Liam Sheedy believes that the prospect of facing Kilkenny in the All-Ireland senior hurling Championship at Croke Park will hold little fear for Limerick.
TJ Ryan’s side stormed to 4-26 to 1-11 victory over Wexford at Semple Stadium at the weekend and turned on the style with as good a display as they have produced all season.
The memory of their Munster final defeat to Cork was banished by that victory and speaking to RTÉ Sport, Sheedy insisted that they are now genuine contenders for the Liam MacCarthy cup.
“Wexford were completely overrun by Limerick. I think maybe people underestimate Limerick, they put in a really good performance in the Munster final and a goal at any stage in that game could have got them over the line and they missed some chances in the first half,” the former Tipperary manager said.
“They showed yesterday that they are contenders and I think they’ll give Kilkenny lots to think about. They were really impressive.
“Liam Óg McGovern had caused extreme headache for all the defences (he faced) to date, but Seamus Hickey completely outplayed him and he was outstanding at corner back and that really set the tone for the defence.
“Likewise up front, I think Declan Hannon was asked to take the leadership role at centre-forward in the absence of Donal O’Grady and he really stepped up and scored four wonderful points.
“Shane Dowling continued in his rich vein of form and right throughout the forward line they were very impressive.
“Limerick have a lot to build on and they will not fear going to Croke Park in two weeks time. Obviously, they let themselves down up there last year and they will be anxious to atone for that,” Sheedy insisted.
The note of warning that Sheedy did sound was based on the quality of opposition that Limerick faced at Semple stadium and that maybe a more challenging game would have stood them in better steed going into the semi-final.
“If TJ Ryan was to be disappointed about anything yesterday, it will be with the fact that Wexford just didn’t come to the table.
"They didn’t show anything like they showed in the last three weeks in the Championship and Limerick really could have done with a sterner test going in to face Kilkenny.”