LIMERICK slumped to their third defeat in the Allianz Football League when they lost 1-18 to 1-14 to Waterford in the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday evening.
Limerick’s promotion hopes were already hanging by a thread having lost to Wicklow and Clare in earlier rounds but this disappointing loss sees them completely out of the running ahead of their final two games - against Fermanagh and Carlow.
Registering their third league win over their hosts in as many seasons, the Decies took complete control of the closing minutes to run off six points without reply against opponents who lost their shape and their focus after Stephen Kelly was red-carded in the 50th minute.
Ian Ryan and Ger Collins accountied for 13 of Limerick’s scores and that duo were on form in the first half when they helped Limerick to a 0-9 to 0-8 half time lead.
A Seamus O’Carroll goal early in the second half seemed as if it would set Limerick up for a home win but it wasn’t to be as a Marc Ferncombe goal and points from Gary Hurney and Shane Ahearne ensured another Waterford win.
The sides will meet again in the Munster championship.
Scorers - Waterford: Gary Hurney 0-7 (three frees), Mark Ferncombe 1-2, Shane Ahearne 0-3 (two frees), Patrick Hurney 0-3, Joey Veale, Wayne Hennessy, Seán O’Hare (free) 0-1. Limerick: Ian Ryan 0-10 (seven frees), Ger Collins 0-3, Séamus O’Carroll 1-0, Eoin Barry 0-1.
Waterford - Stephen Enright; Maurice O’Gorman, Thomas O’Gorman, Kieran Connery; Tony Grey, Éamonn Walsh, Wayne Hennessy; Shane Ahearne, Seán O’Hare; Aidan Brophy, Patrick Hurney, Cillian O’Keeffe; Mark Ferncombe, Gary Hurney, Joey Veale. Subs: Conor Phelan for Éamonn Walsh (17 mins), Tadhg Ó hÚllacháin for Kieran Connery (ht), Seán Dempsey for Shane Ahearne (46 mins), Seán Fleming for Aidan Brophy (49 mins).
Limerick - Donal O’Sullivan; Cian Coady, Stephen Lavin, Damien Quaid; John Riordan, Paudie Browne, Pa Ranahan; Paul Kinnerk, John Galvin; Eoghan O’Connor, Stephen Kelly, Eoin Barry; Ger Collins, Séamus O’Carroll, Ian Ryan. Subs: Barry Fitzpatrick for Cian Coady (41 mins), John Cooke for Eoin Barry (54 mins), John Mullane for Séamus O’Carroll (66 mins), James O’Meara for Paul Kinnerk (66 mins).
Referee - Michael Rock (Clare)