LIMERICK were resounding 23-points winners this Sunday afternoon in round two of the National Hurling League against Antrim.
The northerners came to the Gaelic Grounds but it was the home side that ran out easy 3-26 to 0-12 winners.
But the big win only came after a lacklustre first half when Limerick were 0-11 to 0-6 up after playing with the wind.
Limerick started like lightening and had points from Conor Allis (2), Seanie Tobin and Donal O’Grady inside three minutes.
But then the home side went 14-minutes without a score and by the 15th minute it was 0-4 to 0-2.
With both sides registered five first half wides each it was 0-6 to 0-3 at the mid-point of the half.
Two points from centre back Wayne McNamara and one from wing back Paudie O’Brien had it 0-9 to 0-4 at the 28th minute mark.
Antrim hit back with Darren Hamill and Niall McKenna scores but Allis ensured Limerick went to the dressing room with a five points lead with late scores from play and from a free.
In front of just 1252 spectators, Limerick blitzed Antrim in the opening 15-minutes of the second half to go 0-15 to 0-8 clear with free-taker Conor Allis continuing superbly in the absence of Shane Dowling.
The floodgates opened with the first goal in the 52nd minute from David Reidy.
The second came just four minute later from Seanie Tobin.
Then with his first touch sub William Hickey had the third goal in the 66th minute.
Next up for Limerick is a home game against unbeaten Wexford on March 9.
SCORERS: Limerick: Conor Allis 0-11 (6frees), Seanie Tobin 1-3, Tom Ryan 0-4, David Reidy and William Hickey 1-0 each, Wayne McNamara and Thomas O’Brien 0-2 each, Donal O’Grady, Paudie O’Brien, Tommy Quaid, James Ryan 0-1 each. Antrim: Pauls Shields 0-7 (3frees), Ciaran Clarke, Darren Hamill, Niall McKenna, Neal McAuley, Neil McManus 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Stephen Walsh, Tom Condon, Mark Carmody; Paudie O’Brien, Wayne McNamara, Gavin O’Mahony; Donal O’Grady, Paul Browne; Thomas Ryan, James Ryan, Conor Allis; Thomas O’Brien, Tommy Quaid, Seanie Tobin. Subs: David Reidy for Donal O’Grady (21mins), Dan Morrissey for Gavin O’Mahony (58mins), Philip O’Loughlin for Stephen Walsh (58mins), Micheal Ryan for Tommy Quaid (65mins), William Hickey for Paul Brown (65mins).
ANTRIM: Chris O’Connell; Ciaran Johnson, Conor McKinley, Michael Bradley; Chris McGuinness, Neal McAuley, Ordhran McFadden; Neil McManus, Mark McFadden; Paul Shields, Conor Carson, Niall McKenna; Daniel McKernan, Darren Hamill, Ciaran Clarke. Subs: Nigel Ellitt for Ciaran Clarke (h-t), Eoghan Campbell for Odhran McFadden (h-t), Barry McFall for Chris McGuinness (42mins), Jackson McCreevey for Mark McFadden (49mins), Conor Jackson for Niall McKenna (55mins).
REFEREE: Barry Kelly (Westmeath).
See the print editions of the Limerick Leader for a full match report and reaction