LISTEN: Carey “Emotions need to be balanced for Limerick’s return to Ennis”

There was a great atmosphere in the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday and I think a small bit of recognition must go to our supporters.

It’s the first time I’ve seen that amount of travelling support in the league and obviously, that is because of the highs that Limerick reached last year. It was a match that I really enjoyed.

Cork came out of the traps like a rocket. You could see that they were up for it and in the first 20 minutes were in full flight. I think that was their plan.

Allianz Hurling League Division 1A, Gaelic Grounds, Limerick 24/2/2019 Limerick vs Cork Bill Cooper of Cork gets the sliotar away under pressure Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

Hit Limerick with everything in the first 20 minutes and, to be fair, it worked. I felt that Limerick were always in the game despite Cork’s lead.

They tried to spice it up a bit by bringing on Graeme Mulcahy, Kyle Hayes, Barry Murphy and Barry Nash to improve the situation but I thought that Cork were that bit hungrier.

Their forward play was better. Aidan Walsh and Seamus Harnedy were very strong.

Stephen McDonnell, who wasn’t there last year, played very well. He was very solid.

Ok, he was caught for the goal but bounced back like any thoroughbred corner back should bounce back.

A huge find for them has been Tim O’Mahony. I’ve been watching him very closely and he is playing very well.

Having said all that, with Limerick going at 60% or 70%, when the final whistle went, there was still only a puck of a ball in it.

Allianz Hurling League Division 1A, Gaelic Grounds, Limerick 24/2/2019 Limerick vs Cork Limerick’s Peter Casey scores a goal Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

There is plenty of room for improvement, which has to be a positive from a Limerick point of view.

John Kiely and his management team are obviously trying to find a few players as well.

They have used a lot of players so far in the league. Conor Boylan and Robbie Hanley have stepped up to the mark for me, Tom Condon doing ok but they need a few more.

Obviously, they are going to look at the wides. There were a lot of wides last Sunday and they need to be more economical in front of goal.

Very unlike Shane Dowling to miss those frees but in fairness to him, I thought he did very well. He won’t give you what the likes of Tom Morrissey and Gearoid Hegarty give you but he has a great brain.

He knows exactly where to be on the field at any given time. A big one for me was our goal opportunities. We created a lot in every game that we have played this year but didn’t last Sunday.

Munster Senior Hurling League Round 1, Gaelic Grounds, Limerick 14/12/2018 Limerick vs Tipperary Limerick manager John Kiely Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

Two reasons for that. Number one is that they faced a very good Cork team and number two is that Cork held their shape.

They didn’t allow their half back line to go up the field. They stayed back and minded the house.

I’m looking forward to the game in Ennis this Sunday for lots of reasons. Even though Limerick won the All-Ireland, there was a few of the Clare players with a few silly old tweets.

Munster GAA Senior Hurling Championship Round 5, Cusack Park, Ennis, Co. Clare 17/6/2018 Clare vs Limerick Clare’s Jamie Shanahan and Shane Dowling of Limerick Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Bryan Keane

Emotionally they were probably thinking that they would have fancied their chances against Limerick in the final having beaten them in the Munster Championship.

You have all that spice in the background but I’d say Clare are sitting back and waiting for this opportunity.

If Limerick’s attitude is right, the rest will follow. The big one for Limerick on Sunday is the realisation that Clare will be bulling for them.

Emotions for Limerick will have to be balanced. For that to happen you have to stay away from newspapers, stay away from Facebook, stay from Twitter because when you are looking at all that handy and loose talk it will get into your mentality and will play with your mind.

Munster GAA Senior Hurling Championship Round 5, Cusack Park, Ennis, Co. Clare 17/6/2018 Clare vs Limerick Clare’s David McInerney and Seamus Flanagan of Limerick Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Bottom line for Limerick is to not get caught up in the circus and caught up in the hype. It’s another match.

It’s down in Ennis and we have a fair idea of what they are going to come with but Limerick still have to implement their game.

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