FOR the first time since 2006 the Limerick senior hurlers have got their season off to a winning start.
Not since TJ Ryan captained Limerick to victory in the 2006 Waterford Crystal Cup had the Shannonsiders won a game in the competition.
This Saturday’s 3-15 to 0-13 victory over the Eamonn Cregan managed students books a quarter-final place against Tipperary next Sunday in Nenagh.
In the end it was an 11-point victory in Kilmallock and John Allen’s Limerick were never really in trouble.
It was a strong Limerick line-up with no debutante’s.
Na Piarsaigh’s Cathal King was making his first start since 2010 but otherwise it was a familiar starting team.
The management used five subs during the game and young players David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacca) and Robbie Egan (Kilmallock) were handed their first taste of competitive senior hurling.
Reidy was one of eight Limerick scorers on a day when the ‘home’ side hit 15-wides.
The scoring commenced within 20-seconds when David Breen fired to the net for a tonic start for Limerick.
Dowling blasted home the second goal in the 23rd minute.
That had Limerick 2-6 to 0-3 clear.
Any changce of a Mary Immaculate comeback were dashed just eight minutes into the second half when Conlon’s penalty was saved.
Dowling added Limerick’s third goal in the 51st minute.
Scores: Limerick: S Dowling 2-5 (0-4frees), N Moran 0-4, D Breen 1-0, C Allis 0-2, S Tobin, D Reidy, K Downes, S Hickey 0-1 each. Mary Immaculate College: J Conlon 0-5 (4frees), S Curran 0-3 (1free),C Galvin 0-2, D Hannon (’65), L O’Farrell, B O’Halloran 0-1 each.
LIMERICK - Nickie Quaid; Tom Condon, Richie McCarthy, Shane O’Neill; Cathal King, Wayne McNamara, Gavin O’Mahony; Donal O’Grady, James Ryan; David Breen, Conor Allis, Niall Moran; Shane Dowling, Kevin Downes, Sean Tobin. Subs: David Reidy for Tobin (35mins), Thomas Quaid for Allis (49mins), Seamus Hickey for O’Grady (51mins), Robert Egan for Ryan (57mins), Thomas O’Brien for Downes (54mins).
MARY IMMACULATE COLLEGE - Niall Carrig (Patrickswell); Killan Fennessy (Clare), Robert O’Donnell (Pallasgreen), Mossy McGrath (Tipperary); Eanna Hogan (Tipperary), Declan Hannon (Adare), Darragh O’Carroll (Cork); Lar Considine (Patrickswell), Colm Galvin (Clare); Sean Curran (Tipperary), William Hickey (South Liberties), John Conlon (Clare); Brian O’Halloran (Waterford); Eoin Hogan (Tipperary), Luke O’Farrell (Cork). Subs: Mark O’Connell (Glenro) for Hogan (34mins), Aandrew Cagney (Cork) for McGrath (49mins).
REFEREE - Damien Fox (Clare).