Limerick manager John Kiely is expecting a backlash from his side when they play their second Munster Championship game against Waterford in Walsh Park on Sunday. The Treaty County fell to a seven-point defeat to Cork at the LIT Gaelic Grounds in their opening game and Kiely admits that the performance fell way below the standard that is expected.
“It wasn’t good enough. It is what it is, though, and those two points are gone. It’s a case of turn it around as quickly as you can and, to be fair, it wasn’t difficult to refocus the minds.
“The players were very disappointed in their performance after the game. All we can do now is try and rectify that performance on Sunday. We have worked very hard in the last 10 days.
“We have to improve across the board, every department really, to be honest about it. Work rate wasn’t good enough and use of the ball wasn’t good enough. Things that we pride ourselves on just weren’t there. It is what it is.
“It’s a four-game series and there is still a lot to play for. Our focus has very much been polarised on this one game against Waterford.”
Kiely also admitted that things have been ratcheted up in training since the Cork game and that the players not involved in the panel for the loss have put their hands up in a big way.
“Our in-house work has been very competitive over the last two weeks. If it wasn’t, there would be something radically wrong.
The guys that didn’t play the last day have put their best foot forward in terms of looking for inclusion this weekend and you would expect that, anyway.
"Likewise, the guys that did play the last day have been working very hard to rectify the last day as well and to bring their performance levels up.”
Pauric Fanning has endured a difficult start to his Munster Championship tenure as Waterford manager, having lost to both Clare and Tipperary in successive games. Waterford also lost their last game against Limerick in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 final, but Kiely feels that the result has no bearing on what will happen on the day. The Limerick manager also says that he hasn’t had too much focus on Waterford’s fortunes thus far, following defeat in their first game.
“We have enough to worry about with ourselves and trying to get that right first. They had a very good league campaign, albeit they will probably be a bit disappointed in the league final.
“I’ve been down to see them play on a couple of occasions during the year. The most notable one was against Clare and they were sensational that day. Whilst they’ve had a difficult campaign so far, I would be expecting a really strong defence of their second home game this time around.
“There is no complacency going into this game. Everybody understands what is at stake. It’s serious stuff now at this stage and it’s a case of meet the battle and take it head on. I’ve no doubt that it will be a really tough contest.”
Limerick will be without the services of David Dempsey for the game after he picked up a hand injury during training last week, but the news is better surrounding the fitness of Tom Condon and Seamus Flanagan.
Condon sat out the Cork defeat with a groin injury, but is back in full training, while Seamus Flanagan is making good progress with the hamstring injury he sustained when coming off the bench in that game.
Elsewhere, GAA circles in Limerick are mourning the passing of former county board treasurer Paddy Quilligan, who passed away on Monday.
The St Patrick’s clubman was a familiar face for many years at both county football and hurling games and was a well-liked and well-respected officer of the city club. In recent years, he served as the club’s county board delegate.
They paid tribute to Mr Quilligan on their Twitter page on Monday, saying: “Paddy was a very active club member until his untimely death and held many positions in the club. Paddy will be sadly missed by all in St Patrick’s GAA.”