Limerick hurling boss John Allen believes the element of surprise and a well drilled and disciplined panel of players were the deciding factors in his team’s Munster Hurling final victory over Cork.
Allen, who has previously led his native Cork to two Munster titles, plotted their downfall this time out as he led The Shannonsiders to a massive 0-24 to 0-15 victory at the Gaelic Grounds.
The final whistle sent the Limerick supporters in raptures, ending as it did, their 17-year wait for Munster silverware.
A red card for Patrick Horgan just before half-time swung the game in Limerick’s favour but while Allen admits that decision played a part, he saved the lion’s share of the credit for his players.
“We played Cork twice this year in challenge games and the last time they got five goals against us. I think psychologically they would have felt coming in that no matter what happened they would be better than us,” he insisted.
“I felt that it would be the exact opposite and that they would underestimate us. Now I'm sure that they didn’t but there are different levels of underestimating, so all in all I’m delighted.”
“I was trying to tell [my players] all along how good they were because I certainly believe they’re very good and when I see what they’re doing off the field, what they’re doing in the gym and what they’re eating and not eating I knew that we were right for today.”
Horgan was sent off on the stroke of half-time following a clash with Limerick defender Paudie O’Brien, with many feeling that it was a harsh decision, but Allen insisted that it wasn’t decisive.
“No team wants to be soldiering with 14, having said that how often do we see the team with 14 winning?” he asked.
“Once we decided at half-time who was going to be sweeper and that there was no grey areas, that everyone knew exactly who they were picking up, once we had that decided and we stuck to it there was a chance that it was going to be significant.”