Barry Murphy was denied a goal in this attack against Kerry
SUNDAY'S Munster Hurling League final will be “good test of where we are” suggested Limerick manager John Kiely after Sunday’s win over Kerry.
Limerick will play Clare in the Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League this Sunday, January 14 at 2.00, in the Gaelic Grounds.
The game was set to be round three of the early season provincial competition but as both Shannonside rivals have beaten Cork and Kerry the fixture will now be deemed the final. This will be of benefit to all, with the weekend of January 20/21 hosting the opening round of the Fitzgibbon Cup.
“We are both in the final – for all parties concerned it’s a case of getting on with it now,” said the Limerick manager confirming that Sunday’s Clare fixture will double-up as the competition final.
“We go to the final next week against Clare and that will be a decent test. There will be no taking your foot off the gas in that kind of a contest. That will be a serious contest,” said Kiely.
He accepted that the 10-point win over Kerry may not have offered an opportunity to learn much.
”Not a lot really - I suppose we were sharp enough in the first half and put up a decent score and got some decent goals, prominently from turnovers, but we put a lot of pressure on the ball in that first half and we would be happy with the first half performance,” he outlined.
“In the second half we took our foot off the gas and that’s clear - they rose their gander and they hunted in packs in the middle third and took over in the middle third and we would be disappointed with the second half performance to be honest. We didn’t respond until quite late in the second half with a few scores and we got no goal in the second half, which was disappointing but at the same time overall we were by far the better team and it’s one that you put behind you and move on really.”
It was a busy weekend for the majority of the Limerick panel.
”We played UL yesterday (Saturday( and we trained a couple of times during the week so I think we probably did run out of gas in that second half. All of our players would have been involved yesterday between ourselves and UL,” confirmed John Kiely.
”It is what it is - we got the result and we move on,” he said of the 3-19 to 1-15 win over Kerry.
The final against Clare will be a timely barometer of progress for the Limerick manager.
”Next week will be an interesting game. I am sure it will be a good contest - Clare are going very well - they started early this year and won the Fenway Competition (in Boston) and obviously going well in this competition and I think it will be a good test of where we are at,” said Kiely.