Tommy Dickson/INPHO Limerick hurling manager John Kiely.
# Case for defence
'A comment was passed, I didn't like it, simple as - Declan doesn't dive'
The Limerick manager defended his player after yesterday’s Munster semi-final.

LIMERICK BOSS JOHN Kiely defended his centre-back Declan Hannon from an accusation of diving during yesterday’s Munster semi-final against Clare and also queried some of the referee decisions that went against them in the clash in Semple Stadium.

Kiely became visibly irate on the sideline during the match as he remonstrated with the Clare bench.

“A comment was passed, I didn’t like it, simple as.

“It was said that he dived (Declan Hannon) and he didn’t dive. Declan doesn’t dive.

“I don’t think there’s any player that takes to the field in inter county hurling that is 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.

“There were a few (decisions) 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.

Declan Hannon under pressure from John Conlon and Colm Galvin Cathal Noonan / INPHO Declan Hannon is chased by Clare players John Conlon and Colm Galvin Cathal Noonan / INPHO / INPHO

“Small things make a huge difference at this level. I know everyone’s trying to do their best on the day, but you win some and you lose some in terms of those decisions.

“That’s part and parcel, it goes on the whole time.”

Kiely praised the attitude of his young team in battling to the finish of a game where they were hit by the setback of conceding early goals.

“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.

“We just left them have too big a gap at the outset. We made it too hard on ourselves, though we responded really well, we took the game to them.

Kyle Hayes scores a goal Tommy Dickson / INPHO Kyle Hayes hit the net on his championship debut for Limerick Tommy Dickson / INPHO / INPHO

“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, but Clare responded then and that’s testament to their character as well, to respond when they’d been tested.

“We played with the breeze in the first half as well, 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, which sapped our confidence a bit too.”

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