GAA JOE All-Star hurling team
In the end, it was all a bit anti-climatic.
Limerick have been threatening to plant a green and white flag in a different planet these last few seasons and on Sunday they set up camp. A blemish free, 30 point performance won John Kiely's team their second All-Ireland senior hurling title in the space of three years and for every other hurling team out there, the landscape is quite daunting as things stand.
Looking back, Limerick have owned these last three years with two Munster titles and two national league titles to go with their duo of Liam MacCarthys. The fact that Kilkenny managed to beat them in last year's championship gave hope but that 2019 semi-final looks like more and more of an anomaly as the time passes.
As we built up to this year's final, the narrative was that Limerick hadn't yet hit top gear. If this wasn't top gear, then what hope have the rest of them?
Because in League and championship in 2020, the other-worldly treaty men won ten out of ten games and they conceded only six goals. Their scoring tallies have ventured beyond the unprecedented with such 30 point tallies becoming the norm.
On The Sunday Game, Donal Óg Cusack summed up the greatness when referring to the brilliant Gearoid Hegarty as a "next generation hurler." Hegarty turned in one of the great All-Ireland final performances on the back of an all-conquering season but the fact that the Hurler of the Year gong is not yet a foregone conclusion underlines just how dominant Limerick have been.
"He's almost like next generation hurler, it all comes so easy to him" - Donal Óg sums up Gearoid Hegarty's brilliance well. pic.twitter.com/ujhRSmZpIh
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) December 13, 2020
Right over his shoulder, pushing Hegarty all the way has been his teammate Kyle Hayes, who having been re-stationed at left half back in the first round against Tipperary, has commandeered his flank with rip-roaring dynamism and all out power. Weighing in at 15 stone and stopping the measuring tape at 6 ft 5 in, the Kildimo Pallaskenry thoroughbred is a freak of nature and his conviction and hurling to go with the athleticism makes him a near unstoppable force. When he gets the ball his hand, the opposition can do nothing only pray as he stretches the legs and gobbles up the ground. His semi-final and final performances were almost faultless with the 2018 Young Hurler of the Year epitomising Limerick's energetic approach.
On the other wing, Tom Morrissey is one of those players who scores when a score is needed. Like Hegarty, he goes about his business with the minimal of fuss but with maximum effect. He too, has scored at will in this championship with his 0-15 in five championship games only just overshadowed by Hegarty's amazing 0-20 tally.
Hegarty might just shade it but Hayes and Morrissey - to a slightly lesser extent - will have a say too.