Limerick sitting pretty

Limerick 0-08 Waterford 0-06
Limerick demonstrated their composure under pressure to squeeze past Waterford in a dour encounter at Fraher Field on Saturday night.

Late points from Ian Ryan and Seanie Buckley dug out a win that sends the Shannonsiders to the summit of Division Four.

Afterwards, manager Maurice Horan highlighted their ability to close out the game in a controlled manner as crucial to victory. “Our experienced heads got on the ball at the right time and Ian Ryan kicked the frees. It was satisfying guys took control and took the sting out of Waterford at crucial times. It just looked like there wasn’t going to be a goal in that game so it had to be points.”

For the third game running Horan’s charges took the spoils by two points or less but the manager still sees room for improvement. “It’s pleasing to see that we can eke it out and just about get over the finish line.

“At the same time we are not scoring enough and Limerick usually score more than that. We would like to believe that we have more scoring power than that. Once you win one, the stakes get higher for the next one. If we were to pull two points out of the next one at home to Carlow it would be fantastic. I think next weekend the league is going to turn a corner; you will really see who is pushing for promotion at that stage.”

The top two sides in the division served up a low quality affair as they shared 23 wides over the 70 minutes. The visitors displayed more menace in attack throughout and led 0-4 to 0-2 at the break.

Waterford captain Gary Hurney came off the bench early in that opening half to make his first league appearance of the season as the hosts misfired up front. They hit eight first half wides and went 26 minutes without a score before Hurney converted a free late in that opening spell.

A scrappy second-half developed into a shoot-out between Ian Ryan and Hurney. On two occasions, Hurney brought the hosts to within a point, but he ploughed a lone furrow up front and they couldn’t apply further pressure. While Ryan emerged as top scorer for the visitors, he could depend on a stronger supporting cast. Ryan and Buckley kicked crucial points in the closing five minutes to give Limerick a buffer to protect. Corner back Conor Phelan made a late raid in injury time but his effort was cleared to safety.

Despite Saturday night’s setback, Hurney remains optimistic about Waterford’s promotion hopes: “Overall, the performance wasn’t too bad. I suppose we have to be more clinical up front, that’s obvious. That game is over now and we have to drive on to next week.

Scorers for Limerick: I Ryan 0-4 (2fs); J Riordan, G Collins, E O’Connor, S Buckley 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: G Hurney 0-5 (2fs); G Nugent 0-1.

LIMERICK: B Scanlon; C Coady, L O’Dwyer, M O’Riordan ; S Lavin, P Browne, P Ranahan; T Lee, B O’Brien; J O’Meara, E O’Connor, J Riordan; G Collins, S O’Carroll, I Ryan.

Subs: D O’Connor for O’Carroll (46); I Corbett for O’Meara (52); S Buckley for Lee (54); D Treacey for O’Brien (67).

WATERFORD: S Enright; C Phelan, S Prendergast, M O’Gorman; T Grey, S Briggs, J Hurney; S Ahearne, T Prendergast; L Ó Lonáin, P Whyte, D Guiry; P Hurney, R Ahearne, G Nugent.

Subs: G Hurney for P Whyte (20); M Scurry for Nugent (42); D Hallahan for Guiry (53); S O’Hare for T Prendergast (62).

Referee: J Hickey (Carlow).


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