Limerick did enough in the Gaelic Grounds yesterday evening to reach yet another Munster semi final, against Clare in Ennis on June 28. Limerick will be happy with their work but know there is a lot to do during the break if they are to reach a 5th consecutive Munster final.
Limerick came out on top 0-19 to 1-7 in a game that lacked the intensity that Limerick showed in their narrow loss to Tipp in their previous outing.
Limerick started the brighter, leading by 0-4 to no score inside the opening 5 minutes with points from Rory Duff, Paul O’Brien, Ronan Connoly and Dylan O’Shea.
However Limerick would score only one further point over the next 20 minutes as a goal from a penalty from Thomas Douglas pulled Waterford 0-5 to 1-2 level.
Yet, as they started the first half so well, Limerick finished stronger with four more unanswered scores, three placed balls from O’Brien and a second point from open play by O’Shea to give them a 0-9 to 1-2 lead at the break.
In a game that lacked any fight, Limerick let Waterford back into the contest after the restart as they saw their lead cut to a single point, 0-10 to 1-6, with 20 minutes to play.
Limerick, showed their class however, to pull away from the visitors once more and scores from David Woulfe (2), O’Shea, Connoly coupled with O’Brien’s accuracy from frees saw Limerick coast into the Munster Semi Final 0-19 to 1-7 victors.
Speaking to Sporting Limerick after the game, Matt O’Callaghan drew some insights from the game. Discussing the performance of the Limerick side he said,
“(It was a good) a good performance if winning the match is the criteria for a good performance but overall I would say that it was a patchy performance”
O’Callaghan noted how the Waterford side that lined out last night were much poorer than the sides Limerick have played in recent years, most motably the replayed finals in 2013 and 2014.
“They were able to drag Limerick down to their level”
Overall, O’Callaghan was pleased with the performance of the minors who now have a six week break until the Munster semi final.
However, he highlighted the fact that this was Waterford’s third loss of the competition already. Had they beaten Limerick and reached the Munster final, they could have made an All-Ireland final whilst losing three games during the summer.
Disussing the possibility of a round robin format in Munster, he agreed, outlining the unfair nature of the competition as it is,
“It (Round robin format) would be more equitable, Cork are in the situation now that they get no second chance”
For now anyways, Limerick can look forward to a semi final clash with Clare at the end of June.
You can hear Matt’s views on the game by clicking below
LIMERICK: Daithi Heffernan (Mallow); Conor Flahive (Mungret St Pauls), Conor Nicholas (Monaleen), Ciaran Barry (Ahane); Mikey O’Brien (Doon), Jerome Boylan (Na Piarsaigh), Michael O’Grady (Knockainey); Rory Duff (Mungret St Pauls), Dan Minehan (Ahane); Ronan Connolly (Adare), Paul O’Brien (Mungret St. Pauls), David Woulfe (Kilmallock); Dylan O’Shea (Garryspillane), Paul O’Riordan (Bruff), Ryan Tobin (Garryspillane). Subs: Brian O’Grady (Kilteely-Dromkeen) for Mikey O’Brien, inj (13mins), Eoin Sheehan (Garryspillane) for Paul O’Riordan (40mins), Jack Ryan (Doon) for Rory Duff (40mins), Calvin Carroll (Patrickswell) for Ryan Tobin (48mins).
WATERFORD: Eoghan Browne; Dan Booth, Matt Noonan, Tadhg Foley; Mairtin Power, Tom Barron, Luke O’Brien; Sean Whelan Barrett, Edward Cullen; Conor Whelan, Iarlaith Daly, Ian Beecher; Tom Looby, Thomas Douglas, Billy Power. Subs: Niall O’Keeffe for Conor Whelan (h-t), John Devine for Tom Looby (h-t), Sean Carton for Thomas Douglas (48mins), Kyle Bennett for Ian Beecher (56mins), Evan McGrath for Billy Power (56mins).