It’s a big day for TJ Ryan as his Limerick side will either knock their neighbours out of the All-Ireland Hurling Championship or else be eliminated themselves.
20th March 2016 was also a vital day for Ryan. It was the meeting of Limerick and Clare in the Allianz National Hurling League and was pitted as the winner takes all clash in the race to secure promotion to Division 1A for 2017.
Played in Cusack Park, the Banner County prevailed 1-19 0-18. At the time Ryan bemoaned John Conlon’s all-important goal as he felt the Clonlara man took too many steps and he was also critical of the sending off of Barry Nash.
Almost four months later and the game still lingers in TJ’s memory, it’s why he’s out for revenge today. “We’d like to get one over on them for the league definitely – things didn’t go our way in that game but also our second half wasn’t good enough” he told The Limerick Leader.
Limerick exited at this juncture in the championship twelve months ago to Dublin, a win versus Clare would signal progress. “This is a great opportunity for us to get back to where we want to be – in a quarter final. It’s a local derby in knockout championship. It’s a big challenge because they are one of the favourites for the All Ireland but it’s also a big opportunity for us to win”.
A native of Garryspillane, TJ is heading in to his eleventh championship game as manager of the Treaty County. He is expecting a difficult challenge from Clare but says every game at this level is difficult.
“People might look for high octane championship matches and that is a big part of the Limerick game but you also needed to be controlled” he stated. Ryan may be opting for a cool approach but it all ties in with his determination to get revenge on Clare and you know what they say – revenge is a dish best served cold.