Jaded Wexford annihilated as Limerick cut loose
Wexford's fairytale run through the 2014 hurling championship was brought to a shuddering halt with 4-26 to 1-11 defeat to Limerick at Semple Stadium this afternoon.
Playing for a fourth weekend in a row finally caught up with the Model men as they visibly suffered at the hands of their much fresher opponents.
A Limerick defence expertly marshaled by Richie McCarthy and Wayne McNamara were completely dominant throughout while Graeme Mulcahy and Shane Dowling were the tormentors-in-chief at the other end as Limerick hit 4-21 from play.
TJ Ryan's team will now face Brian Cody's Kilkenny in an All-Ireland semi-final on August 10.
Limerick lost their captain Donal O'Grady before the throw-in with Tomas Ryan coming in and with the breeze at their backs they made the brighter opening.
Shane Dowling his four points inside the first 13 minutes and led Wexford by 0-7 to 0-3.
Wexford had an excellent chance to grab the game's first goal but Podge Doran couldn't hit the target from the 20-metre line and Graeme Mulcahy punished their wastefulness with his first point of the afternoon.
Paul Morris missed a couple of routine frees before Declan Hannon fired over his first score.
Wexford looked a little rattled but Diarmuid O'Keeffe was making an impact and he drilled over his second point of the game with his forward partners very quiet.
Shane Dowling and Paul Morris before long range scores from James Ryan, Wayne McNamara and a sixth Shane Dowling effort gave the Treaty men an eight-point advantage.
The task facing Wexford got even stiffer in the 27th minute when a superb flick from Shane Dowling released David Breen and he gave Mark Fanning no chance.
Graeme Mulcahy was finding space very easily scored a second before setting up Declan Hannon and the gap was out to 13.
Jack Guiney took over free-taking duties and lobbed over a brave before Conor McDonald finally got involved by raising a white flag and Wexford had scored three on the trot.
Liam Dunne must have been praying for the half-time whistle but by the time it came Shane Dowling had beaten Mark Fanning twice and TJ Ryan's side had a 16-point cushion at the break.
There was some controversy over Dowling's second which deflected off his hand before hitting the net but referee Barry Kelly was 100pc right in awarding the goal as the ball was in flight when it was touched.
Diarmuid O'Keeffe grabbed his third point for Wexford after the break but a fourth Limerick goal for midfielder Paul Browne put the result beyond any doubt.
Podge Doran responded but Limerick almost had a fifth goal but Mark Fanning denied Mulcahy with a terrific save.
Liam Dunne began ringing the changes as he looked to spark some kind of a revival and Conor McDonald pucked over his second but it was cancelled out by Declan Hannon.
Wexford couldn't get any change from the Limerick defence with Limerick continuing to tag on scores with subs Seanie Tobin and Tom Ryan chipping in.
Shane Tompkins grabbed a late consolation goal for Wexford and Conor McDonald and Tompkins again missed goal chances as the final whistle drew nearer.
There was more bad news for Wexford before the end as Matthew O'Hanlon received a straight red card on the stroke of 70 minutes for a strike on Shane Dowling's hand and Tipp ran out 24-point winners.