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Pivotal calls go against Deise

Meath referee Cormac Reilly was at the centre of another controversy when he awarded a penalty to Waterford at a crucial stage in the opening half, only to change his mind after being encouraged to consult his umpires.

And he also dished out a straight red card to Waterford full-forward Gary Hurney in the second-half, again after consulting his umpires.

Reilly -- who awarded Dublin a late match-winning free against Kildare -- ruled that Waterford forward Paul Whyte was fouled by Tommy Stack. Limerick strongly protested and Reilly threw up the ball after then consulting his umpires.

At the time Limerick were leading by a point after 17 minutes even though they were playing against the wind and they immediately broke down field to double their lead. Deise heads dropped after that and Limerick went on to open up a lead of 0-8 to 0-3 after 27 minutes. Points from Patrick Hurney, Brian Wall and Whyte helped them to reduce the deficit to 0-9 to 0-7 at the interval.

Waterford did not use the wind well in the opening half and struggled to counter Limerick's strong running game with Stephen Kelly and Seamus O'Carroll creating gaps with some fine solo runs.

Limerick, like Waterford in the opening half, did not take advantage of the wind and they went 14 minutes scoreless after the break before Kelly pointed a free to put them into a lead they never lost. Kelly then added a fine effort from play to steady the Limerick nerves and there was no way back for Waterford when Gary Hurney received a straight red card for hitting out at Tom Lee an hour in after a scuffle in the middle of the field.

Limerick pushed on from there and Ger Collins pointed a free with five minutes remaining to leave a goal between them and, with their excellent defence shutting out anything Waterford could muster, the home side prevailed. They sealed a deserved success in the closing minutes as Kelly brought his haul to 0-7, four of them from play, and substitute John Cooke also hit the target to set up a clash with Wexford.

Waterford would have felt beforehand that if they could have kept Ian Ryan, who scored 1-7 from play against Offaly last week, scoreless they would have had a great chance but they didn't count on Kelly shining instead for Limerick.

Scorers -- Limerick: S Kelly 0-7 (3f), J Mullane, S O'Carroll, G Collins (1f) 0-2 each, J Cooke 0-1. Waterford: P Whyte 0-4 (2f, 1'45), P Hurney 0-2, G Hurney, S Fleming (sl). B Wall (f) 0-1 each.

Limerick: B Scanlon; J McCarthy, T Stack, S Gallagher; M Sheehan, J Riordan, P Ranahan; S Buckley, T Lee; J Mullane, S Kelly, S Lavin; G Collins, S O'Carroll, I Ryan. Subs: B Fitzpatrick for Stack, 24; J Cooke for Sheehan, 46; E O'Connor for Mullane, 56; E Hogan for O'Carroll, 68; P Kinnerk for Lee, 72.

Waterford: K Cotter; T O'Gorman, C Phelan, M O'Gorman; W Hennessy, K Connery; T Grey; M Aherne, S Dempsey; C O'Keeffe, S Fleming, B Wall; P Hurney G Hurney, P Whyte. Subs: B Phelan for Dempsey, 31; C McGrath for Wall, half-time; T Connors for P Hurney, 62; JJ Hutchinson for Fleming, 72.

Referee: C Reilly (Meath)

Sunday Indo Sport