Stylish Limerick trounce Waterford at the Gaelic Grounds

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Graeme Mulcahy got Limerick's second goal despite the attention of Conor Gleeson. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Limerick are within reach of getting to the Munster Hurling Championship Final after demolishing Waterford on a 2-26 to 1-16 scoreline at the Gaelic Grounds.

The game was over as a contest in the first half after Gearoid Hegarty and Graeme Mulcahy buried goals for Limerick in the 10th and 13th minutes.

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That put John Kiely’s side 2-5 to 0-2 up and they never looked like relinquishing that advantage at any stage.

Shane Dowling excelled for Limerick with a tally of 15 points as he announced his return to the starting lineup with a bang.

Three Dowling points in a row had Limerick 0-5 to 0-2 ahead before an excellent move resulted in Hegarty firing Limerick six points clear.

Kyle Hayes and Seamus Flanagan combined to set the St Patrick’s clubman away and he beat Stephen O’Keeffe with a powerful low finish.

Moments later Limerick’s advantage was at nine as Mulcahy pounced after O’Keeffe made a mess of Flanagan’s mishit shot.

Limerick upped the pace for the remainder of the half with Cian Lynch and Dowling the star turns. They helped Kiely’s men into a 2-14 to 0-7 lead at the interval.

The game continued in the same vein after the break with Dowling and Kyle Hayes helping themselves to a couple of points as Lynch and Darragh O’Donovan dominated midfield.

Tommy Ryan gave Waterford a glimpse of a comeback with a 42nd minute goal but it proved scant consolation as Limerick romped home to a 13-point win.

Limerick Scorers – Shane Dowling 0-15 (13fs), Gearoid Hegarty 1-1, Cian Lynch 0-3, Graeme Mulcahy 1-0, Tom Morrissey and Kyle Hayes 0-2 each, Darragh O’Donovan (sideline), Seamus Flanagan and David Dempsey 0-1 each.

Waterford Scorers – Pauric Mahony 0-10 (9fs), Tommy Ryan 1-0, DJ Foran, Tom Devine, Stephen Bennett, Stephen O’Keeffe, Maurice Shanahan and Mikey Kearney 0-1 each.

Limerick: Nickie Quaid; Sean Finn, Mike Casey, Richie English; Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Dan Morrissey; Darragh O’Donovan, Cian Lynch; Tom Morrissey, Kyle Hayes, Gearoid Hegarty, Shane Dowling, Seamus Flanagan, Graeme Mulcahy; Subs: David Dempsey for Hegarty (54 mins), Barry Murphy for Mulcahy (61 mins), Will O’Donoghue for O’Donovan (63 mins), Barry Nash for Flanagan (68 mins), Paul Browne for Lynch (68 mins).

Waterford: Stephen O’Keeffe; Shane Fives, Conor Gleeson, Noel Connors; Michael Walsh, Austin Gleeson, Phillip Mahony; Jamie Barron, Stephen Roche; Kevin Moran, Pauric Mahony, DJ Foran; Stephen Bennett, Tom Devine, Patrick Curran; Subs: Maurice Shanahan for Bennett (h-t), Tommy Ryan for Curran (h-t), Jake Dillon for Roche (52 mins), Mikey Kearney for Barron (65 mins).

Referee: Sean Cleere (Kilkenny)