Limerick had to go back to 2006 for their last victory in their opening competitive fixture of the year prior to this comfortable victory over Mary Immaculate College in Fitzgerald Park in Kilmallock on Saturday.
The 11-point win books a quarter-final tie away to Eamon O’Shea’s Premier County side next weekend.
Mary Immaculate College were making their maiden voyage in the competition and were on the back foot within 20 seconds when last year’s captain David Breen ghosted in behind the defence for Limerick’s opening goal and by half-time the students were 2-8 to 0-5 in arrears.
Breen’s goal was matched by another Shane Dowling in the 23rd minute as he blasted to the net after a series of passes between Kevin Downes, Sean Tobin and Dowling.
Allen admitted: “We worked hard in the first half, albeit I wouldn’t be too pleased with how we did in the second half. We lost our way a small bit. We are trying to build a team for June so it was good to see players getting a chance and now we have another outing next week.”
Any chance of a second half comeback was thwarted eight minutes after the restart when a John Conlon penalty was saved.
Luke O’Farrell and Sean Curran had points for the students but Limerick crushed the comeback as Dowling had their third goal 20 minutes from the end.
Niall Moran, Conor Allis and David Reidy added points with the reply coming from Clare seniors Conlon and Colm Galvin.
Scorers for Limerick: S Dowling 2-5 (4f), N Moran 0-4, D Breen 1-0, C Allis 0-2, S Tobin, D Reidy, K Downes, S Hickey 0-1 each.
Scorers for Mary Immaculate College: J Conlon 0-5 (4f), S Curran 0-3 (1f),C Galvin 0-2, D Hannon (’65), L O’Farrell, B O’Halloran 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: N Quaid; T Condon, R McCarthy, S O’Neill; C King, W McNamara, G O’Mahony; D O’Grady, J Ryan; D Breen, C Allis, N Moran; S Dowling, K Downes, S Tobin.
Subs: D Reidy for Tobin (35), T Quaid for Allis (49), S Hickey for O’Grady (51), R Egan for Ryan (57), T O’Brien for Downes (54).
MARY IMMACULATE COLLEGE: N Carrig (Limerick); K Fennessy (Clare), R O’Donnell (Limerick), M McGrath (Tipperary); E Hogan (Tipperary), D Hannon (Limerick), D O’Carroll (Cork); L Considine (Limerick), C Galvin (Clare); S Curran (Tipperary), W Hickey (Limerick), B O’Halloran (Waterford); E Hogan (Tipperary), J Conlon (Clare), L O’Farrell (Cork).
Subs: M O’Connell (Limerick for Hogan (34), A Cagney (Cork) for McGrath (49).
Referee: D Fox (Clare).