Saturday 20 January 2018

Limerick manager John Kiely slams Clare's 'dive' claim

Limerick manager John Kiely. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile
Limerick manager John Kiely. Photo: Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Jackie Cahill

Limerick manager John Kiely fended off allegations that one of his players took a dive during the second-half of yesterday's defeat to Clare.

During the second-half Kiely was involved in a heated exchange with the Clare bench, and took exception to a comment passed by one of the Banner County's backroom team.

Kiely claimed that Declan Hannon was accused of diving and Semple Stadium's chief steward Robert Ryan intervened as tempers threatened to boil over.

Kiely said: "A comment was passed, I didn't like it, simple as. It was said that he (Hannon) dived and he didn't dive. Declan doesn't dive. I don't think any player takes to the field in inter-county hurling that are diving. It was an unfortunate comment, but it's over now and done with. I'm sure when he thinks back on it he'll regret it."

Kiely also expressed pride with the nature of Limerick's performance, as the Shannonsiders battled to the end before coming up four points short.

"We just left them have too big a gap at the outset, the first quarter of an hour, 20 minutes," he said.

"We made it too hard on ourselves, though we responded really well. We took the game to them and dominated there for maybe 10 minutes, we closed the gap right up - it was 11-all at one stage. We would be very happy with that, probably felt we should have pushed on a bit more even just before the half-time break.

"After coming back level, Clare responded then, and that's testament to their character as well, to respond when they'd been tested. They'd been in a very dominant position and left it slip."

Limerick's cause wasn't helped by 11 first-half wides, with too many efforts drifting harmlessly off target from distance.

"We played with the breeze in the first-half which probably encouraged our fellas to shoot a bit more from further out, and that cost us a few points, or definitely cost us in terms of better ball going into the full-forward line," said Kiely.

"We were very resilient, I thought, throughout the game. Even when it was four or five points we knew we were capable of getting a couple of scores."

Kiely voiced reservations about the legitimacy of Clare's third goal, as Conor McGrath beat Limerick goalkeeper Nickie Quaid to the punch from close range.

"The third goal must have been a square ball, he (McGrath) was in beside Nickie Quaid when the ball was touched. I'd like to see that back. 

"Hats off to our lads, they fought really hard and everyone contributed. Maybe we met a marginally better Clare team on the day, and had we been a little bit more efficient with our ball we could have put more of a squeeze on in that last quarter."

Kiely also felt Limerick were on the wrong side of some key calls.

"There were a few went against us - towards the end Richie McCarthy had both his arms held and the ball was on the ground. What are you supposed to do?

"There was a ball Shane O'Donnell caught over by the sideline, threw it up and caught it, but it's a free in for them, and it ends up in the back of the net.

"Small things make a huge difference at this level, but you win some and lose some."

Irish Independent

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