LIMERICK and Waterford played out a high tempo draw in this Saturday evening’s opening round of the Division 1B in the Allianz Hurling League.
Played under the floodlights of the Gaelic Grounds, the game finished Limerick 2-16, Waterford 0-22.
The game was watched by 3502 and by the live television audience on Setanta Sports.
In the end it was Paudie Prendergast that levelled for Waterford, but the visitors to Limerick had set the pace for long periods.
But a draw was probably a fair result over the course of the 70-minutes.
For Limerick the draw comes on the back of a new-look line-out, especially in attack.
Indeed the Limerick team that lined out included just eight of the team that started the All Ireland SHC semi-final against Kilkenny last August in Croke Park.
Absent were Kilmallock duo Paudie O’Brien and Graeme Mulcahy, Shane Dowling (illness) and the list of injured Declan Hannon, David Breen, Kevin Downes and Seanie Tobin.
Limerick started with two debutantes - Cian Lynch and Patrick Begley, while their were also first league appearances for subs Tom Morrissey and John Fitzgibbon.
James Ryan didn’t start due to a niggling injury but TJ Ryan and his selectors had to turn to the midfielder at half time.
At half-time Limerick trailed 0-14 to 1-7 and that was despite Limerick goaling from the penalty spot inside the first minute.
That goal came from David Reidy, who also crashed home a penalty in the second half.
Waterford played with an extra man in defence for the first half and Limerick couldn’t find a way through.
Indeed Limerick failed to match their opponent’s work-rate, intensity and physicality in that opening 35-minutes.
It was a half that saw that saw Gavin O’Mahony continue to impress at centre forward. He hit four points from play in the half.
The first of his points had Limerick 1-2 to 0-4 ahead after 13-minutes but then five successive points put The Deise in the driving seat.
In teh second half Reidy crashed home his second penalty in the 48th minute to tie up the contest - 2-10 to 0-16.
The first penalty was won by Patrick Begley and it was Tom Morrissey that was fouled for the second.
Five points in a row between the 43rd and 61st minutes had Limerick 2-15 to 0-19 ahead and looking good for victory.
But Waterford hit back to level.
Then in the dying seconds of the 70-minutes full back Richie McCarthy looked to have won it for Limerick with a long range effort.
But Waterford wing back Prendergast ensured it finished level with a 71st minute equaliser.
SCORERS: Limerick: David Reidy 2-3 (2-0pen, 0-3frees), Gavin O’Mahony 0-5, Paul Browne 0-4, Cian Lynch, Adrian Breen, Tom Condon, Richie McCarthy 0-1 each. Waterford: Pauric Mahony 0-11 (9frees), Jamie Barron and Brian O’Halloran, Austin Gleeson, Paudie Prendergast 0-2 each, Kevin Moran, Michael Walsh, Shane Bennett 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Stephen Walsh, Richie McCarthy, Seamus Hickey; Donal O’Grady, Wayne McNamara, Tom Condon; Paul Browne, Cathal King; Niall Moran, Gavin O’Mahony, Cian Lynch; David Reidy, Patrick Begley, Adrian Breen. Subs: Tom Morrissey for Niall Moran (27mins), James Ryan for Cathal King (h-t), Dan Morrissey for Patrick Begley (50mins), John Fitzgibbon for Donal O’Grady (64mins), Seanie O’Brien for Tom Condon (65mins).
WATERFORD: Stephen O’Keeffe; Shane Fives, Barry Coughlan, Noel Connors; Austin Gleeson, Tadhg Bourke, Philip Mahony; Jamie Barron, Kevin Moran; Jake Dillon, Pauric Mahony, Michael Walsh; Brian O’Halloran, Tom Devine, Michael Kearney. Subs; Paudie Prendergast for Philip Mahony, (22mins), Shane Bennett for Michael Kearney (41mins), Stephen Bennett for Jake Dillon (48mins), Martin O’Neill for Tom Devine (56mins), Gavin O’Brien for Kevin Moran (68mins).
REFEREE: Colm Lyons (Cork).