Kiely hails promising Casey debut
Limerick 4-28 Kerry 0-16
John Kiely was pleased with the impact of Peter Casey as the young forward scored 1-9 on his Limerick senior hurling debut.
After Kiely warned a week previously, in the wake of a 21-point hammering by Cork, that players handed chances to impress would have to take them, Casey did his long-term prospects no harm.
On a freezing afternoon at the Gaelic Grounds, Casey and his 2015 All-Ireland U-21 winning team-mate Barry Nash collected 3-12 between them.
Limerick's expected victory still keeps them in the hunt for a Munster Senior Hurling League final place, but they're relying on a draw or a Cork victory when the Rebels play Clare later this week.
The Division 1B campaign is, of course, Kiely's bigger concern but he wouldn't mind another run-out in the pre-season competition.
Casey certainly deserves of another look, and this is a player who has also won an All-Ireland senior club medal in the colours of Na Piarsaigh, although at such a young age, he still has a long road to travel.
Limerick do too, but after demanding a response following the Cork drubbing, Kiely got it. They regrouped to beat Clare in midweek before thrashing a disappointing Kerry side by 24 points.
Kiely, who also handed débuts to Lorcan Lyons and goalkeeper David McCarthy, revealed: "It was great to see Peter getting back into it again - he's been off with a concussion for the last three weeks or a month.
"We had to give him time to get himself right and it was lovely for him to get a good run-out. He needs all the game time he can get now."
Kerry were stunned when Limerick struck for three goals approaching half-time, with Casey, Tom Morrissey and Nash raising green flags.
At the break, Limerick were 3-15 to 0-7 clear and while Kerry were better in the second half, Nash added another goal to add gloss to the final scoreline.
A disappointing afternoon for Kerry ended with them reduced to 14 men, with James O'Connor being dismissed late on for a second bookable offence.
Scorers - Limerick: P Casey 1-9 (0-6fs), B Nash 2-3, T Morrissey 1-2, R Lynch 0-6 (5fs), C Lynch 0-3, K O'Brien 0-2, S Cahill, J Ryan, G Mulcahy 0-1 each. Kerry: S Nolan 0-6 (5fs), D Collins 0-4, M Boyle 0-2, J Griffin, P Boyle, J Goulding (sl), S Murphy 0-1 each.
Limerick - B Hennessy; S Cahill, R McCarthy, R English; L Lyons, D Hannon, S Hickey; D O'Donovan, P Browne; K Hayes, T Morrissey, J Ryan; B Nash, C Lynch, P Casey. Subs: D Morrissey for R McCarthy (33), D McCarthy for Hennessy (h-t), R Lynch for Ryan (h-t), D Dempsey for Morrissey (54), K O'Brien for Nash (54), G Mulcahy for Hayes (blood, 62).
Kerry - A McCabe; B Lyons, P Costello, S Weir; J Griffin, J Godley, J O'Connor; T O'Connor, T Casey; K Carmody, D Collins, M Boyle; J Goulding, P Boyle, S Nolan. Subs: S Nolan for Lyons (h-t), P O'Connor for T O'Connor (h-t), P Lucid for P Boyle (47), S Murphy for Griffin (50), J Brick for Nolan (61).
Ref - J McCormack (Tipperary).