Wednesday 13 November 2019

Limerick need to find consistency, insists Dempsey

Limerick's David Dempsey. Photo: Sportsfile
Limerick's David Dempsey. Photo: Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Limerick hurling continued its well worn path over the spring. Up and down. Yin and Yang. From having a long-targeted promotion to the top flight taken out of their hands on day one, they are now just one step away from a league final.

Things are rarely straightforward on Shannonside.

These days the signs are bright for the county. When they claimed the club All-Ireland title on St Patrick's day last year, Na Piarsaigh ended a long losing streak in finals for senior teams from the county at Croke Park that stretched all the way back to their last Liam MacCarthy cup win in 1973.

There are green shoots at underage level, too - the county have contested two of the last three All-Ireland minor finals and they won the 2015 All-Ireland U-21 title.

But given the experience of their three-in-a-row U-21 side of the early part of the last decade, they know better than most that potential is a wonderful asset but also one of the hardest to realise.

Their only league wins came against Laois, Offaly and Kerry, while they tasted defeat against the other heavy hitters in 1B, Galway and Wexford.

So when they faced Cork in the league quarter-finals in Páirc Uí Rinn, there was little to suggest they'd prove too strong for a Rebels side who had just beaten All-Ireland champions Tipperary.

But they did, and delivering that sort of performance more consistently is one of their main aims, admits David Dempsey.

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"We have a tendency to win one game and then kind of fade away, especially in the league," Dempsey offered.

"We definitely want to become more consistent and more competitive and compete in the latter end of any competition, that's our goal."

Manager John Kiely hasn't been afraid to call out his side on their performances either. He branded their second-half display against Galway in the league as "abysmal." But Dempsey insists they are moving in the right direction.

"I haven't really taken much notice of what he said in the papers, to be honest, but in the dressing room after you would be disappointed with all the work and training you're putting in. It is very disappointing but the win in Cork cemented in our own minds that we are on the right track and we are doing the right things. It was just massive to come out on the right side of a close game.

"Against Cork in the Munster League final, Galway and Wexford in the league, we haven't been doing it so it was massive to get over the line last Sunday (week)."

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