Limerick book League semi final spot with win over Waterford

Limerick are into the Allianz League Division 1 Hurling League semi final after a 1-21 to 1-17 victory over Waterford at the LIT Gaelic Grounds.

Gearoid Hegarty’s first half goal proved vital for John Kiely’s side who made it five wins out of five in this year’s league.

Hegarty finished up with a scoring tally of 1-5 in what was an excellent performance by the St Patrick’s clubman.

Limerick made the early running with two Aaron Gillane frees before Pauric Mahony opened Waterford’s account with a placed ball in the fourth minute.

7 March 2020; David Dempsey of Limerick is tackled by Pauric Mahony of Waterford during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A Round 3 match between Limerick and Waterford at LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

The first score from play arrived when David Dempsey benefitted from some good work by Graeme Mulcahy.

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The Kilmallock man then found space to score the first of his three points in the opening half to give Limerick a 0-4 to 0-1 advantage after 13 minutes.

Jamie Barron then got Waterford’s only point from play in the half and that was followed up by two Mahony frees that cut Limerick’s lead to just a solitary point.

Gillane quickly responded with a fine effort from play and his third placed ball of the half before Hegarty hit the net on 28 minutes.

Gearoid Hegarty makes no mistake and smashes it to the net for @LimerickCLG. pic.twitter.com/pWNr2euNm1

— The GAA (@officialgaa) March 7, 2020

David Dempsey did brilliantly to catch a Cian Lynch high delivery before offloading to Hegarty, who then fired past Shaun O’Brien from close range.

Waterford came back into the game towards the end of the half through Mahony frees, but Limerick went in at the break 1-8 to 0-7 in front.

The Deise made a fine start to the second half with a Peter Hogan point, but efforts from Gillane and David Reidy saw Limerick keep control of the game.

7 March 2020; Cian Lynch of Limerick is tackled by Shane McNulty of Waterford during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A Round 3 match between Limerick and Waterford at LIT Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Scores from Iarlaith Daly and Stephen Bennett kept Waterford in touch. However, Limerick always had a response and upped the pace with outstanding points from Gillane, Mulcahy, Hegarty and Paddy O’Loughlin had Limerick 1-16 to 0-11 ahead after 57 minutes.

Waterford gave hope of a comeback with an excellent Jack Fagan goal, but Limerick cruised to victory in comprehensive fashion.

Scorers for Limerick: Gearoid Hegarty 1-5, Aaron Gillane 0-7 (5f), Graeme Mulcahy 0-4, David Dempsey 0-2, David Reidy, Paddy O’Loughlin and Robbie Hanley 0-1 each.

Limerick: Nickie Quaid; Barry Nash, Mike Casey, Aaron Costello; Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Dan Morrissey; Cian Lynch, Kyle Hayes; Gearoid Hegarty, David Reidy, Conor Boylan; Aaron Gillane, David Dempsey, Graeme Mulcahy.

Subs: Sean Finn for Costello (38 mins), Paddy O’Loughlin for Byrnes (44 mins), Darren O’Connell for Dempsey (59 mins), Brian Ryan for Boylan (66 mins), Robbie Hanley for Hayes (69 mins).

It’s @LimerickCLG who lead @WaterfordGAA at half-time. Watch all the first half highlights here on GAANOW!!! pic.twitter.com/r2ShCirjTT

— The GAA (@officialgaa) March 7, 2020

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