Comfortable win gives Limerick lift for final

Limerick 1-13 Waterford 0-10

Five years have elapsed since the Shannonsiders won their only provincial title and on the evidence of this performance, they are capable of extending Cork in the decider.

Playing controlled football, with senior player Seanie Buckley and Alan McEntee contributing greatly in midfield, their scores were evenly distributed, and it was left to substitute John Cooke to claim the game’s only goal seven minutes from the finish.

The early action indicated a close encounter, with Limerick’s Owen Benson, Gavin O’Leary, Garreth Noonan and Kieran O’Callaghan trading points with Mark Fives (2), Liam O Lionainn and Ger O’Connor.

With Johnny McCarthy playing a starring role at centre back, Limerick adopted a more direct style of play and were rewarded with a further four points from Noonan, Pat Kirby, Sean Buckley and Ger Ahern.

Waterford realised the tide was beginning to flow against them. The best efforts of Mark Prendergast and Kieran Connery in defence were not enough to put the brakes on their opponents.

Owen Benson made it 0-9 to 0-4 on the change of ends, and there were still five points between them, 0-11 to 0-6, as the closing quarter began.

Waterford desperately needed a goal if they were to mount a challenge, but Limerick substitute, John Cooke, rifled the ball past Pat Walsh, in 53 minutes, at a stage at which the visitors had cut the gap to three points.

Limerick, who lost Buckley through injury, were now in cruise control and the concession of two late points to O’Connor and Cantrell made no difference.

Scorers for Limerick: J Cooke 1-0, G Noonan 0-3 (0-2f), K O’Callaghan (0-2f), S Cronin, S Buckley 0-2 each, E Benson, D O Leary, P Kirby, G Ahern 0-1 each

Waterford: M Fives 0-4 (0-3f), G O’Connor 0-2, E Walsh, I Costello, L O Lionainn, P Hurney 0-2 each

LIMERICK: M Jones; S Fox, S Gallagher, S Walsh, E Benson, J McCarthy, D O’Leary; S Buckley, A McEntee; G Noonan, P Russell, K O’Callaghan, P King, G Ahern, P Kinnerk.

Subs: J Cooke for Buckley, S Cronin for Ahern

WATERFORD; P Walsh; S Nugent, S Prendergast, K Connery, M Prendergast, D Hickey, K McBride; E Walsh, M Fives; L O Lionainn, M Whelan, T Grey, I Cantrell, P Hurney, G O’Connor.

Subs: S Fleming for Grey, P Phelan for Lionainn, S McGrath for Whelan

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