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Treaty manager John Kiely questions ‘context’ of Kyle Hayes incident

Hayes, already on a yellow card, lashed back with his hurley at Brian Concannon, catching him in the face.

Limerick manager John Kiely during the Hurling League match against Galway at Pearse Stadium. Photo: Seb Daly/Sportsfile© SPORTSFILE


Limerick edged close to a league semi-final with a five-point Division 1A win over Galway in Pearse Stadium but they again sailed close to the wind on the disciplinary front, with Kyle Hayes lucky to avoid a red card.

Hayes, already on a yellow card, lashed back with his hurley at Brian Concannon, catching him in the face, near the end of a game that lacked intensity. But referee Sean Stack, clearly unsighted, did not brandish a card leaving the Limerick wing back to finish out the game and make a further contribution to a 0-24 to 0-19 win.

Limerick manager John Kiely, pressed on the incident afterwards, said he had a distant view but wondered about the "context" of what had happened.

"I saw it from whatever width the pitch is, 85 or 90 metres. Kyle’s back was to me – all I could see was him going like that (motions his arm backwards) and he was looking out at the terrace. I don’t know. There is a context as well. I’ve no doubt there was contact there but what was the context? How did it come about? We’ll have to wait and see."

Kiely confirmed that Diarmaid Byrnes is back in training after being away for the early part of the year and acknowledged that Limerick, like most other teams, are ahead of where they were this time last year.

"Everybody went back earlier this year," said Kiely. "That was a common feature. Because of the split season, because the clubs had gone on so long, there was a huge break from July through to November. So everybody is further along.

"But April 23 isn’t far away. Next week we’re into March. There’s only two league games left. If you don’t qualify for the final stages of the league, you’ve only two competitive games between now and championship.

"We’re entering that phase where you need to have more of your work behind you than ahead of you. We know we still have a lot (to do). We’ve had a good few lads out injured the last few weeks that we haven’t been able to get work into."

"We’ve a two-week break now. Train hard the next ten days and see where we are at in terms of what team we could put out.

"Cathal O’Neill missed a few weeks (through injury), Declan Hannon, Mike Casey. The lads trained this morning. Some of them are nearly there but not quite. Cathal unfortunately missed the closing stages of the Fitzgibbon Cup. We were disappointed for him. He had a bit of a calf tear and just couldn’t take the chance that it could get worse and he’d be out for the season. He wasn’t fit, that was it.

"It's disappointing for him. We have to mind the players, be conscious of what they can and can’t do. At times you have to be prudent and say he is out and that is it. Get on with it. As much as you’d like a fella to be available, if they are not they are not."

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