WATCH: John Kiely lauds 'emphatic' Limerick in Munster title victory over Tipperary

Jerome O'Connell & Donn O'Sullivan

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Jerome O'Connell & Donn O'Sullivan

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sport@limerickleader.ie

LIMERICK are Munster Senior Hurling Champions for the first time since 2013 and manager John Kiely has lauded his players for continuing to set high standards.

"They set the standards and I am happy for them that they achieved what they set out to achieve today," stressed John Kiely after the 12-point victory.

After a first All-Ireland SHC title in 45 years last August, many wondering if Limerick could build on that success in 2019.

Limerick have now added league and provincial honours - the first time all three major trophies rests on Shannonside in 82 years.

"The big question was, once the All-Ireland was over, was can we get back there?" said Kiely.

"That’s the facts, secretly that was the question that everyone was asking - will they get back there. Well we are back there now, despite the ‘lack of hunger’ or ‘lack of desire to win’ and all the other questions and doubts that have been put on these guys," insisted Kiely.

"They have answered the questions and they are emphatic and we are really looking forward to getting back to Croke Park for an All-Ireland semi final," said the Limerick manager.

"Everything we have done since last August was about getting back there - whether it was timing our return to training, where we took our break on our holidays, everything has been about trying to get back to Croke Park."

Tipperary led 1-6 to 0-4 after 17-minutes but then Limerick came to life.

"I think today once we overcame the first 20-minutes and withstood a lot of pressure from Tipperary and then the last 15-minutes before the half time was critical when we held ourselves in the game and went in with a lead and with that kind of breeze it was always going to be very difficult for Tipperary to turn it around," recalled Kiely.

"We were beginning to work harder and harder and doing the work and turning the work into scores and once we got into our rhythm we were going to be hard to stop."