It was a dominant display the likes of which we've never seen before. Or have we?
Limerick's first half performance in Sunday's All-Ireland final win over Cork was the stuff of legend. It made for a boring procession of a second half, but their dismantling of a Cork team the whole country had spent a week making the case for was something to behold.
But looking at the numbers, where does Limerick's performance rank in the pantheon of All-Ireland final performances?
Put simply, it's pretty high.
Their score of 3-32 (41 points) eclipses the previous record of highest score held jointly by Kilkenny (2008 - 3-30) and Cork (1970 - 6-21).
From 1990 to 2008 only one team scored more than 3-18 in an All Ireland final. Limerick have that in one half today, sensational performance.
— Derek O'Reilly (@DerekOR14) August 22, 2021
Their halftime score of 3-18 would have been enough to beat the losing team in all but three All-Ireland finals in history. The only losing team to ever outscore them in actual fact (over the entire game), was Kilkenny in 1971, who scored 5-14 during the era of the 80 minute finals.
In 1990, Galway's 2-21 scoreline in defeat to Cork would have gotten them a draw with Limerick's half-time total in 2021, while Kilkenny and Tipperary both managed 32 points in the classic drqwn final of 2014 final.
In terms of going up against the winning score in All-Ireland finals, Limerick's 3-18 would have been enough to claim 109 of the 139 All-Ireland finals played before yesterday. In two more, they would have claimed a draw.
"It was a masterclass...... there's been 139 finals, in 109 of those the half-time score would have won those as well." Brendan Cummins waxes lyrical over Limerick's stunning final performance. #rtegaa #TheSundayGame pic.twitter.com/6otoicEA4i
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) August 22, 2021
Ultimately, Cork scoring 1-22 on the day robbed Limerick of the chance to break records in terms of margins. Their 16 points win still ranks pretty high on the all-time list.
In the 140 hurling finals played (including replays), just 38 have been won by more than 10 points. Of those, 20 have been by 15 points of more.
On the all-time list, Limerick's 16 point win over Cork ranks as the joint 16th biggest margin of victory of all time.
The biggest win was Tipperary's 8-14 - 0-4 win over Dublin in 1896, a hammering of 34 points. Cork's remarkable four-in-a-row team of the 1940s achieved the incredible feat of winning two finals by over 20 points, beating Dublin by 20 in 1941, and Antrim by 27 in 1943.
Limerick themselves feature twice on the list ahead of the 2021 team. They earned the 5th biggest all-time win with their 9-5 to 1-3 win over Wexford in 1918, while three years later, they had an 18 point win over Dublin to pick up the first Liam MacCarthy Cup.
As the stats show, one sided finals were much more common in the early days of the association. In the last 70 years, hammerings have been much rarer. Only on 13 occasions since 1950 has the All-Ireland been won by more than 10 points - including in the last three years!
Victories by more than 15 points are even more rare in that time. Limerick became only the third team to manage that particular honour since Tipperary in 1949. Only Tipp's 18 point victory over Antrim in 1989 and Kilkenny's 23 point win over Waterford in 2008 eclipse Limerick's win this year in that timeframe.
Percentage of +10 Point wins:
One more curious record that Limerick broke with their win over Cork. By winning the last two All-Irelands by 11 and 16 points, Limerick have now won five of their 10 All-Ireland titles by more than 10 points, a 50% strikerate.
Tipperary had been top of that list before 2020, having won 12 of their 28 titles by 10 or more, which is just under 43%.
12 of Cork's 30 titles falls under this category (40%), while just 19% of Kilkenny 36 final wins have been by 10 or more.
Clare have a 25% rate, with one from four, while Dublin are the only other team on the list, having managed it once in their six All-Ireland final wins.
Route To Liam:
Limerick became the first team in history to win an All-Ireland title by beating teams only from their own province. Their two victories over Cork, a Munster final win over Tipperary, and a semi-final win over Waterford represents the first time a team has not played at least once outside of their province.
Their average winning margin over the four games was 10 points. Limerick are the first Munster team to win the All-Ireland averaging that since Tipperary in 1989, who won their four games by a combined 46 points.
Kilkenny also beat that number four times since the turn of the century, in 2000, 2007, 2008, and 2015. In 2008, Kilkenny's dominance was such that they set a record that will take some beating, winning their four games by an average of 17.25 points.
With the age profile of this Limerick team, and the prophetic words of John Kiely that best has yet to come, we're in no doubt there'll be plenty more records for Limerick to break over the next couple of years.