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14th May 2013

Puc Fado – A look back Limerick’s last All-Ireland success in 1973

This weekend the Limerick and Kilkenny hurlers on 1973 renew rivalries 40 years on from their All-Ireland Final clash.


This weekend will see the Limerick and Kilkenny hurlers on 1973 renew rivalries 40 years on from their All-Ireland Final clash.

By Declan Whooley

Thanks to the financial backing of businessman JP McManus, the Staker Wallace club in Limerick will mark the official opening of its new GAA sports facility and all the players involved from the 1973 All-Ireland decider will be in attendance.

Captain of that all-conquering Limerick side Eamonn Grimes will officially open the facility and while the current senior sides from both counties square off in the challenge game at the venue, the current crop of hurlers have a long ways to go to emulate the exploits of their predecessors from 40 years ago.

That was one of the most gifted sides to ever emerge from Limerick though few could have predicted that it would be 40 years and counting before they would lift the Liam MacCarthy trophy aloft.

Victory over Kilkenny in this final, where a certain Brian Cody made his Championship debut, was confirmation that in Grimes, Richie Bennis, Mossie Dowling, Eamonn Cregan and Pat Hartigan, they possessed some of the best players in the country at the time.

Victory that day was the Treaty men’s first All-Ireland success since 1940 and were full value for their 1-21 to 1-14 win over the Cats. What made it all the more impressive was that this was a Kilkenny appearing in a third consecutive final.

The soft underfoot conditions could not stop Limerick from settling into a rhythm, with Richie Bennis the star of the show with a haul of 10 points, while the Cats went twenty-three minutes in the second half without scoring as the Limerick men took control of proceedings.

The semi-final that year also threw up an unusual occurrence in the Championship when Limerick took on London. Full-forward on the Limerick side that day was Ned Rea, who was being marked by his brother Gerry.

Both Limerick and Kilkenny will cross swords again this weekend and while it is a special dinner to mark the new GAA facility, we can imagine a great deal of the evening will be spent reminiscing about that wet day in September on Jones Road. Well we’re sure the Limerick lads will be doing most of the talking about that particular day.