All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Qualifier Phase 1 – Limerick 8-26 Antrim 1-15

GAA Hurling All-Ireland Qualifiers Phase 1 : Limerick 8-26 Antrim 1-15

Report from the GAA.ie web site

Limerick moved into Phase III of the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship on Saturday with a massive 32-point win over Antrim at the Gaelic Grounds. Limerick hit four goals in an astonishing first 10 minutes, and while Antrim recovered a little for the remainder of the first half, they completely capitulated in the second, as Limerick racked up a huge tally, which included four more goals. The first ten minutes of the game were about as dramatic as possible, with Limerick hitting four goals to move into a 4-2 to 0-3 lead.

The first goal came within less than a minute, Seanie Tobin rattling to the net after an assist from Tommy O’Brien. Just five minutes passed before the second goal came, Shane Dowling firing home his first of the day to make it 2-1 to 0-2. As bad as the first five minutes were for Antrim, the second five were nearly worse, with goals from Niall Moran and Dowling in the space of 50 seconds giving the early scoreline a scarcely credible look.

Antrim responded with points from Shane McNaughton (2) and Liam Watson, but when Graeme Mulcahy fired in a fifth goal with less than 16 minutes played, the scoreline was 5-2 to 0-5 and it was clearly going to be a difficult afternoon for Antrim. They steadied the ship somewhat before half-time, and aided by some excellent point-scoring by McNaughton and Watson, were back to 5-4 to 0-12 after 29 minutes. Limerick finished the half strongly though, and scores from Mulcahy and O’Brien left them 5-7 to 0-13 up at half-time.

Unfortunately for Antrim, the second half was a humiliating experience, best exemplified by the fact that Limerick added 3-15 in the first 20 minutes of the half. Dowling completed his hat-trick three minutes after the restart, and then a run of points, from Declan Hannon (2), Tobin, Dowling, Mulcahy made it 6-18 to 0-14. Niall Moran got his team’s seventh goal with a kicked finish after 50 minutes, and the net rippled again shortly after with Mulcahy knocking one in. That left it 8-18 to 0-14, Antrim had scored just one point in the second half by that stage, and the final 15 minutes was painful viewing for Saffron hurling fans, as Limerick continued to add scores and extend what was already a massive lead. Neal McManus hit a late goal for Antrim, but it made almost no difference on a scoreboard laden down with Limerick goals and points.