Donnacha O'Dalaigh scored two goals for Limerick. Morgan Treacy/INPHO
Match Report

Limerick power to 18-point win over Dublin in hurling league

The All-Ireland champions hit 3-30 and led from pillar to post at Croke Park.

Limerick 3-30

Dublin 1-18

ALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONS LIMERICK powered to an 18-point win over Dublin in Division 1 of the National Hurling League this evening.

Donnaha Ó Dálaigh scored two goals, with Tom Morrissey adding another as John Kiely’s men maintained their 100% record and flexed their considerable muscle at Croke Park. Morrissey finished with 1-4, while Adam English top-scored with 0-8 (3f).

Limerick led from pillar to post: Michéal Dononghue’s side did get within one point just before the half-hour mark, but it was ultimately one-way traffic from there. Gearóid Hegarty scored 0-5 in a superb all-round performance, while Cathal O’Neill chipped in with four points from centre-back. The returning Donal Burke and Cian O’Sullivan led the Dublin scoring charge, but they endured their second defeat of the campaign.

Kyle Hayes was also on the scoresheet for Limerick as he returned to the starting team. The wing-back was found guilty of two counts of violent disorder following a two-week trial at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court last December and will discover on 20 March if he is to serve a custodial sentence.

The game was barely 15 seconds old when Ó Dálaigh rifled into the top corner to hand Limerick the dream start. Hegarty powered through the heart of the Dublin defence from the throw-in and squared to Ó Dálaigh, whose postage stamp finish left Seán Brennan with no chance.

Dublin hit back immediately, but the Treaty maintained that cushion early doors. Donal Burke, making his first inter-county appearance since last summer after a hamstring injury, was on song from placed balls, with Danny Sutcliffe and Conor Burke among the Dublin players chipping in on the scoresheet. They carved out some goal chances of their own; the best of the lot saw Nickie Quaid deny Sean Currie with a brilliant save in the 20th minute to ensure the scoreline stayed 1-8 to 0-8. 

Limerick were wasteful before the posts at times, particularly from long-range. When they went direct, Dublin defended well but just as they were gaining a bit of a foothold, Morrissey – a late replacement for David Reidy – raised the second green flag of the game. That made it 2-9 to 0-11 just before the half-hour mark, and they extended their lead to eight – 2-13 to 0-11 – by the break.

conor-donohoe-with-gearoid-hegarty Dublin’s Conor Donohoe with Gearoid Hegarty of Limerick. Morgan Treacy / INPHO Morgan Treacy / INPHO / INPHO

The Treaty enjoyed another fast start to the second half, with Hegarty unplayable. 

There were goals at either end each side of the 40th minute: first, Ó Dálaigh angled home, bookending an unanswered 2-7 for Limerick, but Dublin responded when Sean Currie smashed into Hill 16 after a superb team move. The scoreline was 3-16 to 1-11 at that juncture. 

Limerick kept their foot on the gas from there. Dublin largely relied on O’Sullivan frees when Burke departed, while Kiely’s side blitzed them down the home straight.

The contest remained physical and hard-hitting, with referee Kevin Jordan dishing out several cards, but Limerick flexed their considerable muscle and were dominant in every facet.

Scorers for Limerick: Adam English 0-8 (3f), Tom Morrissey 1-4, Gearoid Hegarty 0-5, Cathal O’Neill 0-4, Kyle Hayes, Diarmaid Byrnes and Micheál Houlihan 0-2 each, Fergal O’Connor, Barry Murphy and Shane O’Brien 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dublin: Donal Burke 0-5 (4f, 1 ’65), Cian O’Sullivan 0-5 (3f), Danny Sutcliffe 0-3, Sean Currie 1-0, Conor Burke 0-2, Ronan Hayes, Conor Donohoe and Diarmuid Ó Dúlaing 0-1 each.


1. Nickie Quaid (Effin)

2. Fergal O’Connor (Effin), 3. Mike Casey (Na Piarsaigh), 4. Barry Nash (South Liberties)

5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell), 11. Cathal O’Neill (Crecora/Manister), 7. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo/Pallaskenry)

8. William O’Donoghue (Na Piarsaigh, captain) 9. Darragh O’Donovan (Doon)

10. Gearoid Hegarty (St. Patrick’s), 23. Tom Morrissey (Ahane), 12. Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh)

13. Donnacha Ó Dálaigh (Monaleen), 14. Shane O’Brien (Kilmallock) 15. Adam English (Doon)


  • 24. Oisin O’Reilly for Adam English (35, temp.)
  • 27. Adam English for Oisin O’Reilly (HT)
  • 19. Seamus Flanagan for Shane O’Brien (43)
  • 20. Micheál Houlihan for Conor Boylan (57)
  • 22. Dan Morrissey for Mike Casey (57)
  • 25. Barry Murphy for William O’Donoghue (57)
  • 17. Aaron Costello for Barry Nash (66)


1. Seán Brennan (Cuala)

2. James Madden (Ballyboden St-Enda’s), 3. Paddy Smyth (Clontarf), 4. John Bellew (Lucan Sarsfields)

5. Conor Donohoe (Erins Isle), 6. Chris Crummey (Lucan Sarsfields), 7. Daire Gray (Whitehall Colmcille)

8. Conor Burke (St Vincent’s), 9. Seán Gallagher (Naomh Barróg)

10. Ronan Hayes (Kilmacud Crokes), 11. Donal Burke (Na Fianna), 12. Brian Hayes (Kilmacud Crokes)

13. Danny Sutcliffe (St Judes), 14. Cian O’Sullivan (St Brigid’s), 15. Seán Currie (Na Fianna)


  • 23. Diarmuid Ó Dúlaing for Brian Hayes (49)
  • 18. Darragh Power for Seán Gallagher (52)
  • 22. Paul Crummey for Dónal Burke (54)
  • 20. Jake Malone for Sean Currie (65)
  • 19. Donal Leavy for Ronan Hayes (65)

Referee: Kevin Jordan (Tipperary).

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