Limerick battle to win over Waterford in rain drenched Dungarvan:

By John Keogh Limerick Leader Sport

LIMERICK have opened their Munster Minor Hurling Championship campaign with a 1-7 to 0-7 win over Waterford in dreadful conditions at Fraher Field in Dungarvan.

Evan Loftus’s side had a three-point half time advantage and held onto that through the second half to earn a deserved away victory.

However, serious questions have to be asked as to why the game even went ahead due to the dreadful conditions that both sides had to endure in Dungarvan.

Limerick got on the scoreboard after just three minutes when Garryspillane’s Hugh Flanagan broke through the Waterford defence and fired an excellent shot over the bar.

Waterford were heavily reliant on frees in the atrocious conditions and Colm Hartley soon had the Deise level with his first of the evening.

Darren Collopy was denied a goal by an excellent Leon Lannon save in the early stages but Limerick made no mistake when the Waterford netminder coughed up a ball coming out of defence. Cathal Hayes took full advantage to fire into an empty net.

Dara Ferland was dominating the game from centre forward and he finished off an excellent run to put Limerick 1-2 to 0-1 up with 10 minutes on the clock.

Hartley responded with his second placed all but Ferland soon restored Limerick’s four-point lead with another outstanding point.

That advantage was soon at five points with another fine score by Robert O’Farrell but scores from Hartley and Adam Regan saw the score at 1-4 to 0-4 in Limerick’s favour at the break.

Hartley got the scoring underway in the second half but O’Farrell’s second of the game broke a spell of 21 minutes either side of half time.

Jack Cosgrove followed up with a long range free, however, Regan’s second put a goal between the teams heading into the final stages.

However, a brave defensive effort ensured Limerick earned a 1-7 to 0-7 victory.

Scorers – Limerick: Cathal Hayes 1-0, Hugh Flanagan, Dara Ferland and, Robert O’Farrell 0-2 each, Jack Cosgrove 0-1 (1 free).

Scorers – Waterford: Colm Hartley 0-4 (4 frees), Adam Regan 0-2 and David Comerford 0-1.

LIMERICK: Joe Fitzgerald (Kildimo-Pallaskenry); John O Keeffe (Na Piarsaigh), Conor Bickford (Ahane), Sean Morrissey (Dromin-Athlacca); Jack Cosgrove (Ahane), Sean Casey (Bruff), Cian Scully (Monaleen); Diarmuid Lyons (Newcastle West), Matthew Fitzgerald (Monaleen); Robert O Farrell (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Dara Ferland (Monaleen), Tádgh Boddy (Bruff); Hugh Flanagan (Garryspillane), Cathal Hayes (Newcastle West), Darren Collopy (Murroe-Boher).

Subs: Patrick Kearney (Adare) for Hayes (47 mins), Sean Duff (Mungret St Pauls) for O’Farrell (55 mins), Michael Leo (Knockainey) for Fitzgerald (55 mins), Oisin Holmes (Murroe-Boher) for Collopy (59 mins), Eoin Brosnan (Na Piarsaigh) for Boddy (61 mins).

WATERFORD: Leon Hannon (Dungarven); Liam Ó Lionsaigh (Ardmore), Dylan Ryan (Mount Sion), Tómas Ahern (Ballyduff Upper); Eoghan Barry (Roanmore), Fiachra Cooney (Ballygunner), Cathal O’Sullivan (Ballygunner); Gearoid Power (Clonea), David Comerford (St Mollerans); Colm Hartley (Ballygunner), Adam Regan (Mount Sion), Callum Carroll (Roanmore); Conor Tobin (Ballygunner), Sean Mackey (Fenor), Cormac Deevy (Brickey Rangers).

Subs: Charlie Lineen (Lismore) for Deevy (37 mins), Aodhan Hickey (Ballyduff Upper) for Cooney (42 mins), Pat Walsh (Fourmilewater) for Hartley (48 mins), Sean Schley (Tramore) for Carroll (52 mins)

REFEREE: Shane Scanlon (Cork)