Nobody on planet earth enjoyed Limerick's win more than Cian Lynch 1 year ago

Nobody on planet earth enjoyed Limerick's win more than Cian Lynch

When Limerick needed him, Cian Lynch delivered.

Lynch produced the goods on All-Ireland final day.

Anyone who knows the Patrickswell man would have told you as much. Never in doubt.

Kyles Hayes may have won The Sunday Game's man-of-the-match but Lynch was propelled into the debate after his lung-busting, harrying performance against Galway.

Allied to his all-round excellence this year, it was no surprise when Kilkenny legend Eddie Brennan mentioned him in the discussion for hurler of the year.

The 22-year-old was in fine form for the Treaty County as they marched to Croke Park and a date with destiny.

Ahead of the final, Lynch told a class tale to The Sun about his uncle Ciarán Carey playing in the 1996 final against Wexford. When Carey lapped over a point, Lynch literally took to the skies. He said:

"I was only born in ’96 and I was on my mum's breast, taking milk, and she threw me up in the air, but she forgot to catch me. I don’t remember that now"

Lynch reached the minor All-Ireland final with Limerick and won U21 titles in 2015 and 2017 despite aslready being a regular member of the senior panel.

His fearlessness, and relentless verve, in the face of Kilkenny, Tipperary, Cork, Galway and all other comers epitomised the spirit of this year's All-Ireland champions.

Nickie Quaid, Shane Dowling and John Kiely all went buck mad at the final whistle of Limerick's 3-16 to 2-18 victory but, to our mind, no-one on earth enjoyed that triumph more than Lynch.

For a young man who described some of his earliest memories as his father Seán driving full-size sliothars at him out in the garden - 'Nine times out of ten, you’d miss it but you’d always catch that one ball' - it was a moment to treasure. The pictures in the aftermath are pure class.

Taking it all in (with Nickie Quaid)

Pure elation (with Pat Ryan)

Airborne!!

Sharing the moment with family, friends and fans

Guns out in the dressing room

Credit: Cian Lynch (Instagram)

Some craic with 'the old heads' down the back of the team bus

The start of something special, he hopes.

It's going to be fun in Limerick for the foreseeable future.