Hegarty's "cool head and temperament" make him the master of every situation 4 months ago

Hegarty's "cool head and temperament" make him the master of every situation

It's gotten to the stage now where you don't even have to pass the ball to Gearoid Hegarty, you just have to hit it into his general vicinity.

Until a player is hurling like their marker doesn't even exist, until they're going on as if this is under-12s and they're senior, you could have no way of knowing that they were hurling from a place that someone much smarter than me, like a sports psychologist, might call the flow.

Advertisement

Limerick weren't at their best in Pearse Stadium on Sunday afternoon but in the wild Atlantic west, Gearoid Hegarty hurled up one hell of a storm. It was as if any Galway player who came close to him hadn't touched a hurl over the lock-down while Hegarty, this wolf in wolf's clothing had been eating dumb-bells, ball-walls and bull-nuts.

"This lad's just brilliant to watch. He can win puck-outs, he's skilful, he has a bit of divilment in him, he's the all-round best player in hurling right now. I don't see anyone coming close to him," said Colm Parkinson on Thursday's GAA Hour Show.

Former Kilkenny hurler Paul Murphy has seen the skills, the power and the poise before so what impressed him the most about Hegarty's tour-de-force was his cool head, even when the decisions against him were debatable.

"He has such great hands, there's no real way of stopping him and he just seems to be in a zone at the moment where it's just 'get me the ball.' Give him any sort of ball and he'll win it and do whatever you want. He just wants the ball, he's not fussy.

"I have great respect for him because while he is the Hurler of the Year and teams are trying to stop him, he keeps the head. I was a little bit frustrated for him yesterday where he was clearly just turning and asking 'what's the story, I'm getting hopped off here and just because I'm six foot four or five shouldn't mean I'm exempt from getting frees.' At the same time, he was just going in and just putting in the hand and frees going against him but he kept the head, which is a great trait for him to have."

Advertisement

Standing at 6'5”, Hegarty wasn't the first and he won't be the last tall player to have a referee treat them differently. It's probably a natural instinct to protect the smaller player but as the old saying goes, a free is a free is a free.

"You don't ever see him getting flustered," added Wooly

"And if ever he was going to react, yesterday would have been the day."

Advertisement

That's Hurler of the Year sort of stuff.