John Kiely was both delighted and relieved after Limerick rid themselves of their bridesmaids' tag by ending a 45-year wait for the Liam MacCarthy Cup this afternoon.
The Treaty County survived a late Galway onslaught and almost nine minutes of injury-time to hang on for victory by the narrowest of margins.
"The team had belief in its own abilities, belief in its own resolve; I suppose that never-say-die attitude," an emotional Kiely told RTÉ's Clare McNamara shortly after the final whistle.
"We worked so hard and Galway pushed us all the way in the last 10 or 15 minutes and it was really difficult for the lads to hold their nerves and get those vital scores but they did. I'm just thrilled for the lads. I'm thrilled for all of Limerick."
The victorious manager added: "We felt for the last 45 years that we were second class citizens when it came to hurling. We were always the bridesmaids and today we got over the line. I'm just so happy for everyone here in this stadium and at home in Limerick."
The principal of Abbey CBS in Tipperary town admitted that the last few minutes of the game were "horrendous" as a collapse on the same scale as the 1994 All-Ireland final against Offaly looked like unfolding.
"That's what you have to do to get what we have now," he said.Tweet