Wednesday 13 December 2017

First-half blitz gets Limerick off to a flier

Limerick 2-23 Wexford 0-15

Limerick's Paul Browne in action against Wexford's Lee Chin. Photo: Sam Barnes / Sportsfile
Limerick's Paul Browne in action against Wexford's Lee Chin. Photo: Sam Barnes / Sportsfile
Limerick's Cian Lynch competes for possession with Wexford's Andrew Kenny. Photo: Sam Barnes / Sportsfile

John Fallon

Limerick got their promotion bid up and running with a facile win over a Wexford side who looked well off the pace at the Gaelic Grounds last night.

Wexford offered only scant resistance as TJ Ryan's men cantered home in a poor contest in the wet and cold.

Backed by the wind, Limerick made a blistering start and fired over four points in the opening five minutes as Tom Morrissey, Diarmuid Byrnes, Declan Hannon and Paul Browne found the range.

Wexford, with Jack Guiney being replaced before the match by Shane Tompkins, were slow to settle and only managed one point in the opening 21 minutes when Liam Og Gormley pointed after five minutes.

But with Browne landing a couple of more good points from distance and Barry Nash hitting a brace from the right wing, Ryan's men kept pulling away and led by 0-10 to 0-1 before Ian Byrne struck a free for Wexford.

Gavin O'Mahony responded for the Treaty men before Byrne got a second free to leave it 0-11 to 0-3 ten minutes from the break.

Limerick exploited Wexford's loose marking in the closing stages of the half to extend their lead with Hannon tacking on a couple and Byrnes, Browne and David Reidy also finding the range to open up a 0-16 to 0-4 lead at the interval.

Liam Dunne brought in Eoin Conroy, Eoin Moore and Podge Doran at the break and they upped the tempo after the restart to outscore the home side by 0-6 to 0-1 in the opening eleven minutes, with Harry Kehoe hitting four and Andrew Shore landing two after moving from defence to attack.

That left it 0-17 to 0-10 after Morrissey got Limerick's only point of the third quarter. Limerick supporters in the small crowd of 2,3359 began to worry but the Wexford revival suffered a massive set-back after 50 minutes when Graeme Mulcahy finished to the net after Morrissey's shot had been well saved by Fanning. There was no way back for Wexford after that, although both sides rapidly exchanged points in the closing stages, but Declan Hannon sealed the win with an injury-time goal.

Scorers - Limerick: D Hannon 1-4 (3f); G Mulcahy 1-1; P Browne & D Byrnes (3f) 0-4 each; B Nash, G O'Mahony & T Morrissey 0-2; J Fitzgibbon, D Reidy, C Lynch & S Tobin 0-1 each. Wexford: H Kehoe 0-6 (0-6f); A Shore, L Chin, I Byrne (2f) 0-2; M O'Hanlon, L Óg McGovern, S Murphy 0-1.

Limerick: N Quaid; T Condon, R McCarthy, R English; D Morrissey, S Hickey; J Fitzgibbon, P Browne; B Nash, G O'Mahony, D Reidy; T Morrissey, D Hannon, C Lynch. Subs: G Mulchay for Nash (47), D O'Donovan for Fitzgibbon (53), S Tobin for Reidy (61).

Wexford: M Fanning; A Kenny, M O'Hanlon, J Breen; A Shore, L Ryan, P Foley; L Chin, H Kehoe; C Dunbar, A Nolan, I Byrne; D Dunne, S Tompkins, L Óg McGovern. Subs: S Murphy for Dunbar (27), E Conroy for Foley (h-t), E Moore for Nolan (h-t), P Doran for Byrne (h-t), J O'Connor for Tompkins (58).

Referee: D Kirwan (Cork)

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