“We have three weeks to get our ducks in a row” | John Kiely on dealing with Clare loss and injury update for Lynch and Finn

Following a first championship loss in 1,372 days, Limerick manager John Kiely said it would “take a few days to digest.”

Limerick lost their first championship game since July 2019 on Saturday as Clare were victorious in their Munster second round outing in the TUS Gaelic Grounds.

After leading by the minimum at the half despite playing well below their best, Limerick just couldn’t hold on down the stretch with the Banner roaring into the life in the final five minutes.

A late late Seamus Flanagan goal wasn’t enough for the Shannonsiders who face into a three-week break before traveling to Thurles to take on Tipperary.

Following a first championship loss in 1,372 days, Limerick manager John Kiely said it would “take a few days to digest.”

“It’s a very down beat dressing room inside there. It’s been a while since we’ve lost a championship match, it still tastes the same as it did the last time, it’s not good and it will take us a few days now to digest it. But listen I have full fate in this group and in the way that I know they’re going to respond to us. There’s an incredible togetherness in the group, there’s a tremendous bond and honesty within the group and I think when you have that, you know we can depend on them to respond in the right way, in the right manner of the next number of weeks.

“So we’ll take a few days now just to rest and take that opportunity since we have it and when we do get back onto the pitch, we’ll work hard towards being a better team in the on the on the 29th of May.”

29 April 2023; Declan Hannon of Limerick in action against Shane O’Donnell, 14, and Tony Kelly 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

Limerick’s chances were harmed by a double injury either side of the half. Sean Finn suffered a knee injury in the final play before the interval while Cian Lynch was forced off inside three minutes of the restart.

Their absences were felt as Clare turned the screw, hitting six in a row either side of the half time whistle.

Limerick never regained the lead despite levelling on four different occasions thereafter. However, Kiely didn’t blame either of the enforced substitutions for the defeat and says the side will freshen up ahead of the Tipperary clash.

“Cian (Lynch) was just a hamstring. He just felt a pinch on it so you know no point in risking that and that being a more significant injury so he came off.

“Sean (Finn), it was a knee injury I don’t know the extent of it, we’ll probably have to get a scan on it during the week and see where we are.

“But listen we have three weeks now to the next game to get our our ducks in a row. We’ve gotta take this week possibly maybe to refresh and get a bit of a break, freshen up, come back and give it two weeks then straight to the Tipp game and that’s going to be a huge fixture now.

“We have lads coming on there that we’ve every faith in and it’s not a major consideration at all because we’re only looking for opportunities the times to get them on the field and to be fair I think the lads that came on tonight did really really well. They all made an impact when they came on so I’d be very happy with their impact. I think just when it mattered in the closing stretch, Clare won those vital balls, those vital puckouts, those vital breaks, those vital turnovers and when they got a chance they took their chances and that’s what it’s all about so as I said they were full value for the win.”

It will be an interesting number of weeks for Limerick who will be keen to respond as they did to their previous loss back in 2019, and the sight of a Tipperary jersey later this May will be all the motivation Kiely and co need.

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