LIMERICK’S poor record in the Munster club SFC continued as Ballylanders fell at the first hurdle with a 1-11 to 0-7 defeat to Waterford’s The Nire in Kilmallock.
It’s now six years without a win for the Limerick senior football champions in provincial action.
Indeed the last win was Dromcollogher-Broadford’ famous Munster final victory in 2008.
From start to finish in yesterday’s quarter-final encounter with Waterford’s The Nire, Ballylanders played second fiddle.
The south Limerick side also exited at the first hurdle in 1999 and 2007 and were anxious to get a first Munster club victory but they came up against a powerful Waterford side, who now progress to meet Clare champions Cratloe in the semi-final.
Ballylanders never reached the heights of their Limerick final victory over St Patricks and couldn’t match the power or pace of their visitors.
Ballylanders did make early in-roads but failed the find the target and then paid the price when The Nire went up the field to kick three successive points in quick succession.
The Waterford side were backed by the wind in the opening half but it was soon clear they were very much focused for this encounter.
Ballylanders played with just Eoin Walsh and Danny Frewen in a two man full forward line and they were unable to gain any upperhand with midfielder Craig Guiry often provding defensive cover in front of the duo.
Neither were Ballylanders able to carry ball through the Deise rearguard as the greater share of possession was definitely with The Nire around the middle third.
In attack, The Nire were impressive and ended with nine different scorers and 1-10 from opening play.
At the other end of the field Ballylanders only kicked four points from play in the hour.
Danny Frewen did reply to the early onslaught of scores but it didn’t deter The Nire and a further 1-1 without a response put them 1-6 to 0-1 ahead after 20-minutes of action.
The goal came from Conor Gleeson in the 14th minute as they built an impressive eight point lead.
Indeed the lead could have been greater but Rickey Slattery saved from Shane Walsh in the 24th minute.
That prompted Ballylanders to end 14-minutes without a score when Jimmy Barry Murphy pointed a free.
In the final minute of the half Frewen added another free to leave it 1-7 to 0-3 at half time.
Ballylanders made two changes at the break as they looked to ignite their challenge.
But it was a goal they needed.
It almost came in the second minute of the second half when Frewen passed across the square to Mark O’Connell but his shot blazed over from close range.
Also Ballylanders couldn’t build on this.
Up the field went The Nire and kicked four points on the trot to all but seal the victory - 1-11 to 0-4 clear.
Indeed The Nire failed to score in the final 19-minutes of the game but it mattered little.
They soaked up any pressure and Ballylanders’ only kicked three points in the same period.
SCORERS: Ballylanders: Jimmy Barry Murphy 0-4 (2frees), Danny Frewen 0-2 (1 free), Mark O’Connell 0-1. The Nire: Conor Gleeson 1-2, Jamie Barron, Shane Ryan (1free) 0-2 each, Brian Wall, Diarmuid Wall, Craig Guiry, Shane Walsh, Michael Moore 0-1 each.
BALLYLANDERS: Ricky Slattery; Maurice Kelly, Shane Fox, Ger Casey; Brian O’Connell, Donal Kelly, Stephen Walsh; Johnny Murphy, Thomas Lee; Mark O’Connell, Jimmy Barry Murphy, James Kirby; Stephen Fox, Eoin Walsh, Danny Frewen. Subs: Kieran O’Callaghan for James Kirby (h-t), Tom Fox for Ger Casey (h-t), Diarmuid McCarthy for Donal Kelly (49mins), Jason Leigh for Brian O’Connell (55mins).
THE NIRE: Tom Wall; Justin Walsh, Thomas O’Gorman, Tommy Cooney; Diarmuid Wall, Maurice O’Gorman, Seamus Lawlor; Craig Guiry, Shane Walsh; Michael O’Gorman, Brian Wall, Jamie Barron; Conor Gleeson, Liam Lawlor, Shane Ryan. Subs: Michael Moore for Craig Guiry, b-c (29mins), Jack Guiry for Justin Walsh (38mins), Keith Guiry for Maurice O’Gorman, b-c (48mins), Dermot Ryan for Jamie Barron (55mins).
REFEREE: Conor Lane (Cork).