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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 20 March, 2019
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Limerick stay top of the table with impressive 9-point win over Kilkenny

Nowlan Park hosted today’s clash.

Limerick 2-18
Kilkenny 0-15

Fintan O’Toole reports from Nowlan Park

THE ALL-IRELAND champions show no sign of slowing down in 2019. Limerick landed in Kilkenny this afternoon and produced a power-packed display either side of the break to clinch the Division 1A hurling league points on offer.

Enda Morrissey and Aaron Gillane Limerick's Aaron Gillane goes up against Kilkenny's Enda Morrissey. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The game was essentially defined by the blast of scores that Limerick unleashed before the break. They shot 2-3 without reply after the 33rd minute to sail clear by nine points at the interval, leaving their supporters in rapturous form and the Kilkenny contingent bemused.

Prior to that the game had meandered along as points were traded, the teams locked together on five occasions. Richie Leahy tapped over a 30th minute free to leave it 0-7 apiece before Kilkenny were hit hard.

Limerick’s movement in attack unsettled Kilkenny sufficiently as they isolated Aaron Gillane and Shane Dowling on a pair of defenders in the 33rd minute with the former feeding the latter and he drilled a shot past Eoin Murphy.

From the resultant puckout Kilkenny were wounded once more. A short pass to Tommy Walsh went astray but Graeme Mulcahy failed to control it instantly and the chance looked to have disappeared. Yet the Kilmallock man stayed composed, gathered and slipped a pass off to Conor Boylan who charged through a gap. With daylight in front of him, he exploited the opening to become the second Na Piarsaigh goalscorer for Limerick within a minute.

Those goals were preceded by a crisply struck point by Robbie Hanley and followed by a couple of scores from Diarmaid Byrnes and Gillane. The league leaders looked comfortable at the break with the hosts facing an uphill task.

John Kiely with Brian Cody John Kiely with Brian Cody after the match in Nowlan Park. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The match continued in that vein after the interval. Limerick struck four points without reply courtesy of a trio from Gillane and a Barry Murphy effort, after he worked superbly to dispossess Kilkenny’s Tommy Walsh. Richie Leahy got Kilkenny off the mark in the second half in the 44th minute but Limerick responded with strength as Mulcahy and Murphy registered points.

They were 2-16 to 0-8 clear at that juncture and the damage was done despite Kilkenny’s persistence in chipping away at the deficit before the finish. Richie Leahy ended with 0-7 to his credit and helped Kilkenny cut the gap. But the home side were never able to hit the net when they went in search of goals and Limerick travelled home with the spoils.

Scorers for Limerick: Aaron Gillane 0-9 (0-6f), Shane Dowling 1-2, Conor Boylan 1-1, Barry Murphy 0-2, Graeme Mulcahy, Tom Condon, Diarmaid Byrnes (0-1f), Robbie Hanley 0-1 each.

Scorers for Kilkenny: Richie Leahy 0-7 (0-4f), Kevin Kelly (0-2f), Billy Ryan 0-2 each, Liam Blanchfield, Ger Malone, John Donnelly, James Maher 0-1 each.

Limerick

1. Nickie Quaid (Effin)

2. Tom Condon (Knockaderry)
3. Sean Finn (Bruff)
4. Richie English (Doon)

5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell)
7. Dan Morrissey (Ahane)
7. Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock)

20. Robbie Hanley (Kilmallock)
9. Darragh O’Donovan (Doon)

10. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo/Pallaskenry)
11. Shane Dowling (Na Piarsaigh)
12. Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh)

13. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell)
14. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock)
15. Barry Murphy (Doon)

Subs

23. Tom Morrissey (Ahane) for Boylan (56)
17. Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh) for Murphy (56)
26. Pat Ryan (Doon) for Mulcahy (62)
22. Gearoid Hegarty (St Patrick’s) for Hanley (69)

Kilkenny

1. Eoin Murphy (Glenmore)

2. Tommy Walsh (Tullaroan)
3. Conor Delaney (Erin’s Own)
4. Enda Morrissey (Bennettsbridge)

5. Padraig Walsh (Tullaroan)
6. Paddy Deegan (O’Loughlin Gaels)
7 . Paul Murphy (Danesfort)

8. Conor Fogarty (Erin’s Own)
9. Martin Keoghan (Tullaroan)

10. Richie Leahy (Rower Inistioge)
11. Walter Walsh (Tullogher Rosbercon)
12. James Maher (St Lachtain’s)

13. Billy Ryan (Graigue-Ballycallan)
14. Kevin Kelly (St Patrick’s)
15. John Donnelly (Thomastown)

Subs

23. Liam Blanchfield (Bennettsbridge) for Kelly (26)
20. Conor Browne (James Stephens) for Fogarty (half-time)
21. Michael Carey (Young Irelands) for Morrissey (half-time)
24. Ger Malone (Mullinavat) for Maher (50)

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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