Some win for Limerick
So a bit of history made on shannonside as John Kiely's Limerick senior hurlers advanced to the Allianz leagues last 4 after an epic victory over Clare decided on placed balls.
The sides finished level after two periods of extra time, on a scoreline of 4-21 to 33 points before the shootout.
Limerick had trailed by nine points in the first-half of normal time, but Patrickswell clubman Aaron Gillane hauled them back into the game with 2 goals.
Clare’s Peter Duggan hit a staggering 19 points and two more in the free-taking competition but it wasnt to be for the banner as Limerick's Colin Ryan kept his nerve to hit the crucial match winning free. Limerick will now take on either Dublin or Tipperary in the next round.
Some character by the Limerick side who have already beaten All Ireland champions Galway.
Limerick have beaten Clare in the Allianz hurling League, dramatic finish Limerick winning by frees! pic.twitter.com/ixIdZW1cTN— The GAA (@officialgaa) March 19, 2018
But not everyone is sold on the idea of a freetaking competition.
And some of the GAA's best dead ball merchants have come out against it.
Take Deise sharpshooter Paul Flynn.
CCCC what’s next, 13 a side trial in the league, 3 refs on the pitch, but a 65m free taking comp to decide a league semi final spot ain’t the answer #tryabuzzer— Paul Flynn (@flynnerss) March 19, 2018
Clare's mouldbreaking captain Anthony Daly's not a fan either.
Writing in the Irish Examiner Dalo observed: 'It is guaranteed drama but I just don’t think it’s in the spirit and ethos of the GAA. It definitely feels different. You can sense the nervous energy and novel anticipation, almost like a penalty shootout in a big Champions League knockout tie. But when one of those players misses, they can retreat behind their gated mansions, and pick up the cheque for a hundred grand or more at the end of the week. In time, nobody will probably remember that Niall Deasy missed a free in a league quarter-final (and has to face work in Limerick this morning), but I still think heaping that kind of pressure on amateur players is not fair.'
Let the heated debate begin. Limerick won't be complaining anyway.