As was feared, John Kiely will have to plan for the Munster Championship semi final clash with Clare without Patrickswell’s Diarmuid Byrnes and Na Piarsaigh’s William O’Donoghue.
Both started in Limerick’s last competitive game against Galway in the League semi final but have since missed 4 challenge games and two rounds of the Limerick SHC.
Byrnes was arguably Limerick’s most influential player last year as despite Limerick’s struggles he was nominated for an All-Star. O’Donoghue has shone for the Treaty side this Spring in the middle of the park with his lung busting runs highlighted by his goal against the Tribesmen.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader, Kiely said,
”It has been an on-going saga with injuries – it’s a pity really because we would all love to have a clean bill of health come championship,”
“It is what it it and we just have to get on with it.”
Gearoid Hegarty has only been given a 50-50 chance of playing as he continues his recovery from injury. Despite the injury concerns, Kiely is confident that his side will have enough to reach a first Munster final since 2014.
“Our preparation has gone really well since we came back after the club championship. Training has been superb and the players have been fantastic with their work ethic. The challenge games have been a boost for confidence, winning all of them,” he said of the games against Cork, Dublin and Waterford (twice).
“Our form is really good. What we want for Sunday is to be the best team that we can be. I’ve no doubt that preparation has gone well and we have improved constantly and will continue to do so even after Sunday,” said Kiely.
He continued, “This is a very ambitious bunch of young fellas – lads who know it is to be successful and know what is needed to be successful. There are no easy games in the Munster Championship and we are up against an experienced Clare side that are together about five years and have numerous U-21 title and the 2013 All Ireland SHC.”
“They have some excellent hurlers and some household names – we mightn’t have those household names now but I am confident we will in the months and years ahead.”