“A very defiant performance” was John Kiely’s description of Limerick’s victorious All-Ireland final display.
The now two-time All-Ireland winning manager said that “whatever was fired at the boys, they found a way to cope with it”.
“We had obviously very high expectations of ourselves in terms of how hard we wanted to work on the day and I think the players delivered on that in spades. They worked really, really hard from start to finish right across the pitch. It was a very defiant performance,” Kiely remarked.
“Going forward, I think we showed fantastic teamwork in terms of our support running and our lines of running, just wave after wave of attacker.
“There were a couple of incidences during the game where, the very first play, that first 40 seconds, it was a very defining moment in the game. We took it forward, there was huge resistance put up against us and we still managed to get the score. That set the tone for us.
“Overall, very, very proud of the lads. They have worked so, so hard. Last year was a huge disappointment for us. To come back into it straight away and the resolve they have shown, the determination they have shown, the appetite for work they have shown right throughout the year has just been immense.”
When asked if it is harder to scale Everest a second time, Kiely replied that trying to win the All-Ireland hurling championship is “like being on Mars, there is a mountain around every corner”.
Having not thought back in March that there would be a championship to play for in 2020, Kiely expressed his gratitude for the opportunity afforded to him and his players in recent months, an opportunity they fully capitalised upon.
“We are so fortunate to be able to do what we are doing over the last few months. When you look at musicians, people in the entertainment industry, the hospitality industry, hotels, pubs, these people can’t even open their businesses.
“We have got to put everything into perspective. It is a fantastic achievement for our players in Limerick, but there are bigger things and please God 2021 is going to herald the arrival of the vaccine and a return to normality for all our people and all our society, and get people back into stadiums. I am sure they will be queueing up to buy tickets for the League, if we can get that vaccine rolled out.
“We have to accept this is a rare privilege to be here and to be able to partake in today’s game, and we always aimed to appreciate that and to give it a performance it merited given the opportunity we had.”