Just like 2016, the Gaelic Grounds will host the final of Munster’s early season senior hurling competition - the fixture confirmed for Sunday, January 14 at 2pm after both Shannonside rivals defeated Kerry and Cork in the opening two rounds.
This Limerick win over Kerry ended with 10 points between the sides in front of 485 spectators in the Gaelic Grounds.
“I suppose we were sharp enough in the first half and put up a decent score and got some decent goals, prominently from turnovers, but we put a lot of pressure on the ball in that first half and we would be happy with the first half performance,” said Limerick manager John Kiely, referencing a half-time lead of 3-11 to 0-3.
“In the second half we took our foot off the gas and that’s clear - they rose their gander,” he commented.
Limerick had goals from Seamus Flanagan (2) and Barry Nash in that opening half, in which Daniel Collins had the only Kerry score from play in the 32nd minute.
Flanagan’s first goal came in the seventh minute to build a 1-6 to 0-1 lead by the midpoint of the first half and the big interval lead was ensured with two goals in 90 seconds as the game passed the half-hour mark.
Kerry manager Fintan O’Connor will take many positives from the second half when they dominated much possession and reduced the gap between the teams.
Padraig Boyle led the scoring from placed balls - his goal coming 10 minutes from the end when a routine free ended up in the net despite the best efforts of the Limerick goalkeeper.
That helped Kerry reduce the lead to eight points but Limerick saw out the win with four of the final six points.
“It is, what it is - we got the result and we move on. We go to the final next week against Clare and that will be a decent test,” said Limerick boss, Kiely.
S Flanagan (2-2), B Nash (1-5), A Gillane (0-4, 2f), D O’Donovan, A La Touche Cosgrave (0-2), D Hannon, C Lynch, D Byrnes, P O’Loughlin (all 0-1).
P Boyle (1-10, 1-8f), D Collins (0-2), J Conway, D O’Carroll, B Barrett (all 0-1).
B Hennessy; D Fanning, R English, T Condon; D Byrnes, D Hannon, W O’Meara; P Browne, A La Touche Cosgrave; D O’Donovan, B Nash, C Lynch; A Gillane, S Flanagan, B Murphy.
D Morrissey for Hannon (23), B O’Connell for Lynch (h-t), L Lyons for Browne (h-t), P O’Loughlin for Condon (48), O O’Reilly for Gillane (56).
S Murphy; D Fitzell, J Diggins, S Weir; B O’Leary, B Murphy, J Buckley; B Barrett, D Collins; D O’Carroll, S Conway, C Harty; J Goulding, P Boyle, J Conway.
J O’Connor for O’Leary (h-t), N O’Mahony for Weir (39), D Griffin for Fitzell (44), P Lucid for Goulding (53), P Quill for J Conway (55), E Murphy for O’Connor (72).
J Larkin (Cork).