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02/08/2021

Limerick with 17-points to spare over Westmeath in final Allianz Hurling League game

Limerick

Limerick's Brian O'Grady emerges from defence during the win over Westmeath. PIC: Sportsfile

LIMERICK concluded their 2021 Allianz Hurling League with a victory this Sunday afternoon.

In TEG Cusack Park in Mullingar this round five league tie finished Limerick 3-26 Westmeath 0-18.

All three Limerick goals came deep into the final quarter.

All eyes now turn to July 3 when Limerick play Cork in the Munster SHC semi final in Thurles.

Limerick started with a side that included first league starts for Jerome Boylan and Ronan Connolly and another relative newcomer in defence was Brian O'Grady. Elsewhere Kyle Hayes and Seamus Flanagan returned from suspension while Graeme Mulcahy made his first start of the league.

It was Limerick 0-14 Westmeath 0-10 at half time. It was an opening 35-minutes when the home side were aided by the breeze - there were 13 wides with Limerick accounting for seven.

Five points was the biggest lead for Limerick in the half - at the first half water break on 18-minutes, 0-9 to 0-4.

The sides were level on four occasions up to 0-4 each on 10-minutes with Tom Morrissey, Peter Casey and Brian O'Grady among the early Limerick scorers.

John Kiely's side then hit five successive points before the water break - two points for Seamus Flanagan either side of Conor Boylan.

Flanagan (11-minutes) and Aaron Gillane (14-minutes) went close to goals but the Westmeath goal remained intact.

In the second quarter, Westmeath outscored the men in green, 0-6 to 0-5.

Flanagan brought his tally to four points with another pair of scores, while Graeme Mulcahy marked his first start of the league with a neat score to become the seventh Limerick man on the scoresheet - a list including all the starting attack.

The third quarter was shared on the scoreboard - four points each.

Casey and Kyle Hayes edged Limerick six points clear on the restart after half time but the men in maroon then found three unanswered scores to leave it 0-16 to 0-13.

Gillane from a free and from play brought Limerick to 0-18 by the game's 53rd minute and now four points clear entering the final quarter.

Finally the goals arrived - wing back Kyle Hayes set the ball rolling in the 24th minute of the half.

Then in the final minute of the 35, sub Darren O'Connell had the second goal and two minutes later Pat Ryan had the third green flag.

SCORERS: Limerick: Aaron Gillane 0-9 (5frees, 1 '65), Seamus Flanagan 0-4, Kyle Hayes 1-1, Darren O'Connell and Pat Ryan 1-0 each, Tom Morrissey 0-3, Peter Casey and Barry Murphy (1free) 0-2 each, Brian O'Grady, Conor Boylan, Graeme Mulcahy, Gearoid Hegarty and Richie English 0-1 each.

Westmeath: Niall O'Brien 0-6 (5frees, 1 '65), Ciaran Doyle 0-3 (1free), Derek McNicholas, Aonghus Clarke and Josh Coll 0-2 each, Cormac Boyle, Alan Cox and Shane Clavin 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Jerome Boylan, Richie English, Barry Nash; Brian O'Grady, Ronan Connolly, Kyle Hayes; Robbie Hanley, Darragh O'Donovan; Tom Morrissey, Peter Casey, Conor Boylan; Aaron Gillane, Seamus Flanagan, Graeme Mulcahy. Subs: Adrian Breen for Seamus Flanagan (h-t), Pat Ryan for Graeme Mulcahy (49mins), William O'Donoghue for Robbie Hanley (49mins), Gearoid Hegarty for Tom Morrissey (56mins), Darren O'Connell for Peter Casey (61mins), Barry Murphy for Aaron Gillane (61mins), Dan Morrissey for Kyle Hayes (61mins).

WESTMEATH: Noel Conaty; Darragh Egerton, Tommy Gallagher, Conor Shaw; Aaron Craig, Tommy Doyle, Aonghus Clarke; Cormac Boyle, Shane Clavin; Niall O'Brien, Derek McNicholas, Joey Boyle; Darragh Clinton, Niall Mitchell, Ciaran Doyle. Subs: Josh Coll for Darragh Clinton (26mins), Kevin Regan for Aaron Craig (46mins), Alan Cox for Cormac Boyle (51mins), Shane Williams for Joey Boyle (61mins), Brendan Doyle for Darragh Egerton (61mins), Jordy Smith for Niall O'Brien (63mins).

REFEREE: Chris Mooney (Dublin).

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