Byrnes backing Gearoid Hegarty to go 'ballistic' in Munster decider

Hegarty will return after he saw red following a controversial second booking in the draw with Clare.
Byrnes backing Gearoid Hegarty to go 'ballistic' in Munster decider

Limerick's Diarmuid Byrnes and Cian Lynch

Diarmaid Byrnes is hopeful that Limerick colleague Gearoid Hegarty can bounce back from his red card frustration and go 'ballistic' in the Munster final.

Ex-Hurler of the Year Hegarty saw red following a controversial second booking in the Munster SHC Round 4 draw with Clare.

Hegarty followed through with a challenge on Aaron Fitzgerald though appeared to only strike the hurl of the Clare player late in the Ennis contest, resulting in a second yellow.

Boss John Kiely promised to appeal the sanction, insisting it's 'very clear' Hegarty did nothing wrong, though the red card remains in place.

Hegarty is available for Sunday week's Munster final, a rematch with Clare, but the dismissal could yet prove costly as it may be taken into account in terms of a proposed suspension if he were sent off again.

"Look, Gearoid won't worry about that," said Byrnes, the PwC GAA/GPA Hurler of the Month for April. "He'll take off the shackles now the next day and hopefully he goes ballistic. Look, it was what it was. There wasn't much in it, there was no-one hurt thankfully."

Hegarty was also sent off in Round 2 of the National League for striking out at Galway's Joseph Cooney, a moment of petulance he later admitted left him 'embarrassed'.

But like boss Kiely, Byrnes is adamant that Hegarty was the innocent party against Clare.

"There was nothing in it," claimed Byrnes. "Anyone that seen the clip, they know there wasn't either. There isn't much to it, to say, other than that."

Byrnes himself is in the form of his career, picking up the Player of the Month award for his performances against Cork and Waterford in April.

The wing-back struck six points in each of those games and while eight of those 12 scores came from frees, four from play is still a decent haul for a defender.

He followed that up with three more scores against Tipperary and was Limerick's top-scorer with 0-9 in the draw with Clare.

"It's probably something I've been working on in training and look, it paid dividends the last day," he said.

If Limerick can retain their Munster title and make it four-in-a-row on June 5, they'll have a four-week break then until an All-Ireland semi-final on July 3.

"Whoever is in that position will have a four-week break and that will become media attention straight away, 'How will they cope with this and how will they do that?'" said Byrnes.

"But sure we're not in that position. No-one is. So how can we 'handle' it? It's like trying to predict what's going to happen tomorrow when you're driving your car down the road. I don't know. It's trying to predict something that we're not in a position to predict. We have a game on Sunday week so I can't comment on it I suppose."

Byrnes was cagey too when asked if Aaron Gillane, Cian Lynch or any of their other injured players will be available.

"There's probably media things happening between now and the Munster final. I'm sure John (Kiely) has addressed that."

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