Published: 16:22 | 5/6/17

Limerick boss Kiely denies claims of diving

Limerick manager John Kiely has denied allegations of diving by his side in their Musnter hurling semi-final defeat to Clare.

Kiely was engaged in debate with the Clare bench during the second half of Sunday’s tie  as he took exception to a comment made by one of the Banner’s management team.

The comment alleged that Declan Hannon had dived, with Semple Stadium’s chief steward Robert Ryan intervening to stop the sideline confrontation.

“A comment was passed, I didn't like it, simple as. It was said that he [Hannon] dived and he didn't dive,” said Kiely. “Declan doesn't dive. I don't think any player takes to the field in inter-county hurling that are diving. It was an unfortunate comment, but it's over now and done with. I'm sure when he thinks back on it he'll regret it."

Kiely also defended his side’s performance in a game where they came up four points short agaisnt the 2013 All-Ireland champions.

“We just left them have too big a gap at the outset, the first quarter of an hour, 20 minutes,” he said.

“We made it too hard on ourselves, though we responded really well. We took the game to them and dominated there for maybe ten minutes, we closed the gap right up - it was 11-all at one stage. We would be very happy with that, probably felt we should have pushed on a bit more even just before the half-time break.

“After coming back level, Clare responded then, and that's testament to their character as well, to respond when they'd been tested. They'd been in a very dominant position and left it slip.”

Limerick hit 11 wides in the tie, a crucial element that Kiely acknowledged as being pivotal in the result.

“We played with the breeze in the first-half which probably encouraged our fellas to shoot a bit more from further out, and that cost us a few points, or definitely cost us in terms of better ball going into the full-forward line,” said Kiely.

“We were very resilient, I thought, throughout the game. Even when it was four or five points we knew we were capable of getting a couple of scores.

“Hats off to our lads, they fought really hard and everyone contributed. Maybe we met a marginally better Clare team on the day, and had we been a little bit more efficient with our ball we could have put more of a squeeze on in that last quarter.

“There were a few went against us - towards the end Richie McCarthy had both his arms held and the ball was on the ground. What are you supposed to do?

“There was a ball Shane O'Donnell caught over by the sideline, threw it up and caught it, but it's a free in for them, and it ends up in the back of the net.

“Small things make a huge difference at this level, but you win some and lose some.”

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