Limerick defender Paudie O’Brien admitted that the pain of recent defeats spurred them on to victory against Tipperary.
The Treaty County lost the Allianz NHL 1B promotion play-off to Dublin in April, and last year lost a Munster SHC quarter-final to today’s opponents after leading by seven points in the second half.
Asked if those losses inspired them to today’s 1-18 to 1-15 win, O’Brien told RTÉ Sport: “Yeah, it does, and two league finals that we lost too. It hurts when everyone brands you a Division 1B county and everyone says you’re not up there with the top counties.
"We’d something to prove today – Limerick’s hurling is up there with the best of them.
“This means loads to the people of Limerick, how many matches did we lose with 10-15 minutes to go and we just couldn’t find a way to win but we were fit and strong today and we felt if we were there or thereabouts with Tipp we were going to get over the line.
“[Our manager] John Allen always has belief in this team, he just told us and told us we were going to win this game and no matter what way we were going to do it we were going to find a way to win it.”
"We’d something to prove today – Limerick’s hurling is up there with the best of them"
Limerick will now play either Cork or Clare in the Munster final on 14 July and O’Brien, from the Kilmallock club, is desperate to build on today’s victory.
“Walking down in the streets in Kilmallock yesterday it was unbelievable, the optimism.
"People back you in this county, look out in the middle of the field and it’s like winning an All-Ireland but at the end of the day it’s just a Munster Championship win, we’ve a big, big Munster final to look forward to.
“We’re not here to beat Tipp and we’re not here to win matches, we’re here to win medals. We’ll enjoy this but we’re back with the clubs next week, back in training the week after. We have to bring silverware back to Limerick,” he added.