Waterford absorbed a late Limerick surge to edge an entertaining clash on Saturday afternoon at Fraher Field and chalk up their first win at minor level in four years.
They played an attractive style throughout and their full-forward line struck 1-8 between them. Despite their low levels of preparation, manager John Kiely wasn't surprised by the outcome. "I have always said that if we get the best lads out on the field at the one time in this county we would be as good as anybody," he said.
Waterford led 2-5 to 1-5 at the break, Tom Devine and Conor Gleeson with the Waterford goals, Jack English raising the green flag for Limerick.
Waterford's lead swelled to nine points when substitute Kevin Daly hit the net on 46 minutes. Limerick battled back with goals from Brian O'Connell and Kieran Daly but it was too little, too late.
Scorers – Waterford: C Gleeson 1-1, T Devine, K Daly 1-0 each, P O'Connor 0-4 (1f), M Troy 0-3 (1f), W Hahessy, C Curran 0-1 each. Limerick: J English 1-1, B O'Connell, K Daly 1-0 each, J Naughton (2fs, 1 '45'), J Breen (1f) 0-3 each, H Leahy, C Sheehan 0-1 each.
Waterford – C Brown; D Ryan, T Cooney, J Mullaney; B O'Keeffe, B Looby, J Barron; C Curran, T Devine; W Hahessy, M Casey, J Curry; M Troy, C Gleeson, P O'Connor. Subs: J Gleeson for Curry (h-t), K Daly for Casey (44), R Brown for Mullaney (55), C Murray for Troy (57).
Limerick – T Dwyer; S Mullins, J Murphy, D Cussen; S O'Dea, S Cahill, K Ryan; J Naughton, G Reidy; J English, C Sheehan, J Naughton; H Leahy, C O'Shea, J Breen. Subs: J O'Neill for Ryan (40), S Brosnan for Leahy (49), E Murphy for Cussen (49), K Daly for O'Shea (52).
Ref – K Murphy (Cork)