LIMERICK LOOK SET to be consigned to an eighth successive season of second tier Allianz League hurling in 2018.
Wexford’s opening two Division 1B victories against fellow big-hitters Limerick and Galway have left Davy Fitzgerald’s Slaneysiders in the box seat for promotion to the top flight.
But Limerick manager John Kiely isn’t giving up the ghost just yet, even though it would take a major capitulation from Wexford to open the promotion door again.
And he’s warned that any drop-off in performances in Limerick’s three remaining group matches – and a League quarter-final against Division 1A opposition – won’t be tolerated.
Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO
Limerick’s next outing is against Offaly on Saturday week, 25 February, and Kiely will be keeping a close eye on how his players perform.
They racked up a massive victory over Kerry yesterday but when word filtered through that Wexford had beaten Galway in Salthill, gloom descended upon the Gaelic Grounds.
But a defiant Kiely said: ”There’s three more games to be played, you know?
“You’d never know what’s going to happen in this game but you’d have to say it’s probably most likely (Wexford promotion) at this stage.
“Listen, we’ll wait and see. We’ll take it one game at time, as we said we would do from the outset. We’re focusing now on the Offaly game in two weeks’ time and that’s that.”
Wexford’s stunning victory in Galway has left them in the box seat for promotion.
Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO
Limerick’s opening day defeat to Wexford was a costly one but Kiely was pleased with the response of his players as they put Kerry to the sword.
He said: ”Happy with the performance again, they worked hard throughout the 70 minutes. The most pleasing thing was we kept the scoreboard ticking over throughout and created loads of goal chances – converted six and could have had another five or six.
The most pleasing thing was the attitude of the players – before the game, all week long in training, the boys responded really well to the match last week and they got themselves right for today clearly. They worked hard and grew in confidence.”
And Kiely insists that while promotion is now a pipe dream, he doesn’t believe that what Wexford are doing should impact on his charges.
“I don’t see an issue with it. We didn’t see an issue with it today, and I don’t think we’ll see an issue with it the next day.
Any fella that gets a jersey should do it justice on every day he gets it, no matter what the circumstance, whether it’s a challenge match, League match or a championship match. That message is clear from us, I can tell you. Any fella that doesn’t go out there and put in the hard yards won’t be there too long.”
Limerick players, you have been warned!
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