Early McNamara brace not enough for 'tired' Limerick
Limerick manager Justin McCarthy does not seem to be going anywhere, not for the time being at least. On Saturday a statement released by the County Board indicated that although letters had been received from five clubs requesting a debate on the issue, no formal proposal was received and therefore the letters were sent back to the clubs.
The ball would now appear to be back in the club's court as they seek to oust McCarthy from the position. McCarthy himself will not make it easy for those who wish to see him out of the job.
On this game, McCarthy said that it was "our worst display" of the league to date saying: "They were a bit tired. We trained hard during the week. I'm not making excuses but it could have been a factor."
Limerick got off to a great start in this game in Dungarvan as they scored two goals in the first 11 minutes. Full-forward Paudie McNamara got the final touch on each occasion as he gave Waterford full-back Mark O'Brien a torrid first half.
However, Waterford rallied and, led superbly by Eoin Kelly at midfield, they fought their way back into the game and were level by half-time, mainly thanks to a Kelly goal from a 21-yard free.
The first half included 14 minutes of injury-time following a lengthy stoppage as Limerick goalkeeper Tadhg Flynn received treatment after a collision with Waterford corner-forward Eoin McGrath. Flynn eventually left the field in an ambulance and was replaced by debutant Barry Hennessy.
Hennessy was given no chance for Waterford's second goal, scored by centre-forward Kevin Moran four minutes after the interval. The Limerick defence failed to deal with a long delivery into the half-back line, Moran snapped up the loose ball before firing in the top corner.
This goal was the highlight of an impressive third quarter for Waterford as they shook off the lethargic challenge of Limerick.
Following an unimpressive first half, Waterford manager introduced John Mullane at half-time for his season opener. Mullane looked very sharp throughout the second half, as did fellow substitute Seamus Prendergast, who notched three points from play as Waterford ran away from Limerick to score a facile victory.
The game's most impressive performer was Waterford wing-back Jamie Nagle who impressed with his neat stickwork as well as his ability to field Limerick puck-outs. The inability of the Limerick half-forward line to win primary possession was a feature of the game.
Scorers -- Waterford: E Kelly 1-10 (1-0 pen, 0-8f, 0-1 '65), K Moran 1-2, M Shanahan 0-3, R Foley, S Prendergast 0-2 each, J Mullane 0-1. Limerick: P McNamara 2-0, T O'Brien 0-3 (0-3f), N Quaid, A O'Connor (0-2f), B O'Sullivan 0-2 each, C Mullane 0-1.
Waterford -- C Hennessy; E Murphy, M O'Brien, N Connors; A Kearney, S O'Sullivan, J Nagle; E Kelly, R Foley; T Connors, K Moran, S Molumphy; E McGrath, S Walsh, M Shanahan. Subs: S Prendergast for Connors, Mullane for McGrath, T Ryan for Molumphy, E Whelan for Walsh.
Limerick -- T Flynn; D Flynn, D Kenny, S O'Neill; L O'Dwyer, A Brennan, D Madden; N Quaid, P Browne; B O'Sullivan, J O'Brien, C Mullane; G Mulcahy, P McNamara, A O'Connor. Subs: B Hennessy for Flynn, T O'Brien for O'Connor, P Harty for Mullane, R McKeon for Mulcahy, M Deegan for Madden.
Ref -- J Ryan (Tipperary).