THE Limerick hurlers had a final run-out ahead of next weekend’s start to the Allianz Hurling League with Sunday’s challenge game against Waterford.
In Doon it finished Limerick 1-21, Waterford 3-19.
John Kiely and Derek McGrath started with close to full strength teams and both played a different team in the second half. Both sides are away from home next Sunday – Limerick in Wexford in Division 1B and Waterford in Nowlan Park to play Kilkenny in Division 1A.
In this entertaining challenge game Limerick corner back Stephen Cahill was the only player to see all 70-minutes of action.
Limerick’s Will O’Donoghue saw his first action of the season after joining up with the panel in the last two weeks.
The game was decided by three second half Waterford goals – Stephen Roche, Martin O’Neill and DJ Foran.
Watched on by a fine crowd in east Limerick, the home side were 1-9 to 0-10 ahead at half time. It was The Decies that made the early running with Pauric Mahony frees and points from Austin Gleeson and Brian O’Halloran helping them to a 0-5 to 0-2 lead after 15-minutes.
Peter Casey frees accounted for all Limerick scores until the Na Piarsaigh man also found one from play in the 19th minute.
Limerick were to grow into the half Mulcahy goaled in the 23rd minute to move the home side 1-7 to 0-5 ahead.
The goal came after a run of five successive points from Limerick to turn a 0-5 to 0-2 deficit into a 1-7 to 0-5 lead.
Casey’s second point from play had the lead out to 1-9 to 0-7 until the last three points of the half fell to Waterford.
Both sides re-emerged with new-look line-ups.
Pat Ryan and Kevin O’Brien were among the early second half scores to move Limerick 1-12 to 0-10 ahead.
Seven of the next eight scores went to Waterford to put them 1-16 to 1-13 ahead entering the final quarter.
Darragh O’Donovan and O’Brien hit back but Waterford found another goal to remain 2-18 to 1-16 clear.
Three came in reply – two Lynch frees and one from play from John Fitzgibbon to leave a goal between the teams but DJ Foran had a late Waterford goal to ensure their win.
SCORERS: Limerick: Peter Casey 0-7 (5frees), Ronan Lynch 0-5 (4frees), Graeme Mulcahy 1-0, John Fitzgibbon, (1free) and Kevin O’Brien 0-2 each. Diarmaid Byrnes (free), Declan Hannon, Pat Ryan, Darragh O’Donovan and Seanie Tobin 0-1 each.
LIMERICK FIRST HALF: Nickie Quaid; Stephen Cahill, Richie McCarthy, Mike Casey; Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Seamus Hickey; Paul Browne, James Ryan; Gearoid Hegarty, David Dempsey, Kyle Hayes; Peter Casey, Cian Lynch, Graeme Mulcahy.
LIMERICK SECOND HALF: David McCarthy; Stephen Cahill, Richie English, Seanie O’Brien; Colin Ryan, Will O’Donoghue, Dan Morrissey; John Fitzgibbon, Pat Ryan; Darragh O’Donovan, Alan Dempsey, Tom Morrissey; Kevin O’Brien, Ronan Lynch, Seanie Tobin. Sub: Andrew La Touche Cosgrave for Will O’Donoghue (64mins).
WATERFORD FIRST HALF: Ian O’Regan; Shane Fives, Barry Coughlan, Noel Connors; Conor Gleeson, Tadgh de Burca, Shane Daniels; Jamie Barron, Kevin Moran; Michael Walsh, Jake Dillon, Pauric Mahony; Brian O’Halloran, Stephen Bennett, Austin Gleeson. Sub: Tom Ryan for Stephen Bennett, inj (20mins).
WATERFORD SECOND HALF: Stephen O’Keeffe; Kieran Bennett, Shane McNulty, Ian Kenny; Darragh Lyons, Seamus Keating, Mark O’Brien; Gavin O’Brien, Michael Kearney; Tom Devine, Stephen Roche, Billy Nolan; Colin Dunford, DJ Foran, Tom Ryan. Sub used: Martin O’Neill.
REFEREE: John McCormack (Tipperary).