THERE won’t be anyone predicting a long summer for the Limerick senior footballers after this 2-12 to 0-7 victory over Waterford.
Nonetheless they are out of the traps and up and running in the 2012 Munster senior football championship.
This quarter-final was anything but a classic and won’t do much to appease the lovers of Gaelic football in its purest sense.
But in the end it proved to be an effective performance from Limerick as they progressed to a June 9 provincial semi-final clash with Clare in the Gaelic Grounds.
Incredibly as poor as Limerick were in the first half they led at the interval 1-5 to 0-7 with Seamus O’Carroll’s 19th minute goal decisive.
Waterford were fast from the block and had two points on the board before Ryan opened the Limerick account in the seventh minute.
With both sides kicking six wides each in the half, Limerick had the game level, 0-3 each at the end of the opening quarter.
Then came the first bit of luck.
Paul Kinnerk’s attempt for a point wasn’t controlled by the Waterford keeper and Eoghan O’Connor pounced to win Limerick possession. He then did well to pass across goal to Seamus O’Caroll, who drilled to the net for a most unlikely lead.
In front of 2,341 spectators in the May afternoon sunshine, Waterford hit back with successive points but then in the 29th minute came Limerick’s first point from play when Ryan scored.
Again it was somewhat fortunate as he profited when a Tom Lee shot came back off the post and Ryan could have tried for goal but opted to take the point for a 1-4 to 0-5 lead.
O’Carroll added to his goal to leave it 1-5 to 0-7 at the break.
Just 90-seconds into the second half came a key moment. Ian Corbett was judged to have fouled Mark Ferncombe and a penalty was the outcome.
But Ferncombe’s low shot was saved by a diving Brian Scanlon.
That was the signal a tale of woe for Waterford in front of goal as they proceeded to kick eight second half wides (Limerick only had one) as they failed to score in the 35-minutes.
Bit by bit Limerick stuttered into some kind of rhythm.
But 15-minutes into the half there were only three Ryan frees added to the scoreboard as the lead was out to 1-8 to 0-7 with 20-minutes to play.
Waterford went for broke with a triple substitution in attack but it was Limerick subs Stephen Kelly and John Cooke that were to get on the scoresheet before the end.
Kelly’s 27th minute point was the first score from play in the half.
Limerick’s defence was now absorbing everything that Waterford had to offer in attack and slowly but surely space was appearing in attack for the men in green.
Captain Ger Collins had his first point of the day five minutes fro time.
Then two minutes from the end came the icing on the cake when Ryan blasted home Limerick’s second goal,
SCORERS - Limerick: Ian Ryan 1-7 (0-6frees), Seamus O’Carroll 1-1, Ger Collins 0-2, Stephen Kelly and John Cooke 0-1 each. Waterford: JJ Hutchinson, Mark Ferncombe, Tony Grey 0-2 each, Shane Ahearne 0-1.
LIMERICK - Brian Scanlon; Paudie Browne, John Riordan, Lorcan O’Dwyer; Stephen Lavin, Johnny McCarthy, Pa Ranahan; Thomas Lee, Paul Kinnerk; Eoin Barry, Ger Collins, Seanie Buckley; Eoghan O’Connor, Seamus O’Carroll, Ian Ryan. Subs: Ian Corbett for Eoin Barry (33mins), James O’Meara for Paul Kinnerk (48mins), Stephen Kelly for Seamus O’Carroll (55mins), John Cooke for Thomas Lee (62mins), Stephen Lucey for Pa Ranahan (68mins).
WATERFORD - Kieran Cotter; Maurice O’Gorman, Thomas O’Gorman, Kieran Connery; Cillian O’Keeffe, Shane Briggs, Tony Grey; Sean Dempsey, Sean O’Hara; Patrick Hurney, Shane Ahearne, JJ Hutchinson; Tommy Prendergast, Wayne Hennessy, Mark Ferncombe. Subs: Liam O’Lionain for Tommy Prendergast (h-t), Joey Veale for Mark Ferncombe, Paul White for Patrick Hurney, Sean Fleming for JJ Hutchinson (all 59mins), Andy Doyle for Maurice O’Gorman (69mins).
REFEREE - Conor Lane (Cork)