Limerick kick-off Ray Dempsey era with clinical McGrath Cup win over Waterford:

By John Keogh Limerck Leader Sport

LIMERICK senior footballers got life under new manager Ray Dempsey off to an excellent start with a 4-14 to 0-9 victory over Waterford at Mick Neville Park in Rathkeale on Wednesday night.

Two goals in each half saw Limerick to a comfortable win with Cathal Downes hitting the net twice on his senior debut. Adrian Enright and Killian Ryan also raised green flags for a dominant home outfit.

Waterford were the better side early on and could have had three early goals but were denied by an excellent Aaron O’Sullivan save and a Dylan Guiry shot that crashed off the post.

Limerick eventually settled and opened the scoring on eight minutes when Enright fired into the roof of the net after Cian Sheehan capitalised on a Waterford defensive error.

Waterford fought back with the next three scores to level the game for the first time but Downes’s fisted effort to the net, after excellent work by Robbie Bourke, Gordon Brown and Barry Coleman.

Points from Cillian Fahy and Brian Fanning then followed to give Limerick a 2-2 to 0-3 advantage. Brian Lynch responded with a Waterford free with efforts from Caomhan Maguire and Donal Fitzgerald cutting Limerick’s lead to two.

However, efforts from Dara Noon, Sheehan and Fanning helped Limerick finish the half strongly and into a 2-5 to 0-7 lead at the break.

It was an utterly dominant display in the second half with Limerick keeping Waterford to just two points, scoring 2-9 themselves. Bourke got things underway with a long distance strike from play that was soon added to by Enright.

Enright then brought his total to 1-2, before Sheehan and Peter Nash added to Limerick’s total. Downes and Ryan added further goals late on to give Dempsey a winning start as Limerick Senior Football manager.

Scorers: Limerick: Cathal Downes 2-0, Adrian Enright 1-2, Killian Ryan 1-0, Brian Fanning, Cian Sheehan and Cillian Fahy 0-2 each, Dara Noonan, Robbie Bourke, Barry Coleman, Peter Nash, Michael Donovan and Brian Barry 0-1 each; Waterford: Donal Fitzgerald 0-3, Brian Lynch 0-2 (2frees), Michael Kiely, Dermot Ryan, Caomhan Maguire and Conor Murray (1free) 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Aaron O’Sullivan (Pallasgreen); David Connolly (Adare), Sean O’Dea (Kilteely-Dromkeen), Gordon Brown (Na Piarsaigh); Barry Coleman (Rathkeale), Brian Fanning (Pallasgreen), Colm McSweeney (Gerald Griffins); Cian Sheehan (Newcastle West), Cillian Fahy (Dromcollogher-Broadford); Cathal Downes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Dara Noonan (Gerald Griffins), Paul Maher (Adare); Adrian Enright (Fr Casey’s), Killian Ryan Mungret St Paul’s), Robbie Bourke (Adare). SUBS: Michael Donovan (Galbally) for Noonan (h-t), Iain Corbett (Newcastle West) for Brown (49 mins), Jack Ryan (Drom-Broadford) for Fanning (61 mins), Brian Barry (Mungret St Pauls) for McSweeney (61 mins), Eoin O’Shea (Monaleen) for Coleman (61 mins), Rudhan O’Connor (Newcastle West) for Connolly (67 mins), Diarmuid Kelly (Newcastle West) for Enright (67 mins), Tony McCarthy for Sheehan (67 mins).

WATERFORD: Aaron Beresford (Ballinacourty); Liam Fennelly (Stradbally), Caoimhin Walsh (Kilrossanty), Josh Veale (Brickey Rangers); Darragh Corcoran (St Saviours), Brian Looby (Ballinacourty), Jordan O’Sullivan (Portlaw); Brian Lynch (Clashmore/Kinsalebeg), Caomhan Maguire (Gaultier); Dermot Ryan (The Nire), Sean Whelan-Barrett (Ballinacourty), Jack Keane (Ardmore); Michael Kiely (Dungarven), Dylan Guiry (The Nire), Donal Fitzgerald (Kilrossanty). SUBS: Ronan O’Connell (Portlaw) for for Veale (17 mins), Donal Quelly (Kill) for Keane (h-t), Conor Murray (Rathgormack) for Maguire (h-t), Alan Dunwoody (Kilrossanty) for Whelan-Barrett (h-t), John Devine (Modeligo) for Kiely (h-t), Ben Kirwin (Kill) for Beresford (48 mins), Ross Browne (Colligan) for Fennell (48 mins), Seamus Fitzgerald (Kilrossanty) for D Fitzgerald (48 mins), Damien Quirke (Sliabh gCua) for Guiry (48 mins), Eoghan McGrath-Butler (De La Salle) for O’Sullivan (48 mins), Dean Reidy (Roanmore) for D Ryan (48 mins).

REFEREE: Seamus Mulvihill (Kerry).