Limerick are on the road again

Limerick hurlers march off the pitch victorious after last weekend’s defeat over Tipperary in Cork. Photo: Seb Daly.

UNIQUELY, Limerick will complete the regular phase of the National Hurling League season without the fulfilment of a single home fixture when John Kiely’s charges run-up against Galway at Pearse Stadium on Saturday (1.45pm).

The Gaelic Grounds has been sidelined due to remedial works, but will be open for business for the Munster Championship visit of Tipperary next month, hence Limerick were forced to use Thurles (v Antrim), Cork (v Tipperary), and now Salthill as alternative home venues over the last while.

Galway will be without the services of suspended pair Conor Whelan and Daithí Burke, sent-off against Dublin.

Limerick’s Kyle Hayes picked up a training ground knock and is unavailable for selection.

This weekend’s tie is curtain-raiser to Galway-Dublin in the National Football League (throw-in 3.15pm).

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Title-holders Limerick are unbeaten in four starts following a 0-26 to 3-12 weekend defeat of Tipperary.

After an indifferent opening half display at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Limerick were still just a single point in arrears (1-7 to 0-9) but reeled off some cracking points throughout the closing half to keep Tipp at bay.

The concession of goals, which threatened the outcome, was a concern to winning manager John Kiely.

“That’s just not us, we don’t make those mistakes,” Kiely told RTÉ afterwards. “It’s something for us to go back and learn from in the week going ahead. Of all the sides going (Tipperary), you don’t gift up possession in that manner, in that part of the pitch, because they will punish you like they did tonight.”

Man of the Match Cian Lynch, on his first appearance of 2024, revealed afterwards the competitiveness of places within the squad for starting places.

“There’s a good batch of new lads after coming in this year, from 18 to 24, pushing all the likes of ourselves who have been there for the last few years and that’s what you need, you need freshness, you need lads pushing. The competition that’s there now is class.”

Ahead of this weekend’s trip west, Limerick have surely rubber-stamped a place in the last four of the pennant competition.

The league semi-finals are listed for the weekend after next and the final for early April.