MARK SCHUTTE EXCELLED for the second weekend running to help secure Dublin’s Allianz Hurling League semi-final place.
The full-forward blasted 1-5 at Croke Park, following up on his five points against Galway six days ago, to ensure a 19 April clash with Cork or Wexford.
The 2011 champions were concerned about relegation just two games ago after back-to-back defeats to Cork and Clare.
But all that has changed with big wins over Galway and now Limerick to leave them dreaming of a first piece of silverware under new boss Ger Cunningham.
Dublin moved ahead in the third minute and never looked back, retaining that advantage all the way until full-time.
It was an impressive early showing from the hosts, who were seeking to turn the corner on a terrible run of Croke Park results.
They lost to Cork and Galway at the venue already this year and came unstuck against Kilkenny twice in Croke Park finals last year.
But they took a deserved 0-14 to 0-8 half-time advantage this time around and were generally dominant.
They profited too from early injuries to two key Limerick players that were forced off — captain Donal O’Grady and Seamus Hickey.
Schutte maintained his strong form in attack for Dublin with three first-half points, while the recalled John McCaffrey hit 0-2.
Schutte all but sealed victory in the 37th minute, when he sniped an expert goal. Once again, he lost Limerick full-back Richie McCarthy and fired low to the bottom left corner.
That put his side 1-15 to 0-8 ahead and 10 clear. Limerick rallied with four points in a row at one stage mid way through the second-half.
But Dublin finished strongest with six points on the spin themselves to win with plenty to spare.
Scorers for Dublin: David Treacy 0-9 (0-7f, 0-1pen); Mark Schutte 1-5, John McCaffrey, David O’Callaghan, Danny Sutcliffe and Niall McMorrow 0-2 each, Chris Crummey, Cian Boland and Liam Rushe 0-1 each.
Scorers for Limerick: Shane Dowling 0-8 (0-7f, 0-1 65), Graeme Mulcahy 0-4, Cian Lynch, James Ryan, Paudie O’Brien and Tom Morrissey 0-1.
1. Gary Maguire (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
2. Cian O’Callaghan (Cuala)
3. Peter Kelly (Lucan Sarsfields)
4. Paul Schutte (Cuala)
8. Shane Durkin (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
6. Chris Crummey (Lucan Sarsfields)
7. Conal Keaney (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
5. Johnny McCaffrey (Lucan Sarsfields)
9. Niall McMorrow (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
11. Ryan O’Dwyer (Kilmacud Crokes)
14. Liam Rushe (St Pat’s, Palmerstown)
10. Danny Sutcliffe (St Jude’s)
13. David O’Callaghan (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
12. Mark Schutte (Cuala)
15. David Treacy (Cuala)
24. Paul Ryan (Ballyboden St Enda’s) for O’Callaghan (45)
25. Colm Cronin (Cuala) for McCaffrey (56)
23. Cian Boland for (St Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh) M Schutte (67)
21. Daire Plunkett (St Brigid’s) for O’Dwyer (67)
22. Cian McBride (St Vincent’s) for Sutcliffe (71)
1. Nickie Quaid (Effin)
2. Stephen Walsh (Glenroe)
3. Richie McCarthy (Blackrock)
4. Seamus Hickey (Murroe-Boher)
5. Paudie O’Brien (Kilmallock)
6. Wayne McNamara (Adare)
7. Dan Morrissey (Ahane)
8. Paul Browne (Bruff)
9. James Ryan (Garryspillane)
10. David Breen (Na Piarsaigh)
11. Declan Hannon (Adare)
12. Donal O’Grady (Granagh-Ballingarry)
13. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock)
14. Shane Dowling (Na Piarsaigh)
15. Sean Tobin (Murroe-Boher)
23. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell) for O’Grady (11)
17. Seanie O’Brien (Patrickswell) for Hickey (34)
22. David Reidy (Dromin Athlacca) for Tobin (54)
18. Cathal King (Na Piarsaigh) for Ryan (65)
24. Tom Morrissey (Ahane) for Mulcahy (65)
Referee: Diarmuid Kirwan (Cork).