Limerick manager John Kiely has lamented his side’s second-half collapse that resulted in their 1-26 to 1-19 loss to Cork in yesterday’s Munster round-robin clash.
It was the first game since the Allianz League final in March for the All Ireland champions and it showed in their rusty performance with poor first touches and a lack of the aggression we usually associate with Kiely’s side.
Cork, meanwhile, came to the Gaelic Grounds with a point to prove following their seven-point loss to Tipperary in the opening round.
The Galbally native admitted that the extra game probably gave Cork an advantage over Limerick but was adamant that the loss was a result of their poor second-half showing.
“We coped well with that in the first half, I thought we did very well, we had plenty of energy, created plenty of scoring chances, I thought we were in a reasonable position at half time but Cork showed the greater urgency in the second half, the greater hunger”, Kiely said after the game.
“Our second half performance wasn’t good enough, it’s as simple as that. But it rests on all our shoulders, players, management, backroom team, it’s a group dynamic so we all take responsibility for it.
“Not too many players showed the energy required in the second half. Our defence worked hard, they had to battle very, very hard. Cork were very energetic up front and our backs worked extremely hard but they seemed to get quite an amount of high-quality ball into their full-forward line.”
Limerick led by two points at half time but failed to kick on during the second period with Patrick Horgan’s goal in the 51st minute proving to be the killer blow.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) May 19, 2019
They must now travel to Walsh Park in two weeks time to face a desperate Waterford side who can still mathematically qualify despite their opening two losses.
Kiely is well aware of the threat Waterford will pose, especially in front of their home crowd, but he is more concerned with how his players will respond to the blow.
“We’ve obviously got to sit down this week and see if there was any particular reason [for Limerick’s flat performance]. At the moment I don’t have an answer. We’ve got to go and get a result the next day, that’s the bottom line.
“I see very little chance of us making it through without winning down there. I don’t know what the maths is going to be like at that stage, but let’s face it, we lost our first game, we need to get something out of the second. We have to go and get a result.
“They’ll want to show a great deal of pride in their performance at home but at the moment, we have to go and have a good, hard look at ourselves because what we did out there wasn’t good enough.”