John Kiely: 'That doubt is definitely going'
By Cian O'Connell
These are encouraging times for Limerick with manager John Kiely acknowledging that promotion to Division 1A of the Allianz Hurling League 'is an important step' for a developing team.
Limerick accomplished a daring comeback mission to defeat Galway, who led by eight points at the interval, in Salthill on Sunday.
“It is the biggest result we have had to date," Kiely admits. "Will it count for much next July? Probably not. We are out of 1B which I am delighted for.
"Particularly for the players - it is an important step in their development. Something to look forward to next spring already.
"In the overall sense, it is a big confidence boost. That inner doubt is definitely going. They know they can do it. There are aspects of our game we have to develop, but we are started to emerge from an injury crisis we have had for the past 15 months. We have just one player injured."
Kiely felt that Limerick could recover in the second period despite Galway's initial supremacy. “I’ll be straight up: we looked to get a couple of scores and follow a score with a score and garner momentum," Kiely replied when asked about the challenge.
"We had the breeze and we were well set up defensively. We knew we wouldn’t concede a lot. We just needed to get the scores on the board.
"Listen, I know Galway probably tired in the last quarter. I’d say we have a bit more done than them. At the same time, surviving that onslaught in the last 10 minutes, I think we can take confidence from that.”
It was a memorable afternoon Corribside for Limerick with Kiely acknowledging the importance of returning to the top tier.
“Absolute relief," Kiely stated. "In any interview or team talk I wasn’t going to mention what it would mean to move on to 1A because it becomes too much a load to carry.
"But it is a huge relief. We were tired of being in 1B. Tired of not being involved in the bigger games and having the bigger teams come to town.
"We mightn’t win four games next year- mightn’t win two- but at least we have the exposure of playing at the top level at that time of the year."
Clare are next on the agenda for Limerick. That promises to be equally intriguing.