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Cian Lynch bidding for 'special' achievement with his club this weekend

Patrickswell’s Lynch is hoping to add a county senior hurling title to the All-Ireland crown he won with Limerick in August.

Limerick hurler Cian Lynch at the launch of the 2021 John West Féile at Croke Park.
Limerick hurler Cian Lynch at the launch of the 2021 John West Féile at Croke Park.
Image: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE

CIAN LYNCH IS bidding to complete a remarkable feat this weekend as he looks to add a Limerick senior county title to the All-Ireland crown he lifted in August.

Lynch’s Patrickswell face 2014 champions Kilmallock in Sunday’s decider, which will be aired live on TG4 at 3.30pm.

While Patrickswell, Limerick’s most successful club, previously landed titles in 2019 and 2016, they’ve never done so in the same year the county team have delivered the Liam MacCarthy Cup.

Diarmaid Byrnes, Aaron and Jason Gillane are also chasing the feat. 

“It would be special,” he says. “Everyone goes out with the same aim at the end of the day.

“Obviously it would be huge. It would end the year on a massive high. But for ourselves, we don’t look beyond the training sessions this week and beyond anything else, because we know Kilmallock are a great team.

“We’ve had great battles through the years. All we can do is focus on ourselves and get the best out of ourselves.”

Lynch’s first experience of county final day in Limerick was as a mascot in 2003 when his late uncle Paul Carey skippered Patrickswell to their 18th senior crown.

“2003 and Paul (his uncle Paul Carey), God rest him, was captain the same year. A lovely memory to have and, look, when you’re growing up in an area like this you look up to your uncle and local heroes in the club like Gary Kirby and Ciaran (Carey) and Paul, the whole lot of them.

“To be able to go out and then represent your club and play field as these guys were playing on is special. Look, I’m honoured that I’ve gotten to train and play on the local pitch and follow in these guys’ footsteps.

“And me togged out in my own little jersey and togs and socks and walking around with Paul was special and it is a memory that I’ll cherish. I suppose when look back on it and look back on the photos it shows you it’s the cycle of life.

“As a kid you’re dreaming of representing your club and on a day like this and we’re very fortunate to be in this position.”

Lynch’s uncle Paul died last November after a car accident in Dubai, leaving behind his young son and wife who was pregnant with their second child at the time. 

“It’s coming up to the year anniversary now very soon,” says Lynch. “You’re still trying to come to terms with it, the whole family, but we just have to support each other and keep going.”

Lynch is coming off the back of another exceptional season for the Treaty, with his third All-Star and second Hurler of the Year award expected to arrive at next month’s All-Stars. 

Limerick achieved a rare feat when all 15 of their All-Ireland final team were nominated for All-Stars.

“I suppose for us as a team and management, our main ambition was to go on and win an All-Ireland. Everything after that is a bonus,” he reflects. “To have 15 lads nominated for All-Stars is special and you do cherish those things as well. All we can do really is keep pushing.”

County team-mates Peter Casey and Barry Murphy face a lengthy road back to fitness after both suffered knee ligament injuries recently. Casey went down in the first-half of the All-Ireland final while Murphy sustained the dreaded injury in club action. 

Lynch admits it’s difficult to see team-mates go down with such a serious injury. 

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“Down through the years, I know Seán Finn did it, Richie English did his as well. A few others had knee injuries too, obviously Mike (Casey), Peter and Barry. Your heart would go out to them. That’s the cruelty of sport.

“You can do the best you can to prepare yourself, and have your body in the best order as possible. It’s just very unfortunate for the two lads and the rest of the gang.

“All we can do is support them, and be with them every step of the way in the rehab journey to get themselves right, because they’re two massive players. You want to get them right, back on the horse again and drive on.”

John Kiely has agree to extend his stint in charge of Limerick for a further two years, however his backroom team will have a different look to it next season.

It’s unclear if sports psychologist Caroline Currid will be involved in 2022 after she joined Munster Rugby in the off-season, while strength and conditioning coach Mikey Kiely has left the set-up to link up with Ulster Rugby.

“Mikey is brilliant,” says Lynch. “Obviously he is brilliant at what he does with the strength and conditioning. We’ve had him since the U21s in 2017, so we would have built a great relationship with him.

“Just on a personal level then, he’s very approachable then, very relatable with regards if you want to try something that might benefit you in a different way, it might not be working, he’s very good in that sense. He’s with Ulster now, and has a massive journey ahead of him as well. So delighted for him.”

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Kevin O'Brien

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