Free-scoring Dublin hammer Limerick

Dublin 6-30 Limerick 2-11

Dublin 6-30 Limerick 2-11

Dublin ran riot at Parnell Park this afternoon as they preserved their Allianz NHL Division 1 status and relegated Limerick with a thumping 31-point victory.

The Shannonsiders were thoroughly outclassed as second half goals rained in from David O'Callaghan (2), Shane Ryan, John Kelly, Paul Ryan and Liam Rushe.

Eight points from free-taker Alan McCrabbe helped Dublin take a 0-20 to 0-8 interval lead.

The second period was a cakewalk for the hosts. James O'Brien was sent-off for Limerick who netted through Paudie McNamara and Graeme Mulcahy.

Anthony Daly's Dubs were under pressure to get the result which would guarantee top flight hurling for them for another year, and they delivered in spades.

They had the man-of-the-match in John McCaffrey who drove his side on from midfield, and McCrabbe showed no mercy from placed balls as understrength Limerick struggled to stay in touch.

In a frantic start, Peter Kelly and Simon Lambert popped over points as Dublin settled into their stride. Limerick replied through James O'Brien and a Paudie McNamara effort closed the gap to 0-6 to 0-2.

McCrabbe and McCaffrey continued to do most of the damage in a slick Dublin attack, although Mulcahy and Richie McKeogh did get on the scoresheet for Limerick.

Dublin were winning all of the individual battles and all six of their starting forwards had scored by the time they opened a 0-14 to 0-05 lead.

Liam Rushe and David O'Callaghan increased their influence with some impressive running and scoring, with the pair scoring 0-3 apiece by the half's end.

Although they had O'Brien dismissed for a wild challenge, nine minutes into the second half, Limerick responded strongly with a goal from McNamara. But the centre-forward's penalty attempt, two minutes later, was well saved by Dublin goalkeeper Gary Maguire.

Dublin had started the second period with two more points from McCrabbe but they honed in on goals for the remainder, clinically striking the net on four separate occasions between the 53rd and 57th minutes.

The under-fire Limerick defence failed to clear their lines and O'Callaghan swooped for the first. Substitute Shane Ryan then broke through on a powerful run to finish past Tadhg Flynn.

Kelly thent sent a superb finish to the net after Dublin captain Stephen Hiney had played the ball in, with Limerick guilty of some poor defending once again. O'Callaghan's second goal followed embarrassing ease.

That left the scoreline at 4-26 to 1-10 and while Maguire was on hand to deny Limerick on a few more occasions, the Dubs ruthlessly pounced for two more goals through Rushe, who ran straight through the centre before bulging the net, and Paul Ryan.

Mulcahy salvaged some pride for Justin McCarthy's well-beaten side by kicking past Maguire for a late goal.

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