“It’s proper championship stuff now” | John Kiely happy with incremental improvement as Limerick look ahead to Cork

Despite not getting the win, Kiely remained upbeat about his teams display, saying they “should have had the win based on the scoring chances.”

Limerick will find themselves in an unfamiliar position this Sunday as they face potential elimination from the Munster Championship following their draw with Tipperary. The Shannonsiders know anything but a victory against Cork in the TUS Gaelic Grounds will mean the end of their campaign.

Boss John Kiely stressed how high the stakes are for the Cork game saying, “we’ve got to win next weekend, Cork have got to win next weekend, it’s proper championship stuff now.”

His side will need their supporters to get over the line next Sunday, and Kiely urged the Treaty faithful to get to the Ennis Road to support the team. 

“We have great support, Cork have great support, it will all be required. I hope our crowd have their tickets got and will be there to shout the boys on. These boys have given them a lot these last number of years and supporters have been on this journey with us.”

Despite not getting the win in Thurles, the Galbally native remained upbeat about his teams display, saying his side “should have had the win based on the scoring chances.”

While Limerick may be disappointed to have not come away with the win, Kiely was pleased with how his team continued to show “incremental” improvements on previous performances. A hard-fought victory over Waterford was followed by a disappointing defeat to Clare, but the Limerick boss is relatively happy with where his side is at. 

“Our trajectory is in the right direction, three really good performances on an improving scale.

“We would have been really happy with a deficit of three points at half-time given the breeze that was there. We got off to a really strong start in the second half. We were dominant, in the second half we created 24 scoring chances to their 14 which is a reflection of the dominance we had. We just didn’t put it on the scoreboard entirely.” 

21 May 2023; Limerick manager John Kiely during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 4 match between Tipperary and Limerick at FBD Semple Stadium in Thurles, Tipperary. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Tipperary had the advantage going into the second half, but the Limerick manager highlighted the impact of his substitutes, as Peter Casey and Graeme Mulcahy came off the bench to change the game in the second half, Mulcahy scoring a brace and Casey adding one.

“It was huge, they all contributed hugely. It was one of those days that it could have got away from us – it didn’t because of the resolve and the character that the group has.”

The Treaty faithful will be pleased to learn that there is “nothing major” with regard to any injury concerns ahead of the game as Limerick welcome the Rebels to the Gaelic Grounds this Sunday knowing only victory will do.

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