LISTEN: John Kiely “I don’t think there will be much in it, it has the makings of a really exciting game.”
Fresh off their impressive victory over Galway last Sunday, Limerick now entertain Clare this Sunday in the Gaelic Grounds at 4pm in the Allianz League Quarter-Final. The winner of the tie will face either Tipperary or Dublin in the semi final the following weekend. Speaking to Limerick boss John Kiely, he is thrilled to secure promotion but is not lloking back but is instead focusing on this weekends challenge.
“It was a result we were very happy to get. Our performance on the day was mixed. We had a good first 25 minutes of the game, created a lot of chances but didn’t convert them. We coughed up too many chances at the back as well so. Whilst we were delighted with the result I think the performance is one we will be looking to improve come the weekend.”
“The application of the players, what we are doing in training is very good. They work very hard. They are a very ambitious group of players. They have had a lot of underage success but I don’t think they are dwelling on that.”
“They are not looking a couple of years down they road. They want to get on and start winning matches now.”
Our focus for this week was not to look back on the Galway match and give ourselves a pat on the back but we are looking to the game we’ve to play on Sunday and we know Clare have done very well in 1A so far, they’ve won three of their matches.
Limerick have qualified for the quarter final by virtue of finishing top of Division 1B and have secured Division 1A status for next Spring. Clare, who had two wins in Division 1A finished 4th in the top tier. These sides met in January in the Munster Hurling League final where Limerick came out on top in the Gaelic Grounds on a scoreline of 0-16 to 0-10. These sides meet again in the final group game of the Munster Championship in just over three months.
Limerick will be competing in a fifth successive League semi final. They have reached the final four in the past two years before being beaten by Waterford in 2016 and eventual champions Galway last year. This Sundays opponents Clare defeated Waterford in the League final in 2016 and have been plying their trade in Division 1A for the last two years.
However, off the back of their win over Galway, Limerick will be keen to prove that it was no once off. Limerick are yet to taste defeat in 2018, winning each of their Munster League games as well as being five from five in the League, Manager John Kiely has also blooded a number of players throughout the League and a real depth is being created in the Treaty city.
Once more John Kiely will be without the Na Piarsaigh contingent who face Cuala in the All Ireland club final on Saturday. Gearoid Hegarty and Graeme Mulcahy have emerged as injury doubts ahead of the game with the St Patricks man being withdrawn against Galway after 20 minutes in Pearse Stadium. However, Kyle Hayes got his first run out of the season on Sunday and will be pushing hard for a starting spot this weekend.
Kiely is excited about the derby game this week and is expecting a difficult assignment against the banner county saying,
“They’re going to bring a strong challenge to the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday and it’s the making of a really exciting game.”
“It will be a totally different game, Clare mightn’t bring the same physicality as Galway but they’ll bring speed and movement and quality of hurling so it’s a different challenge. It’s a tough challenge and you don’t have much time to focus in on these games.”
“I don’t think there will be much in it, it has the makings of a really exciting game.”
Listen to Kiely’s full interview below on our Soundcloud channel.