Limerick boss John Kiely expects Peter Casey to miss final after red card

‘I do know talking to Peter that there was a clash of heads but nothing malicious’

Limerick’s Peter Casey after receiving a red card during the All-Ireland hurling semi-final against Waterford at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Limerick’s Peter Casey after receiving a red card during the All-Ireland hurling semi-final against Waterford at Croke Park. Photograph: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

 

Limerick manager John Kiely conceded that his team is likely to be missing corner forward Peter Casey for the defence of the All-Ireland title in two weeks. Speaking at a media conference after the county’s impressive 11-point defeat of Waterford in Croke Park, Kiely was asked to comment on the red card shown to the player in the 60th minute.

It followed an incident with Waterford defender Conor Gleeson, which was brought to the attention of referee John Keenan by an umpire and in which Casey appeared to head-butt his opponent.

The Limerick manager said that he hadn’t seen the alleged infraction nor had a chance to review it on video.

“I haven’t seen the footage. I do know talking to Peter that there was a clash of heads but nothing malicious, nothing of any significance but at the same time, you have to be very, very careful, especially in that position.

“For us at the minute we’ll just take a day or two to reflect and see what the picture looks like and take it from there but at the moment I think you can take it he won’t be with us.”

That was the main shadow on a top-class performance by the All-Ireland champions. Waterford had arrived in the semi-final, surfing the wave of eye-catching wins over Galway and Tipperary. Saturday’s semi-final was a re-run of last year’s final and Limerick won by the same amount, 11 points.

“I suppose when you set out to do something and you achieve it in terms of how we wanted to play the game and from the get-go, we had good shape and structure to what we were about.

“It took us a while and the scoreboard was slow to get moving for both sides. After 12 minutes it was 0-4/0-3 but at the same time we were creating chances and using the ball well and I felt we had good structure.”

His Waterford counterpart Liam Cahill paid tribute to the “physically commanding” champions.

“Overall, just a powerful display from Limerick – really physically commanding again, real good awareness of what they bring as a team and where every player needs to be. They executed their usual game plan of holding possession and being able to find the right man at the right time.

“Our boys battled hard. After the first water break we seemed to empty a little bit and give Limerick a foothold at that stage. They kept the scoreboard ticking over Limerick and were five, six up before we knew it and you’re chasing the match at that stage.”

He was asked had the gruelling schedule that Waterford had gone through in previous weeks – this was their fourth match in 22 days – been fair but acknowledged that the structure of the championship had been known and accepted by everyone in advance.

“We knew the fixtures at the start of the year to be fair. Once we exited the Munster championship to a Clare side who were deserved winners on the day, we knew the route we had to go. Cork will have more or less on the same path to reach an All-Ireland.

“Times that were in it with Covid, we were lucky to have a championship. It might have been structured a little bit better from semi-final to final but that was the window of opportunity there and the GAA did the best they could.

“What could we do – that’s what was laid out for us? Four weeks in a row is tough going. Having said that, we just have to soak it up.”

Both managers said that the half-hour delay to the throw-in, caused by a traffic accident on the M7, which impacted on match traffic had had no effect on their match performances.

Limerick now await the winners of Sunday’ second semi-final between Leinster champions Kilkenny and Cork.

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