Limerick boss TJ Ryan hailed championship debutant Cian Lynch as a “gem” after the Patrickswell teenager sparkled on his championship debut.
Lynch, 19, is a nephew of former Shannonside county stars Ciarán and Pa Carey and 19 years after Ciarán’s wonder point floored Clare at the Gaelic Grounds, the bloodline remains strong.
This time it was Lynch helping to break Clare hearts as he scored three points in Thurles, including two in the first half as 2013 All-Ireland final hero Domhnall O’Donovan was given a torrid time.
TJ Ryan celebrates today.
Lynch won Munster minor titles in 2013 and 2014 before he was fast-tracked to the senior panel along with Tom Morrissey.
And Ryan said: “I am not surprised. He (Lynch) is a real gem. You have to give real credit to the minor set up for the past couple of years.
“We have Tom Morrissey on the panel as well and they are two physically and mentally seasoned players having been through that set up.”
Ryan said that he did not see the incident that saw Seanie Tobin red-carded just seconds after he came on as sub.
He reflected: “I didn’t see it. I know that is easy for a manager to say.
“I know Seanie came running in and I suppose he was welcomed to the game.
“But you would need TV to see that. Look, it was a hard game to referee. I was remonstrating a few times in the first half when i thought we should have got a free.
“I suppose he (Colm Lyons) was giving the advantage but then it didn’t pan out that way,” said Ryan.
“The advantage rule is always going to feel like that for a while until we got a proper feel for it.
“I thought we should have got a few frees, but I am sure that Davy (Fitzgerald) would feel the same. It was a tight game.
“The first half was probably a bit slow and mightn’t have been a brilliant game but the second half tumbled into action and I thought when we kicked six points up we were in a good position.
“But they got two great goals and rattled back into it and I have to give huge credit to our guys. The pride and passion they showed in the jersey was incredible.
“Just to get a one-point win today is the hugely satisfying part of it.”