The St Francis BC provided the X-Factor in Limerick’s historic All-Ireland hurling victory at Croke Park yesterday.

Limerick, who last won the title in 1973, three years after The Beatles announced they’d split, beat Galway to bridge the 45-year gap on Sunday.

Most of the hurling panel trained at Limerick’s St Francis club under club coaches Ken Moore, Valerie Hamilton and Derek Duhig ahead of a fundraising Night of Boxing at the South Court Hotel on Shannonside in December.

“It’s a dream come through. I think we all played out this scenario since when we were four or five years of age. That (unity) stretches back to last November when we all got together for a boxing camp, “ said Treaty County hurler Kyle Hayes.

”We were boxing the head off each other in October and now we’re lifting the trophy!”

Limerick captain Declan Hannon believes that the St Francis sessions helped forge the character of the side.

“It goes back to last November when we got together and did a boxing camp,” he said after Sunday’s nail-biting win over defending champions Galway brought the curtain down on an extraordinary 2018 All-Ireland hurling series.

All-Ireland winner Darragh O’Donovan added: “I remember crawling into the boxing ring in St. Francis with this man at the end of October. I’ll tell you that is where this thing was earned.”


Ken Moore and Valarie Hamilton with Limerick coach John Kiely


Ken Moore explained that 18 of the hurling panel – 10 Na Piarsaigh players were not available due to club commitments – trained at the club for almost two months, passed their medicals and are all IABA and St Francis BC registered boxers.

“It was fantastic to see Limerick winning the final against a very good Galway side.They trained with us for eight weeks and it was very nice to hear Limerick hurling acknowledge the contribution that St Francis and boxing made in helping bond the team in media reports today,” he said.

Is there an Irish title in any of them?

“Well, they’re all All-Ireland champions now either way,” added Moore.“They’re a hugely committed team and they’ve done Limerick proud on and off the field.”