The Limerick hurlers continued on their winning ways at the Gaelic Grounds today when they beat Westmeath. However, Donal O’Grady’s side had to work hard before earning a deserved victory.
The Shannon siders led 0-05 to 0-02 after eight minutes, but quick points by Derek McNicholas, Ciaran Curley and Dan Carthy (free) had Westmeath level by the quarter hour. Limerick went in at the break leading by just a point as the visitors rallied.
O’Grady brought on Brian Geary and Pat Tobin for the start of the second half and Tobin was in the action for only four minutes when he took a pass from Kevin Downes and blasted past goalkeeper Pat Burke.
The goal left Limerick 1-12 to 0-09 in front with Eoin Ryan notching the opening point seconds after the restart. Limerick never looked back after that but it took two great saves from Nicky Quaid to deny Westmeath’s Brendan Murtagh and McNicholas.
While O’Grady will have been pleased with the win he knows only too well that bigger challenges await his side who will have to play better than they did in the first half.
Stephen Lucey did well at full-back but was taken off at half time as he plays for Limerick footballers tomorrow. Seamus Hickey did well at centre-back for the victors, with Ryan the best of the forwards.
Westmeath were disappointed with the final scorline but it was not the fault of Paul Greville, Eoin Price and Andrew Mitchell in defence, while Brendan Murtagh and Brian Smyth impressed in attack.
Limerick: N Quaid; S Walsh, S Lucey, D Moloney; W McNamara, S Hickey, P O’Brien; D O’Grady, E Ryan; R McCarthy, J Ryan, N Maher; A O’Shaughnessy, K Downes, G Mulcahy.
Subs used: B Geary for Lucey, P Tobin for O’Shaughnessy (both half-time), K O’Rourke for O’Brien, B Hourigan for McCarthy (both 67 mins).
Westmeath: P Burke; R Whelan, P Greville, E Price; P Gilsenan, A Mitchell, J Shaw; N Flanagan, C Curley; B Smyth, D McNicholas, B Murtagh; A Devine, B Leharte, S carthy.
Subs used: J Clarke for Carthy, C Mackey for Leharte (both 47 mins), D Golden for Devine, A Prior for Curley (both 65).
Referee: Anthony Stapleton (Laois)