By Conor Kane in Thurles
What started out as a tight game between two teams on their last chance in the All-Ireland Minor Hurling Championship turned into something of a rout today as Kilkenny blitzed Limerick to earn a place in the semi-finals.
For much of the first half there was little between the teams - indeed Limerick led 0-8/0-7 in the 24th minute - but the young cats ran up 1-4 before half-time and another unanswered 0-5 in seven minutes after the break to make easy their passage.
There were never more than two points between the teams for much of the opening period until just before the break when a fine Jamie Harkin point from deep and then a superb Jack Morrissey goal from a tight angle on the right put them 1-11 to 0-8 ahead.
Once Kilkenny had a strangehold on the game in the second half, it was mostly one-way stuff as they racked up a big score, Jack Morrissey getting another goal with another bullet and Killian Hogan netting their third.
By the time Bryan Nix goaled for Limerick well into injury-time, the Shannonsiders were already gone from the championship.
Scorers for Kilkenny: C Kelly 0-8 (8f), J Morrissey 2-1, K Hogan 1-1, J Buggy 0-3, G Murphy 0-2, C Kenny 0-2, C Brennan 0-2, C O’Leary 0-1, J Harkin 0-1, D Coogan 0-1
Scorers for Limerick: C O’Neill 0-8 (7f, 1 ‘65’), B Nix 1-0, E McEvoy 0-1, B O’Connor 0-1, C Ryan 0-1, E O’Mahony 0-1
Kilkenny: J Brennan, P Dempsey, J Young, D Crehan, D Maher, S Staunton, J Harkin, C Kelly, C Kenny, J Morrissey, C Brennan, G Murphy, C O’Leary, D Coogan, J Buggy. Subs: K Hogan for C O’Leary (46m), E Guilfoyle for D Coogan (49m), P Moylan for J Morrissey (56m), H Walsh for J Harkin (56m), D Fogarty for D Maher (56m).
Limerick: B Heavey, P Harnett, B Herlihy, M Keane, E O’Mahony, E McEvoy, J Nicholas, P Kirby, B O’Connor, M Martin, C Ryan, K O’Donnell, C O’Neill, B Purcell, A Shanahan. Subs: C Coughlan for P Kirby (25m), J Quilty for M Martin (39m), B Nix for A Shanahan (41m), C Casey for B O’Connor (52m), D Hegarty for B Purcell (52m)
Ref: Shane Hynes (Galway).