A DELIGHTED Maurice Horan said his side’s gritty All-Ireland qualifier win over Offaly was the perfect response to those critics who questioned the players’ heart in the wake of their heavy Munster championship defeat to Kerry.
Limerick football manager Horan also revealed that he did not expect to have dual players Mark O’Riordan and Stephen Lucey available for their third-round qualifier on Saturday next.
The Limerick hurlers are not back in action until their All-Ireland quarter-final clash on the weekend of July 23-24.
Maurice Horan said: “There was a lot of built up tension after that performance five weeks ago and it was going to burst out some way. The boys took the goals brilliantly in both halves. When we got the chances we took them.
“We came coming back with scores at vital stages just when it looked like Offaly were going to get a foothold in the match. Some boys stepped up big time today.
“Some of the lads got a slating the last day and were told they had no heart, but they came good today.
“This football team has played with so much pride and passion over the past six or seven years we felt like we had something to prove, not just to the public, but to ourselves and all the hard core support we have, the families and people like that.
“We needed to have a result, the very minimum was to produce a performance which would leave Limerick people saying that those guys deserved to wear the jersey. And we got the win. We held on, got the scores at vital stages.
“You compare that team to the one which played last year. Who would have thought you would win a game without John Galvin or Jim Donovan in midfield? There was no Mark O’Riordan, no Stephen Lucey, who have been the cornerstone of Limerick football for many years.”
“I don’t envisage having Stephen or Mark with us next week.”