“Accuracy saved us last week, accuracy left us down this week” | John Kiely laments poor shooting as Clare deservedly end the streak

Reflecting on the contest, John Kiely admitted that the visitors were the deserving winners in the TUS Gaelic Grounds.

All good things must come to an end and for the Limerick hurlers it was their four year unbeaten streak in the Munster Championship that was brought to a halt last Saturday night with neighbours Clare edging their instant classic.

Following a pair of draws in the 2022 championship, the Banner confirmed their status as the Treaty’s bogey men as they became the first team to overturn Limerick in seventeen championship outings, the second longest streak of all time.

It was a nip and tuck opening half with Seamus Flanagan’s goal enough for a one-point Limerick lead at the interval. But Clare roared into life after the restart and put distance between themselves in the closing stages as the Treaty could not claw back for parity.

Reflecting on the contest, John Kiely admitted that the visitors were the deserving winners in the TUS Gaelic Grounds.

“It was it was a fantastic game of hurling which we came out the wrong side of. I think when it boils down to it, it comes down to one particular fact, that they were extremely accurate in their shooting and we just shot too many wides from chances that we’d expect to convert.

“We give ourselves a chance with the goal in the end but ultimately before that Claire pushed themselves to four points up in injury time. I think they were full value for their victory and more power to them.

“They had a very strong quarter one and quarter three straight after half time again, they got two quick scores. On each occasion we we responded well, middle ways through the first half we responded well, I think we took a two or three point deficit and brought it into a three-point lead so you know you’d have to be happy with that phase of the game. They showed fantastic energy and accuracy when it mattered most and I think a few turnovers cost us dearly particularly for the the goal in the second half.”

29 April 2023; Tom Morrissey of Limerick is tackled by John Conlon of Clare during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 2 match between Limerick and Clare at TUS Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

The defeat leaves four teams on two points after the opening pair of rounds with two of those to meet in their second outing this weekend as Tipperary host Cork.

Up next for Limerick is Tipperary on May 21 and that game will be of huge significance to both, regardless of the outcome for the premier this Sunday.

Under Liam Cahill, Tipp have brought a new found aggression that was absent in the 2022 edition of the championship and Kiely is expecting another tough test, although he isn’t too displeased with his sides standing as is in the province.

The Galbally native is looking for an improved performance from his side with their hefty wide count (15) proving detrimental against the Banner.

“Well we have only two points out of four. I suppose if you said to me a month ago would you take two points from four, I wouldn’t have cried over it, it’s not the end of the world. Our accuracy saved us last week, our accuracy left us down this week.

“Both oppositions brought two excellent performances as well and I think it shouldn’t be necessarily about our performance, it’s about the performance of the opposition that we have to take on and I think Clare tonight brought a really excellent performance and it was always going to take an incredible effort to beat them on the night and we just fell very narrowly short.”

Limerick will be keen to focus on themselves but for the first time since 2019, they look a vulnerable outfit. Their impressive reply following their most recent defeat to Kilkenny was incredible and Kiely and co will be looking for a similar response this time around, starting with Tipp in three weeks.

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