Friday 6 December 2019

Impressive Morrissey turns tide as Treaty find another gear to retain crown

Limerick 0-24 Waterford 0-18 - Munster MHC final replay

Limerick captain Cian Lynch and his teammates celebrate with the cup after victory over Waterford in the Munster MHC final replay at Semple Stadium. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Limerick captain Cian Lynch and his teammates celebrate with the cup after victory over Waterford in the Munster MHC final replay at Semple Stadium. Photo: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Colin Ryan of Limerick is pursued by Waterford’s Michael Cronin during last night’s Munster MHC final replay. SPORTSFILE
Shane Ryan, Waterford, in action against Sean Finn, Limerick in the HMC final Replay. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
Limerick captain Cian Lynch is presented with the cup by Jerry O'Sullivan, Munster council vice-chairman, after victory over Waterford . Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

Jackie Cahill

Ten points from Ronan Lynch ensured that Limerick retained their crown in Thurles last night.

The young Shannonsiders came from three points down early in the second half to blitz Waterford with a stunning final quarter at Semple Stadium, in front of 6,165 spectators. In the final 16 minutes plus stoppage time, Limerick outscored the Deise by 0-9 to 0-1 to ensure back-to-back provincial titles at minor level for the first time in the county's history.

Lynch claimed the scoring plaudits but central to this victory was Tom Morrissey's second-half prominence, while Barry Nash was also impressive.

The Deise led by 0-13 to 0-11 at the break, but Ahane's Morrissey profited from a switch to the half-forward line and his run of three points without reply, from the 44th to 48th minutes, was crucial.

Morrissey's first point levelled the tie for the 10th time at 0-17 apiece and two more had Limerick sensing glory.

Peter Casey, another who impressed, popped over his third point to establish a three-point advantage before sub Eddie Meaney, with his second, raised Waterford's final white flag with 11 minutes remaining.

Having previously hit five points without reply, Limerick responded with another scoring purple patch, slotting over the final four scores of the game to book a place in the All-Ireland semi-finals. Waterford, meanwhile, must regroup for a difficult All-Ireland quarter-final showdown with Dublin next Sunday, again in Thurles.

For the second successive year, Waterford have suffered Munster final heartbreak at Limerick's hands in a replay.

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Waterford goalkeeper Billy Nolan – who was fortunate not to concede a first-half penalty – could at least reflect upon a clean sheet and he pulled off a quite superb diving save to keep out Seamus Flanagan's 43rd-minute effort.

But featuring seven starting survivors from the team that lined out in last year's Munster final replay, Limerick would finish in style to claim a seventh provincial crown.

Scorers – Limerick: R Lynch 0-10 (6fs, 3 '65s'), T Morrissey 0-5, P Casey, B Nash 0-3 each, C Ryan 0-2, R Hanley 0-1. Waterford: P Curran 0-8 (6fs), C Roche 0-4, S Ryan, E Meaney 0-2 each, C Curran, P Hogan 0-1 each.

LIMERICK – E McNamara; S Finn, P O'Loughlin, J Porter; L Lyons, A La Touche Cosgrave, C Byrnes; R Hanley, C Lynch; R Lynch, B Nash, S Flanagan; C Ryan, T Morrissey, P Casey. Subs: E Doyle for Lyons (37).

WATERFORD – B Nolan; D Prendergast, E Hayden, M Cronin; C Prunty, C Gleeson, J Mullaney; S Bennett, C Curran; P Hogan, C Roche, A Molumby; P Curran, D Lyons, S Ryan. Subs: E Meaney for Molumby (h-t), A O'Sullivan for Hogan (50), S Murray for Prendergast (53).

Ref – J McCormack (Tipperary).

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