LIMERICK manager TJ Ryan is happy that his side have set the record straight despite almost everyone writing off their 2014 chances.
Ryan described his side’s Munster SHC victory over Tipperary as “sweet” and said that proving the doubters wrong was a key motivator in the victory over Tipperary.
“We have been going on about it for the last couple of weeks that we were still Munster champions and that crown is still with us and maybe people had dismissed it - even some of ye (media) here, talking about Tipp and Clare Munster finals,” said Ryan with a rye smile.
“Defending champions in all sports are usually hard to beat and we brought that to the table - winning takes talent, which the lads showed last year, repeating it takes character and I thought we showed tremendous character today,” explained the Limerick boss.
“When the shenanigans happened a few weeks ago the easy thing was ‘that’s the usual Limerick thing’ but in fairness to the lads they kept their powder dry and didn’t say anything and they gave me a great response and I will be forever indebted to them for that,” said Ryan of his Limerick players.
The win was Limerick’s first in Thurles against Tipperary in 41 years.
“The record in Thurles going back to ‘73 was always going to be a difficult one to break. Tipp to be fair to them are a fantastic team and I’ve admired their forwards in the league semi-final and final and they are a good side - to beat them today was sweet, there is no doubt about that.”
The manager was quick to heap any praise on his players.
“Look, when you win everything you do looks like it was the right decision but in fairness to the lads they showed tremendous character. The thing to remember is that we have only won a Munster semi-final today and we are into a final and that’s what we set out to achieve and we did it and we are back in a Munster final, which is great.”
He continued: “It looked like it was gone but what a finish and what a goal and a couple of scores - it was to be our day. All I am thinking about now is a Munster final - we have five weeks to prepare and it the number of weeks and months I had to prepare for this, I will need every inch of the five weeks.”
“When you win it looks like all the decisions you make are correct - from our point of view, even at the finish we were thinking about a couple more changes but in fairness to the lads on the field they were giving their all. Maybe if we were beat a point maybe ye would be asking me different questions - that’s the fine margins that’s involved in hurling. In fairness our guys gave it their all and in fairness to Tipp they played well too and hit 2-16,” outlined the Limerick manager.
”I think there is very little between a lot of the teams in the county and two or three point swings will be the order of the day going forward - there isn’t a whole lot between any of the team and on the given day you need character and we showed that today.”