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Limerick consider appeal against Casey red card ahead of All-Ireland final

Limerick's Aaron Gillane celebrates scoring a goal against Waterford in Saturday's All-Ireland SHC semi-final game at Croke Park Picture:  Seamus Loughran.
From Tomás McCarthy at Croke Park

All-Ireland SHC semi-final: Limerick 1-25 Waterford 0-17

LIMERICK will be without Peter Casey for the defence of their Liam MacCarthy crown on August 22.

The corner-forward received a straight red card from referee John Keenan with 10 minutes left of Saturday’s All Ireland semi-final against Waterford for an alleged headbutt on Conor Gleeson.

Manager John Kiely will review the incident before considering an appeal.

“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," Kiely said.

"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 minute, I think you can take it he won’t be with us.”

The 14 men still ran out 11-point winners, the same margin as the All-Ireland final last December. The champions took charge in the second quarter as they outscored their opponents eleven points to four.

Aaron Gillane’s goal just before the second water break sealed their place in the decider. “From the get-go, we had good shape and structure to what we were about," Kiely said.

"It took us a while, the scoreboard was slow getting off the mark for both sides today. But, at the same time, we were creating chances and were using the ball well and we had a good structure and we felt secure at the back.

"We worked hard. I still think there's a bit more in us in that regard.

"Hopefully the game today will help us be able to give ourselves a platform to go up another notch in our work-rate. In terms of our efficiency and use of the ball, I was very, very pleased.”

For the third Championship game in-a-row, Limerick netminder Nickie Quaid kept a clean sheet against the Déise.

He denied Austin Gleeson and Jamie Barron from point blank range in the second half. Kiely added: “You always feel secure with Nickie. You always feel he has a chance of making the save.

"He’s very good at ball dropping in around the square, he’s brave, super reflex action.

"Goalkeepers I can assure you work twice as hard as any other player on the field. They are obsessed with the game. There isn’t a keeper that works harder in the country than Nickie Quaid. He gets rewarded by doing all those things so well. He makes them look easy and they’re not easy.

"The catch for the ball over the crossbar, I would give Nickie Quaid a chance at that all day everyday, he’s just superb in the air. To have that in your goalkeeper, is very reassuring.”

Déise boss Liam Cahill felt that his team didn't convert enough of their chances. They tore into the champions during the first quarter but trailed 0-4 to 0-3 after shooting six wides.

“When you meet a team of Limerick’s calibre, you have to be taking everything on offer. We had five or six wides early on and everything needs to go over," Cahill said.

"I haven’t seen the stats but I think Waterford created at least three or four goal chances in the second half alone.

"Now they mightn’t look to the ordinary viewer at home that they were goal chances but the way we train, they’re goal chances.

"We just didn’t take on the ball in where it needed to be brought in to test a goalkeeper of the calibre of Nickie Quaid. You need to be doing those things. That’s hurling; that’s life. You take your chances and if you don’t you pay the price.”

Waterford were mounting a fightback in the third quarter before Gillane goaled and Cahill acknowledged that was a pivotal moment in the outcome of this All-Ireland semi-final.

“It definitely took the life out of us. We got the the match back to six points. A bit of momentum going, a bit of pep in our step, especially up front where our forwards were saying 'maybe there’s a half a chance here.' "Then the back of the net rattles down your end and it’s definitely a blow to everybody just right on the whistle of the water break. That’s what good teams do to you. Limerick are all of that, a really good team.”

This was Waterford’s fourth match in as many weeks but Cahill had no complaints with the schedule.

“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 the same path to reach an All-Ireland. The times that were in it with Covid, we were lucky to have the Championship.

"Four weeks in-a-row is tough going but having said that, we just had soak it up, we knew it was going to happen."

Cahill was non-committal when asked whether he wanted to lead Waterford into 2022.

The Tipperary man agreed a two-year term with the option of a third in September 2019. "I'm after having a brilliant two years here with these fellas, they've given me everything, " he said.

"I've got around the club scene in Waterford as much as was allowed, lots of good young hurlers.

"A nice U20 team this year again and a lovely minor team contesting a Munster final. My two years are up, that was the initial agreement.

"I just have to sit down and talk to everybody, the county chairman Sean Michael O'Regan and Pat Flynn and all the boys that initially negotiated and chatted about what needed to happen. It's hard to know yet. These fellas are very hard to walk away from because they're a really honest bunch of fellas."

Limerick: N Quaid; S Finn, D Morrissey, B Nash; D Byrnes (0-3 0-2 frees), D Hannon, K Hayes; W O’Donoghue (0-1), D O’Donovan (0-1 free); G Hegarty (0-1), C Lynch (0-3), T Morrissey (0-5); A Gillane (1-5, 0-4 frees), S Flanagan (0-4), P Casey (0-2).

Subs: D Reidy for Hegarty (66), G Mulcahy for Flanagan (67), R English for Byrnes (68), C Boylan for Lynch (70), C Coughlan for Nash (73).

Waterford: S O’Brien; S McNulty, C Prunty, I Kenny; K Bennett (0-2), Shane Bennett, C Lyons (0-1); J Barron 0-2, P Hogan; J Fagan, Stephen Bennett (0-6, 0-5 frees), J Prendergast; C Gleeson, A Gleeson (0-4, 0-1 free, 0-1 sideline), D Hutchinson (0-2).

Subs: D Lyons for Hogan (44), M Kiely for Prendergast (44), N Montgomery for Fagan (52), S Fives for Kenny (55), P Curran for Shane Bennett (55).

Referee: J Keenan (Wicklow)

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