Limerick 1-24 Waterford 0-19
Limerick ended the wait for a league title on Sunday afternoon with a dominant 8 point win over Pauric Fanning’s Waterford at Croke Park. Aaron Gillane scored a superb goal for the Shannonsiders and contributed 9 points, 5 coming from play in a fine man of the match performance.
Midfielder Cian Lynch and Aaron Gillane had Limerick into a an early with a point each, before Waterford drew level on 6 minutes with Stephen Bennett hitting two points, one from a free and one from play. Gillane hit two points, followed up by two cracking points from half forward Gearoid Hegarty. Waterford looked all at sea, they could have been further behind after O’Keeffe saved a Gillane bullet.
Limerick were dominant in terms of possession but they kept Waterford in the game due to giving away needless frees. Stephen Bennett would punish them. Peter Casey knocked over a nice score from the wing, before Bennett responded for Waterford. On 27 minutes then up popped Gillane with a goal. He got on the end of long ball delivery from Tom Morrissey to finish to the net giving O’Keeffe no chance.
Waterford though hit a few points before the break with Ballygunner’s Pauric Mahony pointing along with veteran Brick Walsh also raising a white flag. Limerick hit three points in a row to finish the scoring though with Graeme Mulcahy, Aaron Gillane and Tom Morrissey. It was 1-12 to 0-10 at the break to the All-Ireland Champions.
On the resumption Limerick hit the first three points. Declan Gannon getting the pick of the scores. Austin Gleeson scored a sublime sideline as Waterford responded hit three in a row. But then Gillane turned on the style once again and he fired over two points from play. The Patrickswell man had an off day from the frees hitting 6 frees wide in the second half alone. Waterford were offering little only from frees which Pauric Mahony now was on.
Waterford needed a goal but it wasn’t to be there day. Gearoid Hegarty and Peter Casey both finished with 0-3 from play and John Kiely introduced Seamus Flanagan and Shane Dowling and they both got points from play.
Limerick will be a force in the Munster championship and will have their eyes on retaining the Liam McCarthy Cup later in the year for sure.
Limerick: Nicky Quaid; Tom Condon, Sean Finn, Richie English; Diarmuid Byrnes, Declan Hannon (0-01), Dan Morrissey; Cian Lynch (0-2), Darragh O’Donovan (0-1, s/l); Gearoid Hegarty (0-03), Kyle Hayes, Tom Morrissey (0-1); Aaron Gillane (1-9, 4f), Peter Casey (0-3), Graeme Mulcahy (0-3).
Subs: Mike Casey for Condon (h-t), Seamus Flanagan (0-1) for Mulcahy (57), Shane Dowling (0-2, 1f) for T Morrissey, Barry Murphy for Gillane (63), Paddy O’Loughlin for Hannon (68).
Waterford: Stephen O’Keeffe; Shane McNulty, Callum Lyons, Noel Connors; Philip Mahony (0-1), Tadhg De Búrca, Kevin Moran (0-1); Jamie Barron, Austin Gleeson (0-2, 1 s/l); Mikey Kearney, Michael Walsh (0-1), Pauric Mahony (0-5, 4f); Peter Hogan, Stephen Bennett (0-9, 6f), Shane Bennett.
Subs: Jack Prendergast for Walsh (h-t), Thomas Ryan for Shane Bennett (47), Conor Prunty for Lyons (48), Patrick Curran for Hogan (57), Stephen Roche for Kearney (60).