Limerick's hero from 2018 Shane Dowling is forced to retire early

Limerick's hero from 2018 Shane Dowling is forced to retire early
Shane Dowling of Limerick is pushed by Mark Ellis of Cork for a penalty in the 2018 All-Ireland semi-final when Dowling swung the game off the bench. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Shane Dowling, scorer of the goals that swung the All-Ireland semi-final two years ago after extra time, has called time on his career aged just 27.

The Na Piarsaigh club man was a prodigy as a teenager and represented his county with distinction at every level, culminating into the All-Ireland success of 2018, when he hit the net as the ultimate impact sub against Cork and then Galway in the final.

He had incredible wrists, capable of generating ferocious power with minimal backswing, as shown by his goals against Cork in 2018, but also in the semi-final loss to Kilkenny last summer and at club level.

Dowling was a very polished free-taker and at club level, he was an All-Ireland winner as well, to go with five Limerick county titles.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner in March, Dowling had hoped to return later this year after having a second operation on the knee.

“The problem with a microfracture procedure is that it’s a lot more severe than a cruciate," he said. "If you do a cruciate, it takes you nine to 12 months, you do your rehab and you get back; with this, there is no defined time and that’s frustrating."

Shane Dowling, Limerick, in action against Shane O'Neill, Cork, in the 2014 Munster final in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE
Shane Dowling, Limerick, in action against Shane O'Neill, Cork, in the 2014 Munster final in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Dowling also featured in the 2013 and 2014 Munster finals; Limerick were victorious in the first encounter with Cork gaining revenge a year later.

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