Slick Limerick find their groove again as Waterford's season goes from bad to worse
Limerick 2-24 Waterford 0-10
Limerick’s All-Ireland retention plan is back on track, but Waterford’s championship race is all but run almost three weeks before mid-summer’s day.
They have one more Munster ‘round game’ game to play against Cork in Pairc Ui Chaoimh next Saturday but, similar to last year, it’s relevant only to the Leesiders, who have won one and lost one of their opening two games.
Defeats by Clare and Tipperary left Waterford needing to beat Limerick in Walsh Park to have any chance of staying in the All-Ireland race, but an against-the-odds success didn’t materialise. Instead, their run without a championship win lengthened to eight games, extending back to the 2017 All-Ireland final defeat by Galway.
Waterford didn’t even offer a decent challenge against opposition who looked as if they could have won by more if they really wanted. Indeed, their winning margin should have been considerably higher but they were let down by poor shooting, especially in the second half.
Limerick led by 1-10 to 0-7 at half-time, which was ominous for Waterford who had played with a strong wind. They started well, firing over three early points but once Limerick settled into a rhythm, they were in control all over the pitch.
Aaron Gillane’s 17th minute goal put them ahead for the first time and as their confidence grew, they put Waterford under enormous pressure.
They were two points ahead after 21 minutes and dominated the rest of the half, out-scoring Waterford by 0-5 to 0-2.
Gearoid Hegarty’s goal in the 38th minute extended Limerick’s lead to nine points and, from there to the finish, it was one-way traffic towards the city goal as Limerick added another 13 points.
Waterford’s last score came in the 48th minute and their miserable afternoon was compounded by the dismissal of Pauric Mahony in the 59th minute.
Truly, an awful day for the Deise, while Limerick were altogether different to the edgy outfit that lost to Cork last time out.
Scorers: Limerick: A Gillane 1-4 (4f), S Dowling 0-5 (4f), G Hegarty 1-1, K Hayes 0-3, P Casey, P O’Loughlin, D O’Donovan 0-2 each, D Hannon, T Morrissey,D Reidy, B Murphy 0-1, C Lynch 0-1 each
Waterford: P Mahony 0-7 (5f), Shane Bennett, Stephen Bennett, J Prendergast 0-1.
Limerick: N Quaid; S Finn, M Casey, R English; D Morrissey, D Hannon, P O’Loughlin; C Lynch, W O’Donoghue; G Hegarty, K Hayes, T Morrissey; A Gillane, G Mulcahy, P Casey.
Subs: D O’Donovan for O’Donoghue (49), B Murphy for Gillane (52), S Dowling for T Morrissey (54), D Reidy for Hegarty (61), P Ryan for Mulcahy (68).
Waterford: S O’Keeffe; C Lyons, C Prunty, N Connors; D Fives, T de Burca, K Moran; J Barron, A Gleeson; P Mahony, Stephen Bennett, J Prendergast; M Kearney, M Shanahan, T Ryan.
Subs: M Walsh for Shanahan (ht); Shane Bennett for Gleeson (ht), C Gleeson for Fives (51), B O’Halloran for Ryan (63), S McNulty for Connors (69).
Ref - F Horgan (Tipperary)