Relief for Allen as Limerick hold firm
Limerick manager John Allen admitted that his side had played poorly after a scare against Carlow at the Gaelic Grounds but he emphasised the positive of having full points from two games.
His opposite number, John Meyler, said: "I am only happy when we win. We had the chances to have at least drawn and failed to take them. Against a side like Limerick you cannot afford to miss the chances."
Carlow were first on the scoreboard when Shane Kavanagh had two points in rapid succession, one from a free.
It was all of six minutes before Seamus Hickey had Limerick's first point. Sean Murphy then made it 0-3 to 0-1 for the visitors but on 12 minutes Declan Hannon struck a goal from a 20-metre free for Limerick.
Kavanagh had it all square after 14 minutes and Limerick suffered a blow when their captain and centre-back Donal O'Grady suffered a collarbone injury. He is likely to be out of action for several weeks.
Kavanagh and Edward Coady moved Carlow back into a three-point lead but Limerick struck for a magnificent goal on 25 minutes with a bullet-like shot from Hannon.
Two minutes later, Limerick had a third goal from Sean Tobin to leave it 3-2 to 0-8 at the interval.
Graeme Mulcahy's point and two more by Hannon left Limerick in a comfortable position at 3-5 to 0-8. Craig Doyle and Kavanagh narrowed the gap before Hannon had three points without reply.
But the game came to life in the final six minutes after Doyle added a goal and point for Carlow to leave three between them.
An exchange of points followed and Carlow had a great chance of a goal but Doyle, after racing clean through, was unable to lift the ball and the defence got back to clear.
Man of the Match: D Hannon (Limerick)
Scorers – Limerick: D Hannon 2-6 (1-5f), S Tobin 1-0, S Hickey, G Mulcahy, A Breen, P O'Brien 0-1 each. Carlow: S Kavanagh 0-9 (6f), C Doyle 1-2, E Coady, S Murphy 0-1 each.
Limerick – A Murphy 6; A Dempsey 6, R McCarthy 7, T Condon 7; C King 5, D O'Grady 6, G O'Mahoney 6; P Browne 7, P O'Brien 7; D Hannon 8, S Hickey 8, D Breen 6; G Mulcahy 6, N Moran 5, S Tobin 6. Subs: W McNamara 6 for O'Grady (20), K Downes 5 for Moran (h-t), J Ryan 6 for O'Mahoney (49), A Breen 5 for Tobin (52), S Dowling 6 for Mulcahy (67).
Carlow – N Roberts 6; H P O'Byrne 7, E Nolan 5, D Shaw 6; J O'Hara 6, R Coady 6, Derek Byrne 5; M Brennan 6, E Coady 6; S Murphy 5, S Kavanagh 7, J Kavanagh 5; P Nolan 5, JM Nolan 5, C Doyle 7. Subs: D Roberts 5 for P Nolan (h-t), Diarmuid Byrne 5 for Derek Byrne (45), P Coady 5 for J Kavanagh (45), A Gaule 5 for JM Nolan (51), A McDonnell 5 for O'Hara (47).
Ref – C McAllister (Cork)