LIMERICK manager John Allen has described Sunday’s performance by his young side as “heroic”.
“It’s a results game and I am disappointed we lost but I am happy with our play,” said Allen after the rip-roaring encounter in the sunshine of Semple Stadium.
“We have to be realistic – there are a lot of young fellas and we are talking about playing a team that were in the last three All-Ireland finals. You are trying to match that but you need 20-25 players of that level and we are building towards that and thats the ultimate aim. It’s going to take a while and I am sure Limerick peope are fed up hearing that, but thats the truth of it really,” outlined Allen.
“At the end of the day its a results game and we wanted to win and I did think that we were going to win. The bookies, the public, the press didn’t but training has been super for the last few weeks,” explained the former Cork All-Ireland winning manager.
“It was a heroic performance really – the difference probably was that Tipp had some very very experieced players on their subs bench and obviously had a point to prove and they made a huge difference when they were brought on and that turned the game I think. It brought them back into the game,” said Allen.
“I was hugely proud of the players – it was a performance that you would have to be proud of. The amount of people on the field who were geninely just really happy that Limerick gave such a good performance,” he said.
“No one gave us a chance – we have seen the past three All-Ireland finals and they have a very good panel of players. We were going to come under pressure at some stage and I think its very black and white – they had a number of top class players to come in.”
It was Limerick’s huge work ethic that was most impressive.
“The last three All-Ireland finals have had huge intensity and were high octane and if you can match that you are as good as any team – we did that today for a lot of the game. You saw Kilkenny and in 10-minutes they had Cork done and dusted and then until the 72nd minute there was no let up and that’s where we are trying to go as well. Everybody has to work for 110% from begining to end and if you can only go for 35-minutes thats fine someone else will do the other 35-minutes,” explained Allen of the game plan.
“I was so proud of that – fellas were just bursting their behinds to make sure that they were not going to be found wanting for effort.”
Limerick must now regroup for the qualifers and await the draw, with the losing side from Offaly and Wexford probably the most demanding opposition possible.
“We have at least three weeks now to prepare for the next match – Declan Hannon will have more training and maybe Seamus Hickey will be back in the frame and that will push two fellas for places and that’s only good for the camp to have competition for places - Keep every fellas smart and willing to push it out a bit more.”