Limerick’s ruthless streak pleases McNamara

LIMERICK hurler Wayne McNamara is happy with his side’s new-found ruthless streak after they recorded big wins over Antrim and Laois over the last two weekends.

LIMERICK hurler Wayne McNamara is happy with his side’s new-found ruthless streak after they recorded big wins over Antrim and Laois over the last two weekends.

Limerick were 6-21 to 1-11 winners over Laois in the opening round of All Ireland hurling Qualifiers before following that up with an 8-26 to 1-15 win over Antrim in the Gaelic Grounds last weekend. They now await the winners of Cork/Offaly and Clare/Dublin in the next round.

“We want to consider ourselves a good team and to do that you have to kill off games,” explained the Adare man of the new killer instinct.

“We went out to blitz them early and then at half time we questioned ourselves about what would a good team do and that was to kill them off and we came out in the first few minutes of the second half and put them away,” he outlined.

“We are going in the right direction – it’s work in progress but everyone is working hard,” he said.

Although the win over Antrim was one-way traffic from Sean Tobin’s opening minute goal, McNamara said that there would still be lessons to be learned.

“You can always take positives and negatives like we have all year – in these games you get to work on a pattern of play and today it was a bit better than the last day. We played the same pattern against Tipp and I think every day it gets better,” he said.

“The first 15-20 minutes we played very well and then we died and that can happen after scoring five goals. We are only in year two of development and maybe it was a bit of inexperience and when you blitz them like that maybe it was a bit of complacency,” he explained.

Limerick notched 5-3 in the opening 17-minutes but then faded and allowed Antrim to register 13 points when wind assisted in the first half. The final 20-minutes of the half saw Limerick score just four points – compared to eight for Antrim.

“We want to kill them off in the fist 15-minutes so we kept going for the jugular and then when we got in at half time we spoke about what a good team would do and that was kill the game off,” said McNamara.

With 25 and 33 point victories in the qualifiers, could there is a fear that Limerick were not sufficiently tested through the backdoor route?

“There is,” accepted McNamara.

“But there was against Tipp as well and we didn’t do too bad. Competition is there for places and lads want to win. Training is going well and everyone is working hard and its all good. Lads are fresh and there is an honesty there in every training session - we are getting stronger and fitter,” he outlined.

In two weeks time they’ll be up against Clare, Dublin, Offaly or Cork.

“What we need is a big win,” said McNamara.

“We are looking forward to it - We want to play good teams and beat them. We will go out to win - it’s going to be a massive game but we will approach it positively. We are only in year two and we have got to realise that too. I just turned 26 and I am one of the oldest on the panel so there is lots to come – the average age would be 22/23.”