Allen throws down the gauntlet to Limerick forwards

Jerome O’Connell

Reporter:

Jerome O’Connell

LIMERICK hurling manager John Allen hit out at his forwards after Sunday’s 10-point defeat to Tipperary.

LIMERICK hurling manager John Allen hit out at his forwards after Sunday’s 10-point defeat to Tipperary.

Not for the first time, the former Cork All-Ireland winning manager has urged a great work-rate from his attack.

Allen’s Limerick were beaten 0-22 to 1-9 by Tipperary in Nenagh in the quarter-final of the Waterford Crystal Cup.

In Eamonn O’Shea’s first competitive game in charge of Tipperary, The Premier County eased into the semi-finals against Limerick IT next weekend.

The game saw Limerick hit 16-wides for the second successive week. The previous week Limerick had beaten Mary Immaculate College in the preliminary round of the Waterford Crystal Cup, but on this occasions their inaccuracy proved the downfall.

“You don’t win games when you have that many wides,” said a disappointed John Allen.

“Some of them were down to very poor shooting – it was easier to score than miss. As well as that, we had two clear goal chances. Tipp created one goal chance, I’d say. You just don’t win games with 16 wides, “said Allen.

“Our forwards as a unit didn’t work half hard enough today. When you’re allowing backs to come and pick out colleagues with a pass, that’s not good enough,” blasted the Limerick manager.

He added: “Our forwards need to work much harder – that’s something we’re very aware of for the past year and a half.”

“Our backs played quite well in the circumstances. A lot of the (Tipperary) scores came from further out. Our forwards need to work much harder – that’s something we’ve been very aware of for the past year and a half.

Limerick played with the wind in the opening half but trailed 0-10 to 0-8 at the break - after hitting 11 wides.

“In the period just after half-time the game probably turned,” said Allen.

“We should have had a point – Seamus Hickey came through and put the ball wide. Tipp got another score before they tacked on a few points which gave them a fair advantage. We created enough chances to be ahead at half-time but we didn’t take them. At this level, if you don’t finish them, you don’t win the game.”

Limerick must now wait until February 24 for the opening round of the league.

In the two Waterford Crystal Cup outings, Limerick used 24 players - meaning 15 players are yet to get competitive time. The majority of these were involved with colleges in the competition.

Indeed six of the panel will play with Limerick IT in the Waterford Crystal Cup semi-final next weekend against Tipperary.

“I don’t think any team can afford to be short key players but the fellas on the panel were getting a chance to stake a claim. If you’re there, you must be good enough to be there,” said Allen of the loss to Tipperary.

Limerick lined out with 10 of the team that started last year’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Kilkenny.