Limerick ease past Carlow into All Ireland hurling quarter final:

Jerome O’Connell Limerick Leader Sport

THE Limerick hurlers eased into the All Ireland senior hurling championship quarter final.

Limerick will now play the losing side from Sunday’s Leinster SHC final replay in Thurles – Galway or Kilkenny. Limerick’s first quarter final since 2014 will take place next weekend, July 14/15 with Thurles or Pairc Ui Chaoimh the likely venues.

The final score in this All Ireland SHC preliminary quarter final was Limerick 5-22 Carlow 0-13.

Limerick had 11 different scorers, including Peter Casey who saw his first taste of championship action this season after injury.

Limerick were 3-9 to 0-4 ahead by half time – 14-points clear.

They didn’t have it all their own way in the opening minutes and seven days after winning the Joe McDonagh Cup title in Croke Park the home side were clearly full of confidence and won plenty possession – alas their shooting left them down and they had five early wides. A fourth minute Edward Byrne point was to be their only score from play in the half.

That was even after Limerick scoring a goal after 30-seconds when Kyle Hayes found the net.

Limerick weren’t to score again for 10-minutes but Carlow didn’t get ahead – Limerick 1-0, Carlow 0-2.

After soaking up the early pressure, Limerick moved up through the gears and Carlow couldn’t cope.

Tom Morrissey and Graeme Mulcahy had points and it was Limerick 1-2 Carlow 0-3 after 14-minutes.

Then came the surge clear – seven scores in 11-minutes for the men in green.

The floodgates opened in the 18th minute when Graeme Mulcahy had the second Limerick goal – scrambling to the net after his first effort was saved.

Within 60-seconds Limerick had another goal – Aaron Gillane with a brilliant finish after a fine team move with William O’Donoghue, Declan Hannon and Gearoid Hegarty moving the ball fast and intelligently from defence to attack.

That score left it 3-3 to 0-3.

Gearoid Hegarty, Gillane and Morrissey added points and the visitors to the banks of the river Barrow were 3-7 to 0-3 ahead with 10-minutes still to half time.

All those Limerick scores had come from play and in the intense heat it was no surprise to see the scoring ease off before half time.

Two Gillane frees were added to the Limerick account while Carlow ended a 24-minute wait for a score when Denis Murphy had his third free of the half.

So Limerick 3-9, Carlow 0-4 at half time after a 35-minute spell when Limerick had 10 wides and Carlow eight.

The second half was pedestrian.

Limerick introduced Peter Casey and Barry Nash at half time and both scored.

The fourth goal came 19-minutes into the half from wing back Diarmaid Byrnes, who powered up the right side to collect a Nash pass.

The fifth goal came to Peter Casey, who punished a short puckout 10-minutes from the end. That goal left it 5-15 to 0-10.

SCORERS: Limerick: Aaron Gillane 1-6 (0-2frees), Tom Morrissey 0-5, Peter Casey 1-3, Graeme Mulcahy and Diarmaid Byrnes (0-1 ’65) 1-1 each, Kyle Hayes 1-0, Gearoid Hegarty 0-2, Cian Lynch, Seamus Flanagan, Darragh O’Donovan and Barry Nash 0-1 each. Carlow: Denis Murphy 0-4 (3frees, 1 ’65), John Michael Nolan and Peter Abbey 0-2 each, Edward Byrne, Jack Kavanagh, Chris Nolan, Seamus Murphy, Diarmuid Byrne (free) 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Mike Casey, Richie McCarthy, Richie English; Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Dan Morrissey; William O’Donoghue, Cian Lynch; Gearoid Hegarty, Kyle Hayes, Tom Morrissey; Seamus Flanagan, Aaron Gillane, Graeme Mulcahy. Subs: Peter Casey for Graeme Mulcahy (h-t), Barry Nash for Kyle Hayes (h-t), Darragh O’Donovan for Cian Lynch (45mins), Sean Finn for Richie English (52mins), Seamus Hickey for Declan Hannon (58mins).

CARLOW: Brian Tracey; Richard Kelly, Paul Doyle, Michael Doyle; Kevin McDonald, David English, Richard Coady; Jack Kavanagh, Diarmuid Byrne; John Michael Nolan, Paul Coady, Edward Byrne; James Doyle, Denis Murphy, Chris Nolan. Subs: Seamus Murphy for Denis Murphy (48mins), Conor Foley for Paul Coady (52mins), Ross Smithers for Chris Nolan (56mins), Eoin Redmond for Michael Doyle (57mins), Peter Abbey for Edward Byrne (63mins).

REFEREE: John Keenan (Wicklow).

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