Kiely’s perfect dozen

Limerick boss John Kiely has earned himself a very unique hurling record. Photo: John Sheridan.

JOHN KIELY now holds a very unique record. The Limerick manager has never tasted final disappointment during his unbelievably successful reign, guiding his troops unbeaten through four All-Ireland Finals, five provincial deciders, and three National League showdowns.

Kiely’s perfect dozen was completed with the nail-biting one-point defeat of arch rivals Clare at a sold-out Munster Final at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday.

“I’m just thrilled and elated for the lads,” a modest Kiely told RTÉ Sport. “They’ve put a huge amount of work in over these last number of years.”

“This year has been a really tough campaign, every team has brought an unbelievable level of performance against us. Clare were the one team that beat us in the round robin and we were very determined that wasn’t going to happen today.”

He added: “I think we got the balance just right today. It was a really tough game, a fantastic Munster final and a great occasion.”

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The weekend victory was the 18th time that a championship match involving Limerick ended with a margin of three points or less since Kiely entered the managerial hotseat on Shannonside.

Incredibly, the Shannonsiders have only lost four of those encounters, two of which occurred in Kiely’s debut season of 2017.

Limerick are now just two steps away from a 13th Final win for Dr Kiely.