"As long as I can remember, I'd have a bag of 20 sliotars, just shooting" - Practice makes perfect for Morrissey 4 months ago

"As long as I can remember, I'd have a bag of 20 sliotars, just shooting" - Practice makes perfect for Morrissey

Ahane survived relegation, as he shot the lights out. Limerick won another All-Ireland. And now he has a few months off.

A hurler's life, isn't it?

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It was another season to remember for Tom Morrissey but before he soaks it all in, with a holiday to Thailand in the pipeline, he has some junior football related business to take care of first.

The shooting boots are rusty he says, and he'll stick to the hand-passing for the time being but he's enjoyed every second of it. The split season has a big fan over here.

It was in the second half of that split season, playing for Ahane in the Limerick senior hurling championship, when Morrissey went to town. He hit 1-9 against Adare, 1-13 against Na Piarsaigh and while Ahane didn't progress, he credits the new GAA calendar for improving the club championship in general.

"Before, when you were coming and going. You'd nearly get the feeling that you're a bit of an outsider with your own club, which is mad to think. But you're only coming for a week or two here, but now you're there from start to finish and you can get fully involved in it from start to finish."

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"In my experience of playing with the club, it's been at its most enjoyable since the split season has come in," he adds.

Inevitably, as is the case in every county, there were some battles between inter-county team-mates and while Declan Hannon and Diarmaid Byrnes didn't spare him, Morrissey says with a laugh that himself and Mike Casey really got stuck into it.

"I marked Declan for a while against Adare. Same against the 'Well and Diarmaid Byrnes was centre back.

"I was full forward against Na Piarsaigh marking Mike Casey. I've had plenty of interactions with them lads over the course of the club championship.

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"Everyone's competitive nature comes out in the game, so I suppose, I personally wouldn't do much talking on the pitch, so there wouldn't be much talking for the sixty minutes.

"But there's always obviously that respect once it's over and you're friends again once the final whistle is blown.

"It's enjoyable too, being able to have a crack off them too! Mike Casey, I have to say now, he was definitely the most physical battle of the three, in full forward, full back style! He definitely didn't spare me! It was a good physical encounter that one."

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Having seen him score for fun in the Limerick jersey over the last few years, it's hardly any surprise that Morrissey hit such tallies for his club but he says that it's all down to practice. And he's been practicing heavily since he was very young.

"As a forward, shooting is a very, very important skill. As long as I can remember, I'd have a bag of 20 sliotars, and then as I got to the age when the parents would trust you to head off on the bike alone, at 10, 11, 12 during the summer holidays, you'd be down to the pitch and spend your hour or two down there. Just shooting. I just absolutely loved it. I would have done that all through the summer holidays in secondary school as well.

"Obviously training is a bit more intense now, so you'd try and get some done before training. I don't have the luxury of having summers off and being able to do that anymore but yeah, as long as I can remember, I would have been down at the pitch, shooting, shooting, shooting.

"I put such a focus on it and thankfully some days it pays off. But it's definitely that you have to continue to work on, to stay sharp on it. So yeah, (shooting practice) it would have been something that I would have done all my life and still do."

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There's a lesson in there for all hurlers.