Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

21.20 18 Jul 2021


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Limerick manager John Kiely said his side's comeback in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship final was the best thing they've done in years.

Despite trailing Tipperary by 10 points at the break, Limerick enjoyed a 2-29 to 3-21 victory at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday.

Speaking to OTB Sports at full-time the Treaty boss said a turnaround was needed after their sluggish start.

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“The third-quarter performance was our strongest performance in five years. It needed to be. Had to be.

"It was up there with our best 16 or 17 minutes of hurling. They had to stand up. We were extremely disappointed with our first-half performance, really disappointed.

“We know we left ourselves down in many aspects of the game that we pride ourselves on, particularly our work rate.

"We won’t get away with that in the future if we allow that to happen. We managed to turn the tide today but you won’t do that consistently."

The win means Limerick are the Munster champions for a third consecutive year, and they're the first side to do this since 1989.

Kiely was keen to point out how much of a game of two halves it was, praising Liam Sheedy and his Tipperary side.

"It was an incredible game.

"We didn’t turn up in the first half to a certain extent. Tipperary blew us off the field.

"They killed us with two great goals off the puckouts, which we didn’t deal with. They had a plan and they executed that plan really well.

“In the second half we came out and engaged way more physically in the game, we carried the ball a bit more forward and our confidence grew after the first couple of scores. Our full-back line, half-back line, managed to get on top, I think, and the puckouts weren’t causing us as much trouble as they were in the first half.”

 

On a day that was painfully hot at times, conditions were exceptionally tough.

Kiely said both sides deserved serious credit for being able to last over 70 minutes.

“They’re exhausted inside now, both teams I’m sure are completely and utterly exhausted but they have that within them.

"They train hard. They push through it. They work hard on their hydration I’m sure, both teams did and all the teams did this weekend in order to be able to cope with these conditions and hats off to them all, every player that took the pitch this weekend.

“It’s difficult. When you’re not used to it, it’s difficult but I think massive credit to them and to the nutritionists and S&C coaches who give them the advice on how to best prepare physically to come through that but they are completely and utterly exhausted.”


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