Ryan makes the difference for Limerick

Limerick 2-12 Waterford 0-7

Limerick 2-12 Waterford 0-7

A headline-grabbing display from corner forward Ian Ryan paved the way for Limerick's Munster SFC quarter-final win over a disappointing Waterford side.

In front of a small 2,341 crowd at the Gaelic Grounds, Ryan had scored 0-8 - 0-7 from frees - as Limerick clung onto a 1-10 to 0-7 lead with a couple of minutes remaining.

But he then scored a terrific goal to ensure Maurice Horan’s men qualified to meet Clare at the same venue on Saturday, June 9.

Victorious manager Horan was delighted with the win but he will be fully aware of the many shortcomings in his side's play especially in the first half.

Those opening 35 minutes were very poor with both sides struggling to make an impact. But Horan will be happy that his defence shone on the resumption and managed to prevent Waterford from scoring from either play or frees in the entire second half.

The first period emphasised the fact that both teams are in Division 4 of the Allianz League with poor passing blighting their play and both defences well on top.

Waterford had the opening two points from JJ Hutchinson and Mark Ferncombe inside three minutes. Hutchinson was a late replacement for Sean Fleming while Sean Dempsey started in place of Paul Whyte.

Two points from Ryan had Limerick level but a superbly-taken score by Tony Grey edged the visitors back in front with Ryan again levelling matters from a free after he himself was pushed.

Ger Collins and Ryan both fluffed great goal-scoring chances before Limerick finally managed to grab the lead goal.

There was an element of goof fortune about it as Waterford goalkeeper Kieran Cotter could only parry a clearance and the ball broke to handball champion Seamus O'Carroll who blasted to the net.

That was a lead that Limerick never relinquished and they led 1-5 to 0-7 at the interval with all of Waterford's points coming from play. Both sides had six wides each in that period and Waterford posted seven more wides on the resumption.

A major turning point came two minutes into the second half when the Limerick defence conceded a penalty - corner forward Ferncombe was hauled down.

Ferncombe took the penalty himself but Limerick goalkeeper Brian Scanlon guessed correctly and saved the poorly-taken kick which would have put Waterford in front.

The Ryan show continued with three more pointed frees and his forward colleague Ger Collins also weighed in with two late points, adding to another by substitute Stephen Kelly.

Scorers:

Limerick: I Ryan 1-8 (0-7f), S O'Carroll 1-0, G Collins 0-2, S Kelly, J Cooke 0-1 each

Waterford: JJ Hutchinson, T Grey, M Ferncombe 0-2 each, S Ahearne 0-1

LIMERICK: B Scanlon; J McCarthy, P Browne, L O'Dwyer; S Lavin, J Riordan, P Ranahan; T Lee, P Kinnerk; E Barry, E O'Connor, S Buckley; G Collins, S O'Carroll, I Ryan.

Subs used: I Corbett for Barry (34 mins), J O'Meara for Kinnerk (48), S Kelly for O'Carroll (54), J Cooke for Lee (63), S Lucey for Ranahan (68).

WATERFORD: K Cotter; M O'Gorman, T O'Gorman, K Connery; W Hennessy, T Grey, S Briggs; S Ahearne, S O'Hare; P Hurney, S Dempsey, C O'Keeffe; T Prendergast, JJ Hutchinson, M Ferncombe.

Subs used: J Veale for Ferncombe, P Whyte for Dempsey, S Fleming for Hutchinson (all 60 mins).

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)

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