Opposition's pressure tactics just playing into Cian Lynch's hands
There is no better link-man in hurling.
They say the best players make it look like they've an extra second on the ball, well Cian Lynch makes it look like he has all day. He'll dip and he'll dodge, he'll drop the shoulder, he'll wait until the defenders runs out of patience and then, just when the moment is right and when his teammate is in the clear, he'll strike.
And when he strikes, you're already in bother.
The perfect pass, weighted invitingly and delivered into the path. It nearly always results in a score.
And that's why the opposition always create a plan to try and deal with Limerick's lynchpin. What's the logical thing to do for a man who has all the time in the world?
It's to push up on him, to crowd him out, to try and rush him into something rash.
Well fair play for trying but that's exactly what Cian Lynch wants you to do, it's exactly what Limerick want you to do.
Because when you're drawn into him, space opens up in front, behind and all around and there's no quicker, slicker player to give the set them loose men free.
"Any opposition manager is targeting Cian Lynch. 'You've to stop him hurling.' That gets into the psyche of every player then and so any time he gets the ball, the opposition's midfield go to him, the opposition half forward line go to him...But he's cute enough until the opposition come at him, and THEN he hand-passes or lays it off," says JJ Delaney on Monday's GAA Hour Hurling How.
The trouble is, he has you every way because if you give him space, he'll pass it through the eye of the needle.
He was at it all the way through Sunday's League final, setting up a number of Limerick's scores but this ability to delay until the very last second to give the pass was best seen in the semi-final against Dublin.
Take one; where he draws Daire Gray into where he doesn't one to be before playing a one-two with David Dempsey.
Video credit: @official GAA Limerick v Dublin highlights.
Take two; where he lures Sean Moran and Daire O'Connell in before sending Seamus Flanagan away in a hack.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) March 24, 2019
Anticipation. Execution. The Patrickswell man has it every way.
"All of a sudden, after a hand pass from Cian Lynch, somebody is free, and then, when that player has all the time in the world...That's when it's delivered," said Colm Parkinson on Monday's GAA Hour Hurling Show.
And then a man like Gillane makes hay inside. That's what Limerick are all about.