A hat-trick of first half goals from inter-county star Graeme Mulcahy helped champions Kilmallock to a first round win in the Limerick senior hurling championship on Sunday.
Kilmallock were 4-18 to 1-14 winners over Hospital-Herbertstown in Bruff. Mulcahy scored all three goals in the first 22minutes of the contest while Kevin O’Donnell also found the net in the first half to help them to a 4-7 to 1-5 half time lead.
The Hospital-Herbertstown goal came from Keith O’Connor. The second half was one-way traffic as the champions eased to 13-point win.
2011 champions Na Piarsaigh also got their campaign off to a winning start on Sunday as they beat Granagh-Ballingarry 2-16 to 1-8 in Clarina. Limerick hurling captain Donal O’Grady made a welcome return from injury to line out at midfield for Granagh-Ballingarry - his first start since breaking his collar bone in March. It wasn’t enough though as two second-half goals from Shane Dowling helped the city side to an 11-point win. Granagh-Ballingarry had led 1-7 to 0-5 at the break - their goal coming from Eoin Chawke - but with wind advantage in the second half, Na Piarsaigh were much too strong.
Also last evening, Doon scored a 3-10 to 0-18 win over Patrickswell in Bruff. The winning goal came in the 55th minute from Pat Ryan.
He also goaled in the first half to give the east Limerick men a 1-7 to 0-7 half time lead.
Dean Coleman scored their second goal and then Ryan popped up with their third goal against a Patrickswell side that hit 15 widies.
Also yesterday, Ballybrown marked their return to the senior ranks with a 2-14 to 3-6 win over Effin in Kilmallock.
In a repeat of the 2011 county intermediate final, Ballybrown were easing towards victory until two late goals from Effin.
The Clarina men were 1-10 to 1-4 ahead at half time. Pat McCarthy got the winner’s goal in either half.
The opposition had all goals from Quaid brothers – two for Nickie and one direct from a long range free from Tommy.
Ballybrown had a trump card in free-taker Alan O’Connor, who finished with 0-11.
Last season’s beaten finalists Adare got off to a winning start when they eased past Murroe-Boher 1-17 to 0-13 in Claughaun on Saturday evening.
Adare were 1-9 to 0-8 ahead at half time thanks to a goal in injury time from corner forward Willie Griffin.
Griffin also hit another two points in the opening half, where Paul Keane, John Fitzgibbon and Declan Hannon all fired two points from play.
At the other end of the field, Murroe-Boher were heavily reliant on Sean Tobin. He finished with 0-9 of his side’s total.
Also on Saturday evening, 2011 beaten finalists Ahane were 2-9 to 0-11 winners over South Liberties in Caherconlish.
The two Ahane goals came in the opening half with Richie Ryan and Tom Morrissey finding the net.
But a late surge in the half from South Liberties ensured the sides were level at the break 2-3 to 0-9.
Among the scorers for Liberties was former Limerick SHC winner with Adare, Brian Foley.
The majority of their scores came from free-taker Tom Ryan.
Ahane had Richie Ryan in top form from frees, in a game where their only point from play came two minutes from the final whistle.
On Friday evening, last year’s surprise semi-finalists Garryspillane were 1-17 to 2-12 winners over Croom in Kilmallock. The Bouncers were 1-10 to 0-4 ahead at half time.
But two Eoin Burchill goals brought Croom back into contention. They could have snatched a dramatic late win but a final minute penalty was crashed wide.
Knockainey were also Friday winners.
In their first group win since 2010, Knockainey were 2-13 to 0-11 winners over Bruree. The winners were 1-4 to 0-5 ahead at half time thanks to a Jason Lonergan.
They had a another goal from Kieran Cleary in the second half to secure the valuable win.