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Limerick boss hits out at 'vultures' and critics with 'hidden agendas' against his squad

TJ Ryan stood up for his side in the wake of recent criticism.

Limeirck and Dublin players battling for the ball last night in Parnell Park.
Limeirck and Dublin players battling for the ball last night in Parnell Park.
Image: Gary Carr/INPHO

LIMERICK BOSS TJ Ryan has launched a passionate defence of his team and hit out at the ‘vultures’ in the county who have been criticising their setup in recent weeks.

Ryan also outlined his belief that there are ‘hidden agendas’ against his players and back room team.

Limerick last night booked a hurling league semi-final place for the first time since 2006 with an impressive quarter-final win over Dublin in Parnell Park.

It was a boost in the wake of the disappointment at losing out on Division 1B promotion a fortnight ago against Clare but Ryan, when speaking to The 42 after the game, reckons that the proper context was not applied to analysis of that game.

“Look, I’ve watched the game since. Ye guys know this – I don’t think we got much credit for our performance. There’s no doubt the goal should have been disallowed in Ennis.

“We had a poor opening 10 minutes but for the next 19 minutes, we brought the game back to a point.

“We even had a chance to equalise it, then Barry Nash has two wides and he gets sent off. That changes the game.

“We got no credit for that and to be honest, I was disappointed with it. We didn’t play well enough in the second half against Clare – their system is always going to be tough to play against.

“I was disappointed with some of the stuff that was written over the last couple of weeks. We’re in the semi-final of the league, that’s a good position to be in.

“Let’s get real about it. Some of the stuff that’s been written, it’s just been wrong. If you come down to Limerick and see some of the vultures we have down there and read what’s being said.

TJ Ryan Limerick hurling manager TJ Ryan Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

“There’s hidden agendas all over the place. There’s hidden agendas against this squad, against some of the backroom team.  It’s been part and parcel of my reign. It’s frustrating.

“We go from one extreme to the other. We go from talking about All-Irelands to talking about sacking managers. Lets get real. We’re in a league semi-final, let’s get real. Let’s talk about winning the league.”

The return of Na Piarsaigh All-Ireland club winners to the Limerick squad last night was a huge boost with Shane Dowling (0-6), Kevin Downes (1-2) and Ronan Lynch all playing key roles as they saw off Dublin.

“There’s eight lads from Na Piarsaigh on our panel,” outlined Ryan.

“We were missing 25 per cent of our panel for the whole league. This team in three years in Division 1B has only lost two round robin games and in both those games we had a man sent off.

“We’re a young side. But this is our first week that we’ve had a full panel together. The Na Piarsaigh guys make a huge difference, even just being able to play 15 on 15 in training is a big thing. We are improving, we’ll need to and the next day will be a tougher challenge.”

Kevin Downes celebrates scoring a goal Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Ryan paid tribute to the players who fashioned last night’s success and the supporters in attendance in Parnell Park.

“Tonight is very pleasing, we’re delighted for the squad, delighted for the backroom team. Delighted for the people who came here and delighted to be in a league semi-final.

“From a Limerick point of view, I’d like to thank the supporters who came here tonight. We’ve won in Parnell Park, that’s a difficult place to come. I don’t think too many teams have won here in the last couple of years.

“But tonight we battled hard and won the game and that was even after a bad start. We lost a couple of boys before the game. For me today, we needed to fight, we needed to battle and we needed a result and we did all those things.”

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Limerick clinch league semi-final place with victory over All-Ireland champions Cork

Limerick book hurling league semi-final place with impressive win over Dublin

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Fintan O'Toole

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