Limerick boss John Kiely insists the narrative around Gearóid Hegarty playing on the edge “needs to stop” as it is having a “big impact” after the 2020 Hurler of the Year was sent off in yesterday’s Munster SHC draw with Clare.
Hegarty was shown his second yellow card in the 64th minute by Cork referee Colm Lyons after what looked like a swipe at Clare’s Aaron Fitzgerald, but Kiely is adamant that there was “no contact” after watching the footage.
“It’s quite clear that there was no contact,” Kiely said. “It’s very disappointing. It’s a card we’ll expect to be rescinded.
“There’s a narrative there at the moment that Gearóid is playing on the edge or doing X, Y or Z and it’s feeding into people’s decision-making right now.
“It needs to stop, because it’s going to have a big impact and it’s just really disappointing to see a player do that.”
Kiely outlined how the Treaty will be “guarding against” any narrative around Hegarty by appealing the yellow card as he believes an “error” was made.
“It’s an error so we will be asking for that error to be rectified. Because those double yellows do carry forward some significance, so it is important that the decisions are rectified if there is a mistake made,” Kiely added.
Kiely was also keen to avoid further comment on a breach of team protocols following their victory over Tipperary as his side set up a Munster final rematch with Clare on June 5.
“Listen, we have all moved on from that,” Kiely said. “They say a week is a long time in politics. It is even longer in sport. We are all moved on.”
While the Munster final pairing is decided, third place in the province is still all to play for with Cork (on two points) facing Tipperary (no points) on Sunday in Thurles where victory will assure the Rebels of qualification to the preliminary All-Ireland quarter-final.
Having lost to Cork yesterday, Waterford (on two points) must defeat Clare in Ennis on Sunday and hope that Kieran Kingston’s side slip up against Tipp.
Tipp are not totally out of calculations should they defeat Cork – and Clare do them a favour against Waterford – with score difference then coming into the equation.
Head-to-head counts when two teams are level on points, but scoring difference comes into play when there are three on the same total.
Meanwhile, Liam Cahill angrily declared his Waterford team were “bullied” after a Walsh Park defeat by Cork that leaves their championship ambitions in serious jeopardy now.
“It’s going to take a lot of soul-searching and a lot of honesty to come out here over the next seven days or we’ll have a good long summer to think about it,” said Cahill after a defeat that leaves his team on a championship tightrope.
“Cork absolutely out-worked us,” said Cahill after a 2-22 to 1-19 setback for the league champions.
“They bullied us around the field today. And that’s something we committed to – that we wouldn’t allow any team to bully us.
“We had players that were introduced to proper Munster hurling. That’s what it was going to be. When the questions were really asked around the cut and thrust of championship hurling, we were more or less looking to the officials and out to the line rather than what was going on between the lines.”