Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO Kyle Hayes scores a goal for Limerick.
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Hayes and Gillane grab goals as Limerick book league semi-final spot with 11-point win
John Kiely’s side will meet Tipperary in a final-four tie next weekend.

Limerick 2-20

Wexford 0-15

Stephen Barry reports from TUS Gaelic Grounds

LIMERICK WILL MEET Tipperary in next weekend’s League semi-final, a spot sealed by easing to an 11-point victory over Wexford.

Entering with only two goals in four League outings, they doubled that tally thanks to strikes from Kyle Hayes and Aaron Gillane, who ended with 1-5 on his first start of the year.

They were also boosted by returns from injury for captain Declan Hannon and a first start of 2023 for Casey.

Wexford made fewer changes than Limerick’s nine following their creditable defeat against Cork but five of their seven were enforced and all down the spine of their team, with Matthew O’Hanlon, Damien Reck, Diarmuid O’Keeffe, Liam Óg McGovern, and Conor McDonald all injured.

Limerick fluid positioning was summed up by their defenders outscoring their forwards in the first half. The defenders’ 1-4 contribution arrived entirely in the opening 10 minutes.

Richie English had the first point and Diarmaid Byrnes had three in a row, two from play.

From the latter Wexford puck-out, a storming Cathal O’Neill run turned defence into attack and Kyle Hayes tracked him all the way to take the pass and finish to the net. 1-5 to 0-2 and English almost got in for another goal chance straight after but Conor Boylan’s pass was behind him.

Darragh Egan chose to employ Rory O’Connor in a sweeping role and while he won four frees for Lee Chin, they had little scoring threat in attack. His side went 15 minutes without a score and only one of their first-half return came from play, wing-back Ian Carty finishing.

They did get a run on goal after a Limerick slip under a puck-out but Charlie McGuckin’s acute shot was saved by Nickie Quaid and Chin struck the subsequent 65 wide (the wide count seven apiece at the half and 14-all by the end). Gillane also saw an opening closed by Shane Reck’s quick recovery.

Mark Fanning’s restarts began to go awry before the break, giving two straight to Micheál Houlihan and O’Neill for points and sending two more over the sideline as Limerick went in 1-10 to 0-7 ahead.

Carty was outscoring his marker Gearóid Hegarty from wing-back, adding his and Wexford’s second point from play on the resumption.

Disaster struck in the 39th minute, though, when Fanning fumbled a dropping O’Neill shot which bounced off Gillane, whether by instinct or luck, and into the net.

Mike Casey became the fourth Limerick defender to score after gathering a Quaid puck-out, while Byrnes added another free, although he missed three more. Hegarty also had a goal called back for Gillane overcarrying in the build-up.

Chin was involved in scoring or assisting every Wexford score until Jack O’Connor’s 69th-minute point. He took his tally to 0-11 but he had another nine misses, five from play and four from placed balls.

Scorers for Limerick: Aaron Gillane 1-5 (0-5f), Diarmaid Byrnes 0-4 (2f), Kyle Hayes 1-0, Tom Morrissey 0-2 (1f), Donnacha Ó Dálaigh 0-2, Richie English 0-1, Micheál Houlihan 0-1, Cathal O’Neill 0-1, Gearóid Hegarty 0-1, Mike Casey 0-1, Séamus Flanagan 0-1, Oisín O’Reilly 0-1.

Scorers for Wexford: Lee Chin 0-11 (10f), Ian Carty 0-2, Conor Hearne 0-1, Jack O’Connor 0-1.


1. Nickie Quaid (Effin)

2. Mike Casey (Na Piarsaigh), 3. Dan Morrissey (Ahane), 4. Richie English (Doon)

5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell), 6. Declan Hannon (Adare, capt), 7. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry)

8. Barry Murphy (Doon), 9. Darragh O’Donovan (Doon)

10. Micheál Houlihan (Kilmallock), 11. Cathal O’Neill (Crecora-Manister), 20. Gearóid Hegarty (St Patrick’s)

13. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell), 15. Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh), 14. Séamus Flanagan (Feoghanagh-Castlemahon)


12. Tom Morrissey (Ahane) for Houlihan (54)

24. Donnacha Ó Dálaigh (Monaleen) for Gillane (54)

19. Colin Coughlan (Ballybrown) for Byrnes (62)

26. Oisín O’Reilly (Kilmallock) for Boylan (62)

22. Aidan O’Connor (Ballybrown) for Hegarty (68)


1. Mark Fanning (Glynn-Barntown)

6. Conor Foley (Horeswood), 3. Simon Donohoe (Shelmaliers), 2. Shane Reck (Oylegate-Glenbrien)

5. Ian Carty (Taghmon-Camross), 9. Kevin Foley (Rapparees), 4. Niall Murphy (Ferns St Aidan’s)

8. Cathal Dunbar (Naomh Éanna), 15. Rory O’Connor (St Martin’s)

10. Conor Hearne (Shelmaliers), 11. Lee Chin (Faythe Harriers), 12. Charlie McGuckin (Naomh Éanna)

13. Rory Higgins (Rathnure St Anne’s), 14. Mikie Dwyer (St Mogue’s Fethard), 7. Jack O’Connor (St Martin’s)


26. Kyle Scallan (Faythe Harriers) for K Foley (56)

23. Corey Byrne Dunbar (Ferns St Aidan’s) for Hearne (62)

20. Conall Clancy (Faythe Harriers) for Higgins (67)

19. Darragh Carley (Glynn-Barntown) for Carty (67)

Referee: Michael Kennedy (Tipperary)

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