Nickie Quaid's reaction at the final whistle spoke for all of Limerick 1 year ago

Nickie Quaid's reaction at the final whistle spoke for all of Limerick

Joy unbridled and some speed.

Who knew Nickie Quaid could go from zero to 60 in such a short space of time.

All of Limerick must have watched the nine minutes and 34 seconds of injury time from behind their hands.

From eight points up, goals from Conor Whelan and Joe Canning, along with two more points (Canning and Niall Burke), left the score at 3-16 to 2-18. Limerick simply needed to win Quaid's puck-out and run down the final seconds of the clock.

They did, but Aaron Gillane's attempt for an insurance point was blocked down and a scrambling Limerick conceded a free. Up in the commentary gantry, as Joe Canning stood over 80 metres from the posts and sized up a do-or-die free, RTE's Marty Morrissey declared:

"It's up to Joe now."

In truth, it has been up to Joe for around a decade now and, heave as he did, this rescue attempt fell short. As Limerick ran the ball away from danger, referee James Owens put the whistle to his mouth.

Quaid was watching the ref like a hawk and was the first Limerick player to realise the game was won; the day was their's. His reaction as that whistle rang out was pure class.

The Effin clubman did a star-jump and a jig of joy before sprinting up the pitch with his arms splayed wide.

One could imagine similar scenes playing themselves out all over Croke Park, Limerick, and wherever else fans of the Treaty County were watching the dramatic events unfold.

Quaid embraced Declan then Tom Morrissey before making a beeline for a man he had contested the starting goalkeeper role with all year, Barry Hennessy.

The goalkeeper's moment of celebration with Cian Lynch was perhaps the most perfect moment of all on a day the county won't soon forget.

You could tell so much from the pictures so perfectly captured by Sportsfile.

There was a lovely family moment, too, as Quaid brought the Liam MacCarthy trophy over to his brother Tommy and sister-in-law Alva before bringing his young nephew, Thomas, onto the pitch for the celebrations.

Graeme Mulcahy even brought little Thomas out around for a totter on the Croke Park pitch.

Lovely scenes.