John Kiely reports ‘clean health’ as ​​Limerick searches for historic third straight Liam MacCarthy Cup win


John Kiely has declared a clean bill of health as the Limerick hurlers set their sights on All-Ireland’s three-row history against Kilkenny on Sunday week.

But he stressed that two-time Slingshot of the Year Cian Lynch has “no illusions” about the challenge he faces over the next week and a half as he attempts to reclaim a starting spot following his cameo comeback against Galway last Sunday .

The Limerick boss had all his front-line troops available for this vibrant semi-final, with Peter Casey and Lynch returning from long-term cruciate ligament and hamstring injuries to appear as fourth-quarter substitutes.

“We really have a pretty clean bill of health. All good – hopefully it stays that way for the next ten days,” Kiely revealed at Limerick’s All-Ireland media day at the Gaelic Grounds.

“In the week before the last game, we really had everyone on board for the first time. To be fair to the guys they did a great job getting the guys back on board.”

Kiely was confident that Casey (who came on as a substitute after 55 minutes against Galway) and Lynch (who appeared two minutes later) would come through unscathed against Galway. Casey had not appeared since tearing his cruciate ligament against Cork in last year’s All Ireland final, while Lynch had been out for ten weeks since Limerick’s second Munster round robin game against Waterford in April.

Given last Sunday’s relatively short time at Croke Park, there was speculation that neither player is ideally positioned to force their way back into Limerick’s starting attack. But Kiely hasn’t ruled out the possibility.

“We were happy they came through, that’s the whole idea – we wouldn’t have played them if we were confident,” the manager outlined.

“He (Lynch) had already done a fair bit of work so we were confident he was going to pull through.

“He missed ten weeks of the season – the rest of the lads have continued with three training sessions a week and five league games in the meantime, so the team has moved on. He has no illusions that he needs to reclaim his place in the team.”

But, he clarified, that didn’t mean Lynch wasn’t an option to start against Brian Cody’s Cats.

“I did not say that. We haven’t even thought about what our starting XI could look like for the next day. We now have three sessions to get through and that will reveal a group of players who we think are ready to start on the day.

“We may have decided not to play him until that period (last Sunday), that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have come before then.

“If we had gone into overtime, would I have dropped him off? No, absolutely not, he would have continued. He was fit, fit to play and that’s how we used him that day.”

Meanwhile, having attended the JP McManus Pro-Am golf event in Adare earlier this week, Kiely welcomed the benefits it will bring to the wider Limerick area.

“I was there for a few hours on Monday morning. Listen it was a phenomenal event and great to see something like this happen here in Limerick and it’s incredible that JP and Noreen made it possible.

“All these charities that are benefiting from the funds raised there are going to be game changers in places like Milford Care Centre, Cuan Mhuire, a lot of special schools around the city and county making a huge impact on the lives of thousands of people. We are happy to support that.”

Declan Hannon also attended the Pro-Am in his hometown.

“The caliber of golfers there was incredible and to have it on our doorstep you couldn’t ask for better after winning the game on Sunday and then being able to walk around and watch some of the best golfers in the world,” enthused the Limerick captain .

“We met Scottie Scheffler and Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka and (Rory) McIlroy and (Shane) Lowry. Sure, we may never see her again. We did our best to take some photos with them anyway. Now it was great, great fun.

“I walked around with my mum and dad for most of the day on Monday – they were having a blast, they loved it,” Hannon added. John Kiely reports ‘clean health’ as ​​Limerick searches for historic third straight Liam MacCarthy Cup win

Fry Electronics Team

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