decision. To that end, I couldn’t help but log on to Twitter as the Lions finished up their winning and dominating performance against the Aussies, and saw a truly staggering amount of Lions “fans” taking this moment to bemoan Gatland, insist O’Driscoll’s inclusion would have changed nothing, and only be a hairs breadth away from claiming that the better team lost.
This obnoxious “saga” has done more than anything else could have to turn me off the Lions as an event worth watching. So many supporters just wanted to see how Irish players “got on”, and turned on the team wholesale when one of them was dropped. That’s not something that appeals to me.
GAA wise, another great weekend for what has become the best SHC in yonks. Or all the excitement over the last 20 or so minutes of the Leinster final, Dublin were never less than six points ahead since well before half time, but it was still an entertaining game full of great hurling. Galway, seriously over-reliant on Joe Canning to provide their scores, looked very much like a team that has only played one competitive game in this championship, while Dublin looked fit, clinical and deadly. An awful lot of work has clearly gone in to that Dublin side, to get them over the disappointment of last year and get then through that hard slog with Wexford and over the hump of Kilkenny, before securing Bob O’Keefe with a degree of style on Sunday.
It was a slightly less enthralling contest on Saturday night, with Kilkenny overcoming Tipperary. I think, in a season where Limerick and Dublin have come to the fore, where Cork are back in a final and Wexford, Laois and Offaly have given teams good strong challenges, it is really important that Kilkenny are dumped out. The sport, for PR, to advertise the game better, to hook youngsters in and try and overcome what may seem like an overwhelming swing towards football from media sources, needs the Cats out. Nothing can kill interest in a sport faster than total dominance by one side.
Tipperary are gone, that’s one half of the equation sorted. Kilkenny, looking somewhat unsteady, shooting plenty of wides and with a back line that seemed occasionally ineffective, are there for the taking. It might not be Wexford, but it could be Galway, or one of Limerick/Cork, to finally do it, to kill the Cats off for a year before we have to suffer through the indignity of overly-comfortable Kilkenny fans cheering another All-Ireland with all the gusto of a crowd at a poetry recital.
For a long time now, I have been hoping and praying that teams like Dublin and Limerick could step up, make good on their potential, and overturn this Kilkenny monotony. This is the best chance in years for that to happen.