Operation transformation for the Limerick hurlers continued at the Gaelic Grounds yesterday when they beat Westmeath, but not without a scare.
All looked well when Limerick led 0-5 to 0-2 inside eight minutes, but points by Derek McNicholas, Ciaran Curley and Dan Carthy soon had Westmeath level.
Donal O'Grady brought on Brian Geary and Pat Tobin for the start of the second half and Tobin had been in the action for only four minutes when he raced on to a handpass from Kevin Downes to blast past Pat Burke and put Limerick 1-12 to 0-9 in front.
Limerick never looked back, but it took two fine saves from Nicky Quaid to deny Westmeath goals by Brendan Murtagh and McNicholas.
Scorers -- Limerick: J Ryan, R McCarthy (4f) 0-5 each, E Ryan 0-4 (3f 1 65), P Tobin 1-1, D O'Grady, N Maher 0-2 each, A O'Shaughnessy 0-1. Westmeath: A Mitchell 0-4 (1f, 1 '65'), D Carthy 0-3 (2f), E Price, B Smyth, B Murtagh (1f) 0-2 each, N Flanagan, C Curley 0-1 each.
Limerick: N Quaid; S Walsh, S Lucey, D Moloney; W McNamara, S Hickey, P O'Brien; D O'Grady, E Ryan; R McCarthy, J Ryan, N Maher; A O'Shaughnessy, K Downes, G Mulcahy. Subs: B Geary for Lucey (h-t), P Tobin for O'Shaughnessy (h-t), K O'Rourke for O'Brien (67), B Hourigan for McCarthy (67).
Westmeath: P Burke; R Whelan, P Greville, E Price; P Gilsenan, A Mitchell, J Shaw; N Flanagan, C Curley; B Smyth, D McNicholas, B Murtagh; A Devine, B Leharte, S Carthy. Subs: J Clarke for Carthy (47), C Mackey for Leharte (47), D Golden for Devine (65), A Prior for Curley (65).
Referee: A Stapleton (Laois)
Sunday Indo Sport