Limerick march past Wexford to earn league semi-final spot:

By John Keogh Limerick Leader Sport

LIMERICK are into the Allianz Hurling League semi-finals following a 2-20 to 0-15 victory over Wexford at TUS Gaelic Grounds this afternoon.

Goals in either half from Kyle Hayes and Aaron Gillane saw Limerick home to the impressive win. Gillane finished with 1-5 in his first start of the year.

Limerick made an excellent start to the game with Richie English scoring the first point of the game from long range and then Aaron Gillane then landed his first free of the afternoon.

Diarmaid Byrnes then got in on the act before Wexford got on the scoreboard by virtue of a Lee Chin free. It was the first of six for the Wexford captain.

Byrnes added another from play and then a free as Limerick upped the tempo in the opening 10 minutes. The lead was soon at six points when Kyle Hayes fired in a Limerick goal.

Cathal O’Neill’s run opened up the Wexford defence and offloaded to Hayes. The Kildimo-Pallaskenry man sidestepped the Wexford defender and shot low into Mark Fanning’s net.

Wexford responded with and Ian Carty point from play and two Chin frees to leave the score at 1-6 at 0-5 in Limerick’s favour at the 19 minute mark.

Points from Micheál Houlihan, Gearoid Hegarty and Cathal O’Neill followed for Limerick. A Gillane free extended the lead further but two Chin frees saw the score 1-10 to 0-7 in Limerick’s favour at the break.

Wexford opened the second half scoring through Carty but Limerick responded moments later with their second goal. A long range O’Neill strike was dropped by Wexford keeper Mark Fanning and Gillane bundled the ball over the line.

Limerick then made it a 10-point lead with a collectors item from Mike Casey. Wexford then responded with three in a row with two from Chin and one from Conor Hearne.

However, Limerick never looked in any danger of losing the game with Byrnes, Gillane and Tom Morrissey seeing the score at 2-15 to 0-12 heading into the final stages.

Tom Morrissey andd Donnacha Ó Dalaigh came off the bench to land two late points each and there was one each for Oisin O’Reilly and Seamus Flanagan as Limerick romped to 11-point win

Scorers – Limerick: Aaron Gillane 1-5 (5 frees), Diarmaid Byrnes 0-4 (2 frees), Kyle Hayes 1-0, Tom Morrissey (1 free) and Donnacha Ó Dálaigh 0-2 each, Richie English, Micheál Houlihan, Gearoid Hegarty, Cathal O’Neill, Mike Casey , Oisin O’Reilly, Seamus Flanagan 0-1 each.

Scorers – Wexford: Lee Chin 0-11 (10 frees), Ian Carty 0-2, Conor Hearne (1 free) and Jack O’Connor 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Nickie Quiad; Mike Casey, Dan Morrissey, Richie English; Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Kyle Hayes; Barry Murphy, Darragh O’Donovan; Micheál Houlihan, Cathal O’Neill, Tom Morrissey; Aaron Gillane, Seamus Flanagan, Conor Boylan.

SUBS: Donnacha Ó Dálaigh for Gillane (54 mins), Tom Morrissey for Houlihan (54 mins), Colin Coughlan for Byrnes (61 mins), Oisin O’Reilly for Boylan (61 mins), Aidan O’Connor for Hegarty (68 mins).

WEXFORD: Mark Fanning; Shane Reck, Simon Donohue, Niall Murphy; Ian Carty, Conor Foley, Jack O’Connor; Cathal Dunbar, Kevin Foley; Conor Hearne, Lee Chin, Charlie McGuckin; Rory Higgins, Mikie Dwyer, Rory O’Connor.

SUBS: Kyle Scallan for K Foley (56 mins), Corey Byrne-Dunbar for Hearne (61 mins), Conall Clancy for Higgins (67 mins), Darragh Carley for Carty (67 mins).

REFEREE: Michael Kennedy (Tipperary)