Donal O’Grady says it’s lazy analysis to draw parallels between Limerick’s defeats to Clare and Tipperary and conclude they have a fitness problem.
In their last two games, John Allen’s team have surrendered second-half leads, a six-point advantage over Clare in the Division 1B final and then a seven-point margin last Sunday.
In the context of recently-departed selector Ciaran Carey’s concerns about the team’s fitness, the theory has grown legs. However, O’Grady emphatically rubbished the suggestion, dismissing it as over-simplistic.
“No matter what anyone says and I’ll stand up for Limerick, we train harder than any other county. The Clare game the first day we were way off the mark (fitness wise). We were as fit as Tipp on the day — I just thought they had stronger players coming in. They had three All Stars coming off the bench and in 20 degree heat it isn’t easy.
“When Ciaran left, he did state he thought there was an issue with preparation. I don’t know, maybe Ciaran thought that but that was never mentioned to any of the players.
“We have a very good physical coach in Joey Gallanagh who works with Munster and he always said he wanted us right for the Tipp game and that was all build-up. We really trained hard coming up to it.
“People look for excuses when you lose. Especially after the Clare league final when we were up seven or eight points and we lose by two.
“People will say fitness is an issue because they outplayed us in the last 15 minutes but as disappointing as it was I don’t think it was a fitness issue.”
O’Grady pinpoints where he felt Limerick went wrong on both days.
“In the league final I believe we played into their hands in the last 10 or 15 minutes.
“We were against a strong breeze and we just hit stupid ball down on top of their half-back line and the whole fitness thing pops up.
“John reiterated we wanted to be right for the Tipperary game and as disappointing and all as it was to lose the league final I think everybody bought into the first round of the Championship against Tipperary.
“I know the last 10 minutes didn’t pan out and maybe some people might still question fitness but I don’t think it was.
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