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Allianz Hurling League Division 1B – Limerick 0-23 Antrim 1-12

Limerick defeated Antrim by 0-23 to 1-12 in Round 2 of the Allianz Hurling League Division 1B on February 22nd in Ballycastle.

Div IB: Limerick see off Antrim with late surge


Limerick’s hurlers got their first win of the 2015 Allianz League Division 1B campaign with a 0-23 to 1-12 win over Antrim at Ballycastle.

The visitors got off to the better start and led by 0-2 to 0-0 after four minutes with Paul Browne and Shane Dowling on target. By the 10th minute it was all square at 0-3 apiece, with Paul Shiels landing two sublime points, and when Mattie Donnelly pointed, the home side went into the lead for the first time.

The heavy conditions didn’t make for attractive hurling and referee John Keenan had to throw in the sliotar on a number of occasions after it became buried in the soft Ballycastle surface. Three unanswered scores had Limerick 0-6 to 0-4 to the good on the 20-minute mark, with Séamus Hickey making a foray upfield to land his side’s sixth point of the day.

Antrim battled back, restoring parity through Ciaran Johnston and Neal McAuley. There was a moment of controversy when the umpires waived Donal O’Grady’s 25th minute effort wide, but referee John Keenan overruled his officials to signal Limerick’s seventh score of the day. The sides went score for score until the short whistle, with a Shiels free levelling the sides for the sixth time; however Paul Browne’s second of the day on the stroke of half-time gave Limerick a 0-10 to 0-9 lead at half-time.

Within a minute of the restart, Antrim were back in the lead. Ciaran Clarke pulled the ball back to Eoghan Campbell after a mazy run to the end-line and the Cushendall clubman finished superbly past Nickie Quaid for a 1-9 to 0-10 lead. The Saffrons held the advantage for just five minutes. Condon, Browne and O’Grady pointed to level matters and Wayne McNamara completed an unanswered run of four points for the visitors. Limerick were beginning to find more space within the tight confines of the Ballycastle pitch and Condon added a brace to put three points between them.

Campbell and Shiels brought Antrim to within a point on the 54th minute, but that was as good as it got for the Ulstermen who failed to raise another flag for the remainder of the game. Dowling remained accurate from frees, while the impressive Cian Lynch tacked on his third of the day. Sub John Fitzgibbon became the 10th Limerick scorer in injury time.
ANTRIM: C O’Connell; R McCambridge, N McAuley, A Graffin; S McCrory (0-1), C McKinlay, M Bradley; N McManus, C Johnston (0-1); P Shiels (0-7, 5f), D McKernan, E Campbell (1-1); C Clarke (0-1), PJ O’Connell, M Donnelly (0-1)
Subs: E McCloskey for D McKernan (31), C Carson for M Donnelly (48), O McFadden for N McManus (52), S McAfee for PJ O’Connell (65), D Hamill for C Johnson (65)

LIMERICK: N Quaid; S Walsh, R McCarthy, S Hickey (0-1); T Condon (0-3), W McNamara (0-1), D Morrissey; S Ryan (0-1), P Browne (0-3); D Reidy (0-3), D O’Grady (0-2), C Lynch (0-3); T Morrissey, S Dowling (0-6f), A Breen
Subs: S Tobin for A Breen (48), D Hannon for T Morrissey (59), C Allis for T Condun (67), J Fitzgibbon (0-1) for D O’Grady (69), S O’Brien for P Brown (70)

Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow)
Report: John Martin for

Team News

LIMERICK (NHL v Antrim): N Quaid (Effin), St Walsh (Glenroe), R McCarthy (Blackrock), S Hickey (Murroe Boher), T Condon (Knockaderry), W McNamara (Adare), D Morrissey (Ahane), J Ryan (Garryspillane), P Browne (Bruff), D Reidy (Dromin Athlacca), D O’Grady (cpt, Granagh Ballingarry), C Lynch (Patrickswell), T Morrissey (Ahane), S Dowling (Na Piarsaigh), A Breen (Na Piarsaigh)

Antrim (NHL v Limerick): C O’Connell; R McCambridge, N McAuley, A Graffin; S McCrory, C McKinley, M Bradley; N McManus, C Johnston; P Shiels, D McKernan, E Campbell; C Clarke, PJ O’Connell, M Donnelly