Limerick hurlers must be the youngest senior inter-county team in the GAA
Learning their trade.
John Kiely's Limerick hurlers got their Division 1B campaign off to a solid start in the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday afternoon. The Treaty county had ten points to spare over a gallant Laois side, with the guile and grace of Aaron Gillane pointing the way.
Gillane hit 11 points in a destructive day's work. His deceptive pace, roaming movement and deadly striking sets him apart and he had the Laois defenders under a spell all day.
The Patrickswell youngster has a lot to learn, but throughout his county's under-21 All-Ireland winning campaign last year and Mary I's Fitzgibbon Cup journey, he left plenty of rearguards in his wake.
Indeed, he could well be the free-scoring forward that the Shannonsiders have been missing for the last few years. At only 21 year's of age, the sky is his limit, but that seems to be the case for the majority of this Limerick team.
Given that they won the under-21 All-Ireland last year, it's hardly a surprise that their team is brimming with young talent, but it's one of the youngest teams we've seen in a long time.
Here's the team that started today.
From Nicky Quaid in the goals to Tom Condon and Seamus Hickey in the full back line, they've an old, wily and experienced rearguard - but from then on - it's a who's who of youngsters to have recently graduated from their underage teams.
Richie English at corner back is only finished his education in Mary Immaculate in Limerick. On the half back line, Diarmuid Byrnes is still in college in Limerick I.T and he's only 23. Beside him Ahane club man Dan Morrissey won a Fitzgibbon Cup with UL as recently as 2015, while on the other wing, debutante Paddy O'Loughlin is still under-21.
It seems like Cian Lynch has been on the scene for ages, but he only turns 22 this year. His midfield partner Paul Browne has a little more experience at 28.
— Limerick GAA (@LimerickCLG) January 27, 2018
Tom Morrissey is still 21, and is part of UL's Fitzgibbon team this year, while Darragh O'Donovan at centre forward beside him was also part of last year's under-21 winning team. Barry O'Connell only finished his education in LIT last year.
Seamus Flanagan was also a member of that under-21 team last year and is in UCD, while Gearoid Hegarty is only 23 and finished in UL last year.
Then there's the aforementioned Gillane.
On the bench, Ronan Lynch, who would usually be starting is only 21, and the same goes for corner back Sean Finn. Rising stars Kyle Hayes and Peter Casey will be under-21 again this year. Barry Nash is 22.
Limerick have potential. And loads of it. Can they deliver?