John Kiely hails ‘significant milestone’ for his Limerick squad

Limerick manager John Kiely described yesterday’s victory over Tipperary as “a significant milestone” for the squad.

This was the county’s first in Munster since 2015 and he knew it was coming as early as the 50th minute.

“We were just stronger on the day. We were physically stronger. Fifteen minutes into the second half, I couldn’t see any other result.

“From my perspective, I thought we were getting dominant in all the key areas, particularly at the back.”

The two points will go a long way for Limerick in their pursuit of an All-Ireland SHC place but the result was incredible for so many other reasons.

“It’s [the win] significant for a number of factors. From my perspective — number one, we haven’t won a championship match in a couple of years and we needed to win a championship match.

“This is our first championship win with this group. That’s a significant milestone in itself. The challenge is there now to build on that.

“The hunger is definitely there within this group. We have three games left in the round robin — let’s go and see what we can do with those games.

“We were very composed and calm all week. There was no panic. We only played the one challenge game over the past three weeks — we had our own in-house games. I knew the thing was shaping up well. The lads going back to the clubs for the two weeks was key.

“We took a break from each other. It gave them a chance to switch off. And in this type of competition you need time to switch off ... get away from the group, get away from us and come back in fresh. And they have done that. There’s a great sense of calmness and focus there for the last few weeks and it was reflected in our performance there in the last quarter of an hour. Lads were very calm at the back.”

Asked if the 13-day break before their Saturday evening game in Páirc Uí Chaoimh was ideal, Kiely shrugged: “At the moment it is. Talk to me in two weeks’ time, you might say it didn’t fall at all. We’ll have to wait and see what happens in the other games. We have to just focus on ourselves, get our heads down.

“It’s early doors. This is only round one. We’ll have to go back to the drawing board again and look at that game. You need to go back and analyse where did the goals come from. They got a good few scoring chances. I’m sure there is plenty of learnings in it before we go to Cork in two weeks’ time.

“I think all the lads are really looking forward to going to Cork and the new stadium and playing their first championship match there. We’ve travelled very well all year. Any of our away games have been good performances so we’ve no fear in going on the road.”


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