DEBUTANT Cathal Downes grabbed two brilliant goals as Limerick easily swept past the feeble challenge of Waterford (4-14 to 0-9) in last night’s McGrath Cup Senior Football competition opener at Rathkeale’s Mick Neville Park.
Dual county performer Downes (Kildimo/Pallaskenry) grabbed three-pointers in either half, with other impressive scoring contributions from Adrian Enright (1-2) of Fr. Casey’s and Killian Ryan (1-0), Mungret/St. Paul’s.
No less than 13 players were in on the scoring act for Limerick, including All-Star nominated Cian Sheehan (0-2) of Newcastle West.
In damp and cold conditions, Limerick held a 2-5 to 0-7 interval advantage but then restricted their limited opponents to just a couple of points in the closing-half, during which themselves returned an impressive 2-9.
Next-up for Limerick is a round two fixture with Tipperary in Templetuohy on Saturday week. In between, lowly Waterford host Tipp in Dungarvan on Sunday next, with Timmy McGrath of Oola as referee.
It’s most probably that the victors from Templetuohy will emerge as finalists from Group B.
In Group A, All-Ireland Champions Kerry and title-holders were toppled by Cork, 5-11 to 0-14, at Páirc Uí Rinn last night. Midfielder Colm O’Callaghan emerged with a handsome 2-4.
An away win against Clare the weekend after next will suffice for Cork to qualify for the showdown on Wednesday, January 18.
Limerick have won the McGrath Cup on seven occasions, most recently in 2020.
The trophy was first presented in 1981 by Waterford’s Joe McGrath and was for a long time used to promote the game amongst the perceived weaker counties of the province.