Super-sub Shane Dowling delivers stirring speech after Limerick victory
Limerick were trailing Cork by six points by the time Shane Dowling was thrown into Sunday's All-Ireland semi-final in Croke Park.
The game was starting to get away from the shannonsiders and it looked like one more score from Cork would put the game beyond doubt but Dowling wasted little time upon his introduction and immediately helped cut the deficit.
The Na Piarsaigh forward scored two points in quick succession to cut Cork's lead to four before notching a crucial point a minute before stoppage time to bring Limerick within just a single score after successive points from Aaron Gillane and Kyle Hayes.
He came alive in extra-time and converted his own penalty to give Limerick a four-point lead in the second period, which, ultimately, provided John Kiely's side with a platform for victory.
Goal for Limerick! Shane Dowling wins and converts this penalty! pic.twitter.com/0QarOXJ1sZ
— The GAA (@officialgaa) July 29, 2018
The substitute admitted after the game that he was disappointed not to start but pleaded with Limerick fans to give the players some space ahead of next month's All-Ireland final.
"Listen, we're a passionate county but I will ask for one message," Dowling told RTE sport after the game.
"I'll ask the supporters to enjoy it and I hope they embrace it but I do plead that they leave the players focus for the next three weeks because we've been here a number of times in the last 30 or 40 years and this time I hope we're not just going to be going to the final to march behind the band.
"I want Limerick to go all the way."
"I really hope we're not just going to get to the final to march behind the band. I want Limerick to go all the way." pic.twitter.com/EcM1Jc8sm3
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) July 29, 2018
Dowling said that there was some debate over which Limerick player should have taken the penalty that he won in extra-time but that some words of encouragement ultimately decided the decision.
"I looked at Paul and Paul came in and his words were 'this is how championship games are won. Go for it' and I did."