Ryan to rescue for Déise

Limerick 3-14 Waterford 2-17

Ryan to rescue for Déise

Cast your mind back to early April, Munster MHC first round at Cusack Park, Ennis. Clare led Waterford 0-11 to 0-8 entering the final quarter. Cue the introduction of Eddie Meaney, the sub bagging 1-1 in the closing stages to hand Waterford the spoils. Meaney was again introduced in the semi-final win over the Banner, who came through the back door, again impacting on proceedings when landing a late point to help swing the verdict in the Déise’s favour.

Yesterday it was the turn of captain Shane Ryan. Sprung from the bench on 58 minutes, his first touch would prove the most crucial of the hour.

Trailing by 3-14 to 1-17 as the clock spilled into time added on, Waterford midfielder Darragh Lyons launched a Hail Mary into the Limerick danger area. Cormac Curran provided the deftest of touches to set up Ryan and he duly obliged, rippling the net to force a second day out.

“Honesty, it’s just about honesty. That’s all we ask out of these lads and they gave it today in abundance, every one of them,” said manager Derek Lyons.

“The intensity and honesty is unquestionable, we’re lacking a bit of organisation and that’s a fair criticism of us. We’ll get there before the replay, but you have to take your hat off to these lads. They’ve been questioned two or three times, they’ve gone down to the bottom of the well for the jersey and they wore it today with distinction and honour. It’s an area of the Waterford game that has been criticised in the past that we don’t have the heart or the bottle, but by God these lads have it.”

Limerick enjoyed a more forceful opening period with Ronan Lynch (0-2, 0-1 free), Cian Lynch, Barry Nash, Seamus Flanagan and Peter Casey on target in establishing a double-scores advantage — 0-6 to 0-3 — by the end of the first quarter.

Thereafter, arrived goal number one of five. Barry Nash flashed onto a breaking ball, sped past the close attention of two white shirts to finish clinically beyond Waterford keeper Billy Nolan.

In fairness, it was no more than the Treaty youngsters deserved. Their central spine, in particular Ronan Lynch, Tom Morrissey and Barry Nash, were most dominant.

On 22 minutes they moved further clear. Two Waterford defenders collided in attempting to gather possession, full-forward Morrissey seized on the mistake and off loaded to substitute Edward Doyle. His tame effort was kept out, Morrissey’s rebound, however, nestled in the right corner of Nolan’s goal.

Waterford, to their credit, responded with three unanswered points through Patrick Curran (0-2, one free) and Aaron O’Sullivan — the interval scoreline reading 2-8 to 0-12. Not an insurmountable gap by any means. Indeed, points from Peter Hogan and Curran (free) upon the change of ends reduced the gap to the minimum. Game on.

An extra gear would Limerick find in the ensuing passages of play, 1-3 tallied on the hop to again carve out a sizeable advantage. Peter Casey was provider of goal number three on 42 minutes, Morrissey a central figure in the build-up.

Ahead by 3-13 to 0-15, Waterford’s cause appeared a lost one. Then kicked in the “heart and bottle” which Lyons preached about.

Cormac Curran, redeployed to the edge of the square, registered a superb goal out of nothing on 50 minutes. Shane Bennett, another impressive second-half figure, split the posts in the subsequent action to leave the scoreboard reading 3-14 to 1-17.

Enter Shane Ryan.

Scorers for Limerick: R Lynch 0-6 (2f), P Casey 1-2, T Morrissey, B Nash 1-1 each, S Flanagan 0-2, C Lynch, E Doyle 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: P Curran 0-7 (6f), S Bennett 0-4 (1f), C Curran, S Ryan (1-0 each), A Molumby, P Hogan, A O’Sullivan 0-2 each.

LIMERICK: E McNamara (Doon); S Finn (Bruff), P O’Loughlin (Kilmallock), J Porter (Monaleen); L Lyons (Monaleen), C Ryan (Pallasgreen), A La Touche Cosgrave (Monaleen); R Hanley (Kilmallock), R Lynch (Na Piarsaigh); S Flanagan (Fohenagh/Castlemahon), B Nash (South Liberties), C Lynch (Patrickswell); C Fitzgerald (Claughaun), T Morrissey (Ahane), P Casey (Na Piarsaigh).

Subs: E Doyle (Monaleen) for Fitzgerald (19, inj), D Fanning (Pallasgreen) for Lyons (51), B Ryan (South Liberties) for Hanley (53).

WATERFORD: B Nolan (Roanmore); D Prendergast (Lismore), MJ Sutton (Ferrybank), M Cronin (Ardmore); C Prunty (Abbeyside/Ballinacourty), C Roche (Shamrocks), J Mullaney (Stradbally); D Lyons (Dungarvan), A Molumby (Cappoquin); S Bennett (Ballysaggart), C Gleeson (Fourmilewater), C Curran (Brickey Rangers); A O’Sullivan (Cappoquin), P Hogan (Ballygunner), P Curran (Dungarvan).

Subs: E Meaney (De La Salle) for O’Sullivan (51), J Allen (Dungarvan) for Molumby (54), S Ryan (De La Salle) for Curran (58).

Referee: D Fox (Clare).

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