Limerick seek spot in Munster Final

‘You have to be more consistent’: Limerick boss John Kiely gave his take on the Treaty men’s performance against Cork. Photo: Stephen McCarthy.

SLUGGISH off the starting-blocks in some of their earlier rounds, holders Limerick will aim for a bright opening against Waterford in Sunday’s crunch Munster Senior Hurling Championship outing at the TUS Gaelic Grounds (4pm).

Unlike their Davy Fitzgerald-managed opponents (edged-out by Clare in a cliff-hanger at the weekend), John Kiely’s side are rested following a two-break since the narrow loss in Cork. “Limerick will have that extra week which will be a bonus to them,” commented Fitzgerald on Sunday last.

Against both the Leesiders and Clare, six-in-a-row seeking Limerick were slow into their stride and while it worked out okay at Cusack Park, Ennis in the opener, this wasn’t the case a fortnight ago at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

On slow starts, Kiely said: “You cannot get away with trying to do this all the time. You have to be more consistent.”

A win or a draw at the weekend will earn Limerick a place in the Munster Final on June 9.

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“There is nobody looking towards a Munster Final, I can assure you of that,” said Kiely in Cork. “That is the furthest thing from our minds. We need to get two points on the board the next day. That’s the bottom line for us.

“We are back in that mindset now where we know what to do. We need to win our match the next day. Four points won’t be enough.”

Expected to return from injury for Limerick are Darragh O’Donovan and Mike Casey, while Seán Finn, a casualty last time out, is set to miss the contest.

With Clare near certain to account for Tipperary – who are already out of the hunt, in a fixture to be played simultaneously with ours at Semple Stadium, Thurles – The Banner are likely to reach the provincial showdown.

In the wings are Cork, who have completed their programme of matches, and The Rebels would be happy to qualify in third.

With an anticipated massive home support, Limerick, who are ridiculously shorts odds of 2/9, are tipped to account for the Déise and inch closer to a 25th Munster title.

Michael Kennedy (Tipperary) will referee.