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'It certainly is not the way any person involved in hurling wants to see a match finish'

Limerick boss John Kiely saw his team win in unusual circumstances yesterday.

Colin Ryan scores the winning free Colin Ryan strikes over the winning point for Limerick from a '65. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

HIS SIDE WERE in the winners enclosure after a thrilling marathon clash at the Gaelic Grounds but Limerick manager John Kiely wasn’t entirely comfortable with their route to victory.

A pulsating 100 minutes of action saw the teams tied at 4-21 to 0-33 in yesterday’s hurling league quarter-final before Limerick saw off Clare after Colin Ryan was on target and Niall Deasy was off target in a sudden death 65-yard free-taking shootout.

January’s Walsh Cup final saw the landmark game where Wexford defeated Kilkenny in those circumstances but last evening’s televised encounter between Limerick and Clare drew the new rule into sharper focus.

“Ah sure not at all, it’s not the way to finish a game but it is what it is, we can’t control it, it’s outside of our control,” Kiely told TG4 after the game.

“But it certainly is not the way any person involved in hurling wants to see a match finish coming down to taking 65′s like that.

“Yes ideally you’d like to go at it again but it’s just not to be and that’s it. I don’t know has Donal (Moloney) been thrown something like that before but I certainly haven’t.

“It was unusual but listen there was no separating us during the playing time so, we know we’re out of weekends so we can’t go to another fixture. This is just the way it is and we’ve to get on with it.”

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Tempers flare in the first half Tempers flare in the first half of the clash between Clare and Limerick. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Clare counterpart Donal Moloney admitted it wasn’t a satisfactory way for a match to end.

“Not at all (satisfactory). I think for the spectators here as well, given the fact that some of the other quarter-finals were postponed, there was every opportunity to play this next weekend.

“I think it was some entertainment for everyone who was here and everyone who watched it at home as well. It was incredible hurling. Fair dues to both teams, they were fantastic.”

Kiely felt his team were fortunate to gain a reprieve when Diarmaid Byrnes’s late extra-time goal rescued them and believes this match is a sign of a strong rivalry that is unfolding between the counties.

“I think we were fairly fortunate now to be honest with you. In that instance, it was the last play of the half, we got a 21-yard free, it was fortuitous from our point of view.

“You take the breaks. We had plenty chances and I know Clare had too. It was just one of those games, it ebbed and flowed. I think the spirit that the game was played in was a fantastic spirit.

“Both players know each other very well, they always go at it hammer and tongs and I just think this is the start of a long-running kind of competition between the two teams really because they’re both very good sides.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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