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Limerick plunder Kingdom

When Kerry led by double scores after 20 minutes, it seemed a huge shock might be in store at Kilmallock but a string of points helped the home side to lead 0-14 to 1-6 at the interval before they cruised home.

They eventually dished out a 15- point mauling to Kerry, who struggled to find scores from play. Limerick are now through to the final, with just Antrim still to play on Sunday week.

Limerick manager Donal O'Grady will welcome that outing because he did not learn a great deal from this one apart from the fact that teenager Kevin Downes blossomed, with Richie McCarthy again having a terrific outing, while Pat Tobin continued to shine up front.

But it was not all sunshine and roses in the first half as Kerry -- backed by the strong breeze -- jumped into a double-scores lead, 1-5 to 0-4, with their goal being scored by their man of the match Darragh O'Connell on 20 minutes after hesitancy in the Limerick defence.

That goal sparked Limerick to life and they hit seven points without reply from Niall Moran (three), Paul Browne (two), Sean Tobin and Kevin Downes as the game quickly became a one-sided contest.

Into the second half and Limerick had three more points on the board before they finally killed the game off when Richie McCarthy raced through, spotted Downes and handpassed to the teenager who blasted past Bernard Rochford.

Paul Browne returned to the Limerick midfield and he was one of the most prominent in that area and he contributed three points, all from play.

Kerry flattered to deceive and but for the scoring deeds of O'Connell, they would have gone under by a bigger margin. O'Connell scored 1-6 of their total including three pointed frees. Shane Nolan was their only other scorer from play with a point in each half.

Man of the Match: Darragh O'Connell (Kerry)

Scorers -- Limerick: K Downes 1-3, R McCarthy 0-5 (3f), P Tobin, N Moran 0-4 each, P Browne 0-3, J Ryan, E Ryan 0-2 each, S Tobin 0-1. Kerry: D O'Connell 1-6 (3f), S Nolan 0-2, J Egan 0-1 (1f).

Limerick -- N Quaid 5; D Moloney 6, G O'Mahoney 6, T Condon 5; W McNamara 5, S Hickey 6, D Breen 4; D O'Grady, P Browne 7; N Moran 7, R McCarthy 8, J Ryan 6; S Tobin 5, K Downes 8, P Tobin 7. Subs: E Ryan 6 for O'Grady (h-t), P McNamara 5 for McCarthy (51), B Hourican 5 for Moran (57), D Reale 4 for Condon (61).

Kerry -- B Rochford 5; E Fitzgerald 3, T Murnane 6, C Harris 6; P O'Grady 5, M Conway 6, J Casey 5; P Costelloe 5, D Dinneen 6; S Nolan 7, L Boyle 6, D Fitzell 5; J Egan 5, A Boyle 6, D O'Connell 8. Subs: B Brosnan 6 for Fitzgerald (40), P O'Keeffe 6 for Boyle (47), D Wallace 5 for Costelloe (52).

Ref -- S Whelan (Wexford).

Irish Independent