Waterford Crystal Cup Quarter Final – Limerick 2-15 Waterford 1-15

Limerick defeated Waterford by 2-15 to 1-15 in the Quarter Final of the Waterford Crystal Cup on Saturday January 17th at Kilmallock.

One goal allows Limerick to beat Waterford

By Brendan Buckley for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Limerick 2-15 Waterford 1-15

Waterford Crystal Cup

Limerick and Waterford will meet in the key opening round game in the National League under the floodlights of the Gaelic Grounds on St Valentine’s Night. For TJ Ryan and Derek McGrath that February 14 date is the early season target but for now any pre-league confidence boost goes to Limerick. This was the Shannonsiders’ first outing of 2015 and they returned to action with seven of their side that last saw action in Croke Park in August’s All-Ireland SHC semi-final epic with Kilkenny.

Limerick manager TJ Ryan saw plenty merit to his side’s quarter-final win. “We struggled early — we had a couple of half chances of goals and eight wides in the first half but at this time of the year those things happen but we would have to say that overall it was a good performance.”

His side now meet UCC in next weekend’s semi-final in a competition Limerick haven’t won since 2006. “It’s a great tournament for trying out fellas — we had only one of our starting forwards from last year starting so there were five new forwards and its a good opportunity. There are a couple of guys out injured — Kevin Downes and Seanie Tobin so other guys will get an opportunity,” explained Ryan.

In the opening quarter, his Limerick side struggled against a Waterford outfit that defeated Limerick IT in a preliminary round game the previous weekend. Waterford boss McGrath kept faith with 11 of that side, with Pauric Mahony not involved and Michael Walsh and Barry Coughlan introduced as subs.

That win over the students appeared to give Waterford an early edge and they led 1-7 to 0-3 after 26 minutes with Martin O’Neill, Thomas Connors and Shane O’Sullivan all finding the range. Then in the 22nd minute Jake Dillon goaled to push his side seven clear. But Limerick found form before the break with Adrian Breen goaling in injury time to leave the half time score 1-8 to 1-7 and Ryan a little more content.

“We struggled early on but the five or six minutes before half time was probably what won the game for us,” he outlined. On the changeover, Limerick looked sharper. A Dillon free had Waterford’s lead back to two points before Donal O’Grady and Tom Morrissey (free) tied the encounter for the first time.

Then came a stroke of luck for Limerick when Stephen O’Keeffe couldn’t scramble across his goal line in time after Shane Fives’ hurley had diverted the sliotar goalwards as battled for a dropping ball with Limerick full forward Patrick Begley. Limerick were in front for the first time and they never relinquished the lead.

Last year’s Munster MHC winning captain Cian Lynch was one of three debutants for Limerick and his third point of the day stretched the advantage. Back came Waterford but O’Neill (2frees) and Thomas Connors scores couldn’t haul back Limerick. Tom Morrissey, Cathal King and O’Grady had Limerick four clear with five minutes to play. Two further O’Neill scores cut the deficit but there was to be no late dramatics as Limerick turn attentions to UCC and Waterford to that NHL meeting early next month.

Scorers for Limerick: A Breen 1-2, C Lynch 0-3, S Fives 1-0 (og), C King, T O’Brien (1f), D O’Grady, T Morrissey (1f) 0-2 each, D Morrissey, S Dowling (1f) 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: M O’Neill 0-8 (6f), J Dillon 1-3 (3f), T Connors 0-2, S O’Sullivan, S Bennett 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: N Quaid; T Condon, R McCarthy, S Hickey; C Allis, W McNamara, D Morrissey; J Ryan, C King; D Breen, N Moran, C Lynch; T O’Brien, P Begley, A Breen.
Subs: D O’Grady for D Breen (10), T Morrissey for O’Brien (h-t), P Browne for Moran (55), S Dowling for A Breen (61).

WATERFORD: S O’Keeffe; M McNulty, S Fives, N Connors; G O’Brien, A Gleeson, P Walsh; M O’Neill, S O’Sullivan; K Moran, T Connors, D Breathnach; B O’Halloran, J Dillon, M Kearney.
Subs: C Curran for Breathnach (39), M Walsh for O’Halloran (50), S Bennett for T Connors (56), B Coughlan for Dillon (66).

Referee: D Fox (Clare)

Limerick hurlers beat Waterford in opening game of 2015

by Jerome O’Connell for the Limerick Leader newspaper

THE Limerick senior hurlers got 2015 off to a wining start this Saturday afternoon with a 2-15 to 1-15 win over Waterford in the Waterford Crystal Cup in Kilmallock. The win books TJ Ryan’s side a semi final spot against UCC.

Limerick lined out with seven of the side that lost to Kilkenny in Croke Park last August in the All Ireland SHC semi-final. But this early season win over Waterford also saw two debuts with Cian Lynch and Patrick Begley making their first starts for the county senior side in a competitive fixture. Tom Morrissey made his first appearance in a senior jersey as a half time substitute.

Waterford were fast from the blocks and led 1-7 to 0-3 after 26-minutes. Jake Dillon had their goal after 22-minutes. But Limerick finally came to life just before half time with Cian Lynch and Adrian Breen each hitting two points to leave the scoreboard reading Waterford 1-8 to 1-7 ahead at the break. The Limerick goal came in first half injury time from Adrian Breen.

In the second half Limerick looked the better team. They were helped on their way by an own goal in the 10th minute of the second half. Shane Fives got the last touch when he contested a dropping ball with Patrick Begley after Donal O’Grady had delivered into the goalmouth. Limerick added a point and were 2-10 to 1-9 ahead with 20-minutes to play.

But the Limerick defence was now on top and Waterford were restricted to just three points from play in the second half. Debutantes Lynch and Tom Morrissey and also Cathal King scored fine points for a 2-12 to 1-12 lead with 10-minutes to play. Donal O’Grady and Dan Morrissey then found the range from distance to ensure the merited win, which was a first over an inter-county team in this competition since 2006.

SCORERS: Limerick: Adrian Breen 1-2, Cian Lynch 0-3, Cathal King, Thomas O’Brien (1free), Donal O’Grady, Tom Morrissey (1free) 0-2 each, Dan Morrissey, Shane Dowling (free) 0-1 each. Waterford: Martin O’Neill 0-8 (6frees), Jake Dillon 1-3 (0-3frees), Thomas Connors 0-2, Shane O’Sullivan, Shane Bennett 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Tom Condon, Richie McCarthy, Seamus Hickey; Conor Allis, Wayne McNamara, Dan Morrissey; James Ryan, Cathal King; David Breen, Niall Moran, Cian Lynch; Thomas O’Brien, Patrick Begley, Adrian Breen. Subs: Donal O’Grady for David Breen, inj (10mins), Tom Morrissey for Thomas O’Brien, inj (h-t), Paul Browne for Niall Moran, inj (55mins), Shane Dowling for Adrian Breen (61mins).

WATERFORD: Stephen O’Keeffe; Mark McNulty, Shane Fives, Noel Connors; Gavin O’Brien, Austin Gleeson, Pa Walsh; Martin O’Neill, Shane O’Sullivan; Kevin Moran, Thomas Connors, Donie Breathnach; Brian O’Halloran, Jake Dillon, Michael Kearney. Subs: Cormac Curran for Donie Breathnach (39mins), Michael Walsh for Brian O’Halloran (50mins), Shane Bennett for Thomas Connors (56mins), Barry Coughlan for Jake Dillon (66mins).

REFEREE: Damien Fox (Clare).

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