Limerick Survives Munster Championship First Round Test Against Waterford
The Munster championship first-round game between Limerick and Waterford was a true test of Limerick’s credentials as the All-Ireland champions. Despite being down to fourteen men for the last 20 minutes following Gearoid Hegarty’s dismissal, Limerick rallied to stave off Waterford’s late surge.
Limerick Dominates Early
Limerick dominated early, with Aaron Gillane, Tom Morrissey, Seamus Flanagan, Peter Casey, and Diarmuid Byrnes all contributing to their early lead. Stephen Bennett and Dessie Hutchinson managed to get a few scores for Waterford, but Limerick asserted their authority when Seamus Flanagan bagged their first goal in the 21st minute.
Injury Losses for Both Teams
Both teams suffered injury losses with Limerick’s captain, Declan Hannon, lasting just 15 minutes, and Tadgh de Burca carried off for Waterford in the 22nd minute. Both losses were significant, and the Deise could hardly afford to be without one of their main men.
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Waterford Bounces Back
Waterford bounced back after a slow start, and seven of the next ten points were scored by the team, including six placed balls off the stick of Stephen Bennett, with Jamie Barron getting the other. Gearoid Hegarty, Aaron Gillane, and a Diarmuid Byrnes free accounted for the Limerick scores, and they led 1-11 to 0-10 at halftime.
The first half was a spikey affair, with a number of yellow cards issued, including to a Limerick mentor. Waterford was probably fortunate to be just four points behind considering that Limerick had done most of the hurling in that first half.
Limerick Down to 14 Men
Limerick’s challenge became even more significant when a Waterford penalty was saved in the eighth minute, and moments later, Gearoid Hegarty was sent off for a yellow card he received earlier. Limerick was down a man, and Waterford was coming strong at them.
Limerick Holds Off Waterford
Limerick faced a serious challenge with Waterford coming at them with everything they had. However, four points from Tom Morrissey, Barry Nash, and Aaron Gillane, and points from Gillane and Byrnes kept the challengers at arms’ length. Although Waterford managed three scores, it was not enough, and Limerick held on for the win, knowing that they had been in a game.
Scorers for Limerick: Aaron Gillane 0-7 (5fs), Seamus Flanagan 1-1, Diarmuid Byrnes 0-3 (0-2 frees), Peter Casey and Tom Morrissey 0-2 each, Barry Nash, Gearoid Hegarty, 0-1.
Scorers for Waterford: Stephen Bennett 0-13 (10fs), Austin Gleeson, Dessie Hutchinson 0-2 each, Jamie Barron, Conor Gleeson 0-1 each
Limerick: Nickie Quaid, Sean Finn, Dan Morrissey, Barry Nash, Diarmuid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Kyle Hayes, Darragh O’Donovan, William O’Donoghue, Gearoid Hegarty, Cian Lynch, Tom Morrissey, Aaron Gillane, Seamus Flanagan, Peter Casey.
Subs: Mike Casey for Declan Hannon; Cathal O’Neill for Seamus Flanagan; David Reidy for William O’Dononghue; Conor Boylan for Peter Casey.
Waterford: Billy Nolan, Conor Gleeson, Conor Prunty, Mark Fitzgerald, Calum Lyons, Tadhg de Burca, Jack Fagan, Darragh Lyons, Jamie Barron, Neil Montgomery, Dessie Hutchinson, Michael Kiely, Colin Dunford, Stephen Bennett, Jack Prendergast.
Subs: Tom Barron for Tadhg de Burca; Austin Gleeson for Colin Dunford; Patrick Fitzgerald for Jack Prendergast; Padraic Fitzgerald for Neil Montgomery.