Kyle Hayes is Jason Bourne and Ethan Hunt all in one on way to goal from another galaxy
Limerick 2-29 Tipperary 3-21
In a game of two halves so outrageously different it could be called a game of four teams, Limerick won the half that mattered most and in doing so they won their third Munster title in a row.
How do you even make sense of it all?
Tipp hurled like a team on a revenge mission in the first half but after half-time, you were asking why they'd gone into the dressing room at the break and come back out with 15 completely different men. The same could be said for Limerick who, having been blown out of it in the opening stages, turned the tables on Tipperary with 35 minutes of hell.
Leading by nine at half-time, Tipp's cushion wasn't so much wiped out as it was ripped from under them before they even had a chance to sit down.
At half-time, all the chat was about how Tipperary were this and how they were that and how Limerick might struggle to keep the scoreline respectable here. The funny thing is that it was only 15 minutes later before you knew, they knew and Tipperary knew that this game was all over before it was even 52 minutes old. 52 minutes in and Limerick were up by one.
And as soon as Limerick went in front, with Cian Lynch acting the magician and Kyle Hayes doing the incredible, it was clear to all involved that the only hope Tipperary had was the hope of stumbling through the back door.
They were calling for fire extinguishers at half-time, that's how good Jason Forde was but in the second, through no real fault of his own, the Silvermines man barely get a puck of it. Instead, men like Diarmuid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Barry Nash and Sean Finn grabbed this game by the scruff and they did it by attacking the ball like their life depended on it. For a while, people were wondering what had gone wrong with this Limerick team so maybe it did.
If anything summed up Limerick's second half whirlwind it was Kyle Hayes' moment of madness, his mission impossible as he slalomed from his own 45, breezing past challenges, jumping over bumps, hopping off the turf before shaking the net with a finish from another continent with the bas upside-down.
It was like Jason Bourne on a good day.
Limerick's force of nature Kyle Hayes scores one of the greatest goals you'll ever see.pic.twitter.com/LeNVg3XlZD
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) July 18, 2021
John Kiely will know they were lucky. There isn't a sinner in Páirc Uí Chaoimh who will say Aaron Gillane should have been allowed to stay on the pitch after his moment of completely different madness. After his ridiculous stroke on Cathal Barrett, the Patrickswell man went onto become an instrumental player in the Limerick revival so there's no point in saying that wasn't a turning point but the way Limerick played, the mood they reached and the storm they hurled, you wouldn't have put them past them doing it with 14.
Tipperary are still probably wondering what actually happened there. The truth is that, these days, Limerick are a wild animal and unless you want them to turn on you, the last thing you do to a wild animal is make them angry. Limerick hurled with fury and they hurled with rage on their way to an All-Ireland semi-final no-one will fancy meeting them in.