Fintan O’Toole reports from Walsh Park
A TRULY EMPHATIC response.
Limerick landed in Waterford today, bristling from their loss a fortnight ago to Cork and they produced a powerful statement to atone for that reversal.
By the final whistle they had 20 points to spare over the home side, reigniting their Munster championship aspirations and in the process heaping the disappointment on Waterford’s hurling summer.
Limerick produced the killer blows either side of half-time as they pounced for goals. At the heart of their efforts was Gearoid Hegarty. The creator of the first in the 17th minute when he knifed through the Waterford rearguard and presented Aaron Gillane with the chance to whip home. The scorer of the second in the 38th minute when he scythed through from the left wing and smashed a shot past Stephen O’Keeffe. That second goal put Limerick 2-11 to 0-8 clear. This one was a done deal.
Waterford had began brightly and were in front 0-5 to 0-3 by the 16th minute but their challenge unravelled after that Gillane goal. They trailed 1-10 to 0-7 at the break having hurled with the wind in the opening period. Austin Gleeson and Maurice Shanahan were both substituted at the break, Pauric Mahony joined them on the bench by the 59th minute after being dismissed for a striking offence.
Emboldened by Gillane’s goal, Limerick picked off their points in the opening half with some excellent well-worked moves. Debutant Paddy O’Loughlin impressed with a brace and once Hegarty netted, their supporters in the attendance of 10,874 were able to relax in the comfort that victory had been secured.
Substitutes Shane Dowling, Darragh O’Donovan, Barry Murphy and David Reidy all got on the scoresheet as Limerick rattled off the last 11 points of the match without reply. Waterford only mustered three points in the second half, just one of those from play, and Mahony’s 48th minute free was their last score of the game.
The loss marks their third unsuccessful outing of the campaign with an early summer exit in the offing for the second season in Munster. Limerick get set to entertain neighbours Clare next Sunday with confidence restored due to this success.
Scorers for Limerick: Aaron Gillane 1-4 (0-4f), Shane Dowling 0-5 (0-4f), Gearoid Hegarty 1-1, Kyle Hayes 0-3, Peter Casey, Darragh O’Donovan, Paddy O’Loughlin 0-2 each, Declan Hannon, Cian Lynch, Tom Morrissey, David Reidy, Barry Murphy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Waterford: Pauric Mahony 0-7 (0-5f), Stephen Bennett, Jack Prendergast, Shane Bennett 0-1 each.
1. Nicky Quaid (Effin)
4. Richie English (Doon)
3. Mike Casey (Na Piarsaigh)
2. Sean Finn (Bruff)
5. Dan Morrissey (Ahane)
6. Declan Hannon (Adare)
7. Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock)
8. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell)
9. William O’Donoghue (Na Piarsaigh)
12. Tom Morrissey (Ahane)
11. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry)
10. Gearoid Hegarty (St. Patrick’s)
15. Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh)
14. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock)
13. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell)
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24. Darragh O’Donovan (Doon) for O’Donoghue (50)
22. Barry Murphy (Doon) for Gillane (52)
21. Shane Dowling (Na Piarsaigh) for Tom Morrissey (54)
25. David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacca) for Hegarty (60)
1. Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)
2. Calum Lyons (Ballyduff Lower)
3. Conor Prunty (Abbeyside)
4. Noel Connors (Passage)
5. Darragh Fives (Tourin)
6. Tadhg de Burca (Clashmore-Kinsalebeg)
7. Kevin Moran (De La Salle)
8. Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater)
11. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion)
9. Jack Prendergast (Lismore)
13. Mikey Kearney (Ballyduff Upper)
10. Pauric Mahony (Ballygunner)
15. Thomas Ryan (Tallow)
12. Maurice Shanahan (Lismore)
14. Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart)
21. Michael Walsh (Stradbally) for Shanahan (half-time)
22. Shane Bennett (Ballysaggart) for Gleeson (half-time)
20. Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater) for Fives (50)
23. Brian O’Halloran (Clashmore-Kinsalebeg) for Ryan (63)
Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)
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