Limerick manager John Kiely.
Limerick manager John Kiely.

Substitutes energy crucial for Limerick

By Cian O'Connell

John Kiely hailed the contribution made by Limerick's substitutes in the closing stages of a thrilling All Ireland SHC semi-final at Croke Park.

Galway contributed handsomely to a thoroughly entertaining encounter, but Limerick's depth was critical.

David Reidy struck three vital points late on which was critical according to Kiely.

"All the bench - he (David Reidy) got three points I know but there was an assist there from Cian (Lynch), Peter (Casey) came on, got some vital possessions, Conor Boylan came on, broke a tackle, got a vital possession," Kiely reflected. 

"Not necessarily scores but making an impact - winning possession, winning a free, giving an assist. 

"Whoever finishes it doesn’t matter, it’s who does the work before that, but they gave us the energy. I think we were the team with the energy in the last eight to 10 minutes."

Kiely praised Reidy's crucial cameo. "He’s exceptionally consistent in what he does coming off the bench for us, it’s something we value highly in the group," Kiely said. 

"There’s a huge amount of acknowledgement and significance given to that in the group, and that’s why fellas are aware of how it important it is to the group as a whole, and why they’re happy to play that part for us. Long may that last."

Kiely, though, is adamant that Limerick have significant scope for improvement ahead of an All Ireland decider against Kilkenny.

"To be honest, I don’t think we worked quite hard enough today," he added. 

"When we look back on it during the week our work rate will be just down a notch or two, and it’s something we’ll be disappointed with. 

"We turned over too many balls in the tackle, and that’s our fault. The tackle is the opposition’s responsibility, but holding onto the ball is ours when we have it, and we coughed up too many balls in the tackle."