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Waterford book place in league decider with impressive win over Limerick

Derek McGrath’s men were clinical in Thurles.

Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Waterford 3-23
Limerick 1-18

Jackie Cahill at Semple Stadium, Thurles

CHAMPIONS WATERFORD  booked their place in a second successive Allianz Hurling League Division 1 final.

Derek McGrath’s Déise produced a powerful second-half display to see off Limerick by 11  points at Semple Stadium this afternoon.

Waterford trailed by a point at half-time but a run of 1-5 without reply early in the second half set them on their way to victory.

Rising young forwards Patrick Curran and Shane Bennett were brilliant for Waterford on the day, contributing 2-13 between them.

Curran led the way in the scoring stakes with a haul of 1-10, but he was sent off late on for a second bookable offence.

Bennett cracked home 1-3, including a 43rd-minute penalty goal as Waterford opened up with a run of 1-5 without reply to put daylight between the sides.

Curran, rather fittingly, scored his side’s second goal following good work by sub Brian O’Halloran and hard-working Michael ‘Brick’ Walsh, and Waterford were home.

The sides traded goals in stoppage time, sub Shane Dowling lashing home a 20m free before Waterford replacement Tom Devine struck at the other end moments later.

Although the sides racked up 0-23 between them in the opening half, there was little to suggest that goals would follow.

Waterford have been criticised in some quarters for not scoring enough of them but they delivered an emphatic response to the critics as the League holders outscored Limerick by 3-12 to 1-6 in the second half.

Both sides set up defensively from the start, Limerick appearing to operate with two sweepers, and space was at a premium until it began to open up in the second half.

Waterford took full advantage as their greater levels of physicality and more time spent on refining the sweeper system began to tell.

Limerick’s top scorer Ronan Lynch hit all seven of his points from placed balls and Shane Dowling emerged second top on the Treaty list of hitmen with a 1-1 haul from frees, despite the fact that he only came on late in the second half.

Tom Morrissey was good for Limerick in the first half, hitting 0-3 from play as the Shannonsiders opened up a narrow half-time lead.

They found themselves six points down quickly, though, as Waterford gained a foothold and while Limerick did cut the gap back to three points, 0-17 to 1-17, McGrath’s charges, even without talismanic forward Maurice Shanahan, roared to victory and into another showpiece decider.

Scorers for Waterford: Patrick Curran 1-10 (0-7f, 0-2 65s), Shane Bennett 1-3 (1-0 pen), Tom Devine 1-1, Austin Gleeson 0-3 (1f), Colin Dunford 0-2, Tadhg de Búrca, Darragh Fives, Kevin Moran & Brian O’Halloran 0-1 each.

Scorers for Limerick: Ronan Lynch 0-7f, Shane Dowling 1-1f, Tom Morrissey 0-3, Diarmaid Byrnes & Barry Nash 0-2 each, Paul Browne, James Ryan & Tom Condon 0-1 each.

Waterford

1. Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)

2. Shane Fives (Tourin)
3. Barry Coughlan (Ballygunner)
4. Noel Connors (Passage)

18. Darragh Fives (Tourin)
5. Tadhg de Burca (Clashmore / Kinsalebeg)
7. Philip Mahony (Ballygunner)

6. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion)
8. Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater)

12. Michael Walsh (Stradbally)
10. Kevin Moran (De La Salle)
15. Colin Dunford (Colligan)

14. Jake Dillon (De La Salle)
11. Shane Bennett (Ballysaggart)
13. Patrick Curran (Dungarvan)

Subs for Waterford:

22. Brian O’Halloran (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg) for Dunford (48)

9. Shane McNulty (De La Salle) for S Fives (55)

24. Tom Devine (Modeligo) for Dillon (59)

23. Pauric Mahony (Ballygunner) for Walsh (64)

19. Shane O’Sullivan (Ballygunner) for Moran (67)

Limerick:

1. Nickie Quaid (Effin)(Captain)

2. Seanie O Brien (Patrickswell)
3. Richie McCarthy (Blackrock)
4. Richie English (Doon)

5. Paudie O Brien (Kilmallock)
6. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell)
7. Ronan Lynch (Na Piarsaigh)

8. Gavin O Mahony (Kilmallock)
9. Paul Browne (Bruff)

10. Gearoid Hegarty (St Patrick’s)
11. James Ryan (Garryspillane)
12. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell)

13. Barry Nash (South Liberties)

14. Kevin Downes (Na Piarsaigh)
15. Tom Morrissey (Ahane)

22. Brian O’Halloran (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg) for Dunford (48)

9. Shane McNulty (De La Salle) for S Fives (55)

24. Tom Devine (Modeligo) for Dillon (59)

23. Pauric Mahony (Ballygunner) for Walsh (64)

19. Shane O’Sullivan (Ballygunner) for Moran (67)

Subs for Limerick:

21. John Fitzgibbon (Adare) for Hegarty (48)

17. Tom Condon (Knockaderry) for S O’Brien (50)

26. Declan Hannon (Adare) for Downes (58)

25. Shane Dowling (Na Piarsaigh) for P O’Brien (61)

23. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock) for Lynch (65)

Referee: Barry Kelly (Westmeath)

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