A late flurry of goals from Waterford condemned the Limerick minors to a first defeat in this years Munster Minor championship as they were beaten 2-17 to 1-13 in the Gaelic Grounds today. Limerick head to Ennis next Sunday knowing a Munster final spot is still in their own hands.
Michael Kiely opened Waterford’s account with a 65 and a point from a free as the Déise opened brightly while Limerick were somewhat sluggish.
Antóin Power’s side did eventually open their account in the 8th minute with a Cathal O’Neill free following a foul on Bob Purcell. Cormac Ryan tapped over the equaliser a minute later.
Waterford responded with the next two points courtesy of an Oisín O’Ceallaigh and another Kiely free to restore their two point lead.
Cormac Ryan then scored a fine point from play to cut the gap to just one point once again.
By now Waterford were beginning to assert their dominance as they rattled off the next four points in a row courtesy of Chris Kavanagh, Oisín O’Ceallaigh and two Caolan McGrath points, one of which was a superb sideline cut from the Mackey Stand sideline.
Waterford now had a five point lead and Limerick needed a response. It came through Patrick Kirby and Cormac Ryan whose points cut the gap to just a goal.
Limerick conceded another free which waterford’s Michael Kiely converted before Kirby responded in kind for Antóin Power’s side.
James Power restored Waterford’s lead to four but Limerick’s Cathal O’Neill had the last word the the opening half with a point from play to make it Limerick 0-7, Waterford 0-10.
It was a below par opening for Limerick who lever hit the heights of the heights of the Cork game.
Waterford extended their lead early in the second half through Sam Fitzgerald. The sides then exchanged a brace of points each with Barry O’Connor and Bob Purcell pointing for the home side.
Cathal O’Neill would net the opening goal of the game on 43 minutes after some fine work from Bryan Nix to reduce the deficit to one before Purcell levelled the game with a fine score five minutes later.
Waterford would add on the next couple of scores through Paddy Leevy and the impressive James Power before Micheal Martin and O’Neill from a free responded in kind for Limerick.
Power would put Waterford ahead with three minutes of normal time remains from a tricky angle before O’Neill once more levelled as the game looked set to finish in a draw.
However, it was not to be for Limerick as Waterford scored 2-1 in injury time without reply to secure a hard-fought seven point victory.
Limerick now face Clare next Sunday knowing a victory will guarantee a Munster final berth.