Ian Ryan was Limerick’s hero of the day as the Shannonsiders overcame a very disappointing Waterford side 2-10 to 0-7 at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday.
Ryan’s final tally 1-8 delighted the home fans in the sparse attendance but for the Deise men it is back to the drawing board after this most disappointing of displays especially in the second half.
Limerick manager Maurice Horan will have seen much to encourage him though they too will need to step up their performance if they are to defeat Clare at the same venue on June 9th.
The Limerick defence stood firm throughout a second period in which the Deise did not trouble the scoreboard attendant from either play or from frees.
The afternoon had started brightly for Waterford, two points to the good with but three minutes on the clock, those scores from Hutchinson and Ferncombe .Then the tide turned and from then on it was destined to be Limerick’s
day with Ryan leading from the front.
His two points in quick succession brought the sides level before Tony Grey put Waterford back in the lead. A Ryan point from a free brought the teams back on an equal footing once more – that point after he had been fouled .
All- Ireland handball champion Seamus Carroll got Limerick’s opening goal after Kieran Cotter in the Waterford goal had made a good save only for the ball to rebound to Carroll who blasted it home from close range.
Half time came with the Shannonsiders leading by the narrowest of margin’s 1-5 to 0-7 but even then they looked to be well on their way to victory in a disappointing encounter which will not have caused any watching Cork or
Kerry mentors any anxiety on that showing.
Arguably the turning point of the game came within the opening minutes of the second period when Waterford’s Mark Ferncombe was needlessly brought down and goalkeeper Brian Scanlon brought off a good save albeit from a
poorly taken penalty by Ferncombe himself.
Any small opportunity of a Waterford comeback – not that they ever looked like staging one – completely disappeared with Ryan’s goal which put clear light between the sides some two minutes from time.
Ryan was Limerick’s ‘man of the match’ in front of a meagre 2,341 attendance – who got little value for money - but he had good support from Collins, O’Carroll,and substitute Kelly whilst Grey stood out for a poor Deise side
assisted by Ahearne and Hutchinson.
Waterford surely will not play as poorly again when the qualifiers come. That both sides languish in Division 4 of the Allianz League was evident from this match.
On target: - Limerick: I Ryan 1-08 (0-07f), S O’Carroll 1-00, G Collins 0-02, S Kelly, J Cooke 0-01 each
Waterford: JJ Hutchinson, T Grey, M Ferncombe 0-02 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: I Corbett for Barry (34 mins), J O’Meara for Kinnerk (48 mins), S Kelly for O’Carroll (54 mins), J Cooke for Lee (63 mins), S Lucey for Ranahan (68 mins).
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: J Veale, P Whyte, S Fleming for Ferncombe, Dempsey and Hutchinson ( 60 mins).