Munster Hurling Championship continues with Waterford visit

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Limerick senior hurling manager John Kiely has named his side fir their All-Ireland Preliminary quarter final with Carlow on Saturday. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Limerick manager John Kiely says his side are in for a tough test as a quality Waterford outfit come to the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday.

Kiely’s men are unbeaten from their opening two Munster Championship games to date but face a Deise outfit that impressed against Tipperary last time out.

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Despite Limerick’s impressive displays in Munster so far, Kiely is not taking anything for granted this weekend.

Limerick face a Waterford side that were written off after a defeat to Clare before their game with Tipperary but Kiely’s feels that Derek McGrath’s men should not have been.

“They were written off in certain quarters but I wouldn’t have written them off,” said Kiely. In fact I would have fancied them to put in a really strong performance.

“We know from the U-21 grade the quality of players that they have had coming through for the last number of years.

“I wasn’t surprised that they put themselves in the position that they did. They didn’t get to the All-Ireland Final by accident last year. They were there on merit.

“They’re a top class side and that’s the bottom line and we will be treating the game with utmost of seriousness.

“Waterford are a formidable unit and we are going to have to work really hard to try and find chinks in that armour to create chances. Even to defend our own goal is going to be a challenge. It has the makings of a great game.”

The Limerick manager was happy with the way his team responded after Aaron Gillane was sent off in the first half but added that the work rate shown in the Pairc Ui Chaoimh is what is expected of the current group.

One of the most eye catching moments of the 1-25 to 0-28 draw with Cork was Dan Morrissey’s point in the 63rd minute that put Limerick two points ahead.

Diarmaid Byrnes made a risky pass from the touchline to find Morrissey and the Ahane man popped over a brilliant point but Kiely admitted that the high risk nature of it unnerved him.

“They had a bit more confidence in that particular manoeuvre than I would have had,” joked Kiely. “My heart was beginning to jump a thousand beats a second at that stage because it was a high risk move but it came off.

“It came off extremely well and is probably reflective of the confidence of the lads at the moment but all our focus is after shifting from last Saturday to Sunday. Saturday is history and it’s all about next Sunday now.”

Limerick have a full squad to pick from outside of Gillane for the Waterford game. Captain Declan Hannon left the field early on against Cork but Kiely says that he, and the rest of the squad are raring to go after a tummy bug hit the camp.

“Declan is fine. He was sick. We had an issue last week with a tummy bug in the camp. A number of players, management and backroom team had a it.

“It’s just one of those things. What can you do? You just have to get on with it and that’s what the players did.”

With the game against Waterford not being televised, Kiely has called on the Limerick support to fill up the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday.

He paid tribute to the support his team received down in Pairc Ui Chaoimh on Saturday and is hoping for a repeat performance.

“Our support has been fantastic,” remarked the Limerick manager. “We had a huge crowd with us in Cork and they were vital.

“At vital times in the game they really rallied round and they were just fantastic. I think we can depend on our support to come out in large numbers on Sunday and it will be needed.”

Limerick v Waterford has a 2pm thrown in on Sunday and is preceded by the same teams playing in the Munster Minor Hurling Championship.

Antoin Power’s side will be looking to make it three wins from three outings against a Waterford team that shocked Tipperary last time out with late comeback. That game starts at 12pm.