Limerick minor footballers lose out to Waterford in Munster championship:

By John Redington Limerick Leader Sport

“WE JUST left ourselves with too much to do after the first half and then left in a third goal on the restart which made even more difficult for us. But fair play to the lads, they ran off nine scores without reply before we ran out of time,” was manager Ger O’Connor’s assessment of Limerick minor footballers’ 3-10 to 0-13 defeat to Waterford in the Munster minor football championship on Tuesday evening.

This was Limerick’s third defeat out of three when falling to the Deise in their final preliminary phase round in Lemybrien. Failing to make any progress into the stiff breeze before the break, Limerick were hit by a steady drip of opposition points before two goals in the run-up to half-time left the Shannonsiders with a mountain to climb after half-time.

The result had little bearing on either side’s fortunes for the season as both now enter the third tier of the All-Ireland series, but the winners will approach it with a greater prospects of progress as they showed greater conviction and composure throughout.

When they pressed forward in numbers in the second quarter and continued in that vein in the minutes after the restart, Waterford moved the ball with speed and direction to bring off a number of spectacular scores.

Only when the outcome was already beyond doubt did Limerick move away from their laboured safety-first buildup and show a sense of adventure that put some respectability on the scoreboard.

Maybe that final flourish will stand to Limerick in the next phase of their campaign as it showed them the need to take chances if they’re to move any further.

Once they got their dander up, they managed to inject enough sustained intensity into their game to cause some doubt in their opponents and, if they can translate those 20 minutes of dominance into a full hour of pressure, they may be able to turn potential into results.

Limerick had minutes of unbroken early possession, but failed to break through the Waterford screen before a breakaway led to Joe Brennan’s free putting the hosts ahead.
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Although Rian McNamara replied with a point off a mark, the lack of pace and support in the visitors’ build-up allowed the Decies to sit back and, once Tom Lynch restored their lead, they grabbed the initiative to add Paddy McCarthy’s free and point from play as well Brennan’s free to add substance to their advantage.

Just past the quarter mark, Shane Dolan’s pointed free for Limerick broke the sequence, but that only set McCarthy on fire as he pointed off a handpass, then intercepted the kick-out to round Aaron Deane to tap the ballthe line. McCarthy then followed up with a point on the turn.

Dolan’s pointed reply for Limerick proved to be just a blip in the barrage as Brennan pointed from the corner, before a lightning five-pass move up the length of the field finished with David Nyhan drilling the football into the corner of the net off a despairing leg. McCarthy then added a further Waterford point on the run before Limerick’s topscorer Dolan reduced the deficit facing Limerick at the break to 11 points, 2-9 to 0-4.

With the wind now at their backs, Limerick attacked from the re-staart, but the visitors missed two early chances and whatever remaining hopes they had of salvaging a result went up in smoke when Brennan pointed off a break and then followed up by drilling the ball into the far corner of the net after Luke Hennessy’s bullet following the kick-out turnover was spectacularly stopped by Deane.

Pushing forward in greater numbers, Limerick replied immediately through another Dolan point which was quickly followed quickly by points from Cian Costello, Evan O’Connor, Shane O’Dea and Mullins. However, the rally stopped in its tracks when the Decies reshaped their defence to take the sting out of the opposing attacks.

The intensity dropped for 10 scoreless minutes as the subs piled on before Mullins got Limerick moving again and, when he was followed by Dolan’s free, Carlie Casey and another Dolan free, the deficit had shaved back to six points.

But without a chance of goal appearing, it was always going to be a case of too little too late and Waterford closed off the remaining time to seal their victory.

SCORERS: WATERFORD: Paddy McCarthy 1-5 (0-2 frees), Joe Brennan 1-4 (0-1 free), David Nyhan 1-0, Tom Lynch 0-1; LIMERICK: Shane Dolan 0-6 (3 frees), Ronan Mullins 0-3 (1 mark), Cian Costello, Evan O’Connor, Shane O’Dean, Charlie Casey 0-1 each.

WATERFORD: Seán Keane (De La Salle); Seán Roche (Stradbally), Daniel O’Callaghan (Rathgormack), Andrew Ryan (The Nire); Alex Gillane (Tramore Michael McGraths), Jack Power (Brickey Rangers); Ciarán Cotter (Geraldines), Billy Drohan (Kilmacthomas); Ciarán Power (Rathgormack), Paddy McCarthy (Brickey Rangers), Luke Hennessy (Saint Declan’s Ardmore); David Nyhan (Brickey Rangers), Tom Lynch (Rathgormack), Joe Brennan (Tramore Michael McGraths). SUBS: Dylan Broxson (Rathgormack) for Ales Gillane (48 minutes), Charlie Feeney (Abbeyside-Ballinacourty) for Luke Hennessy (48 minutes), Dylan Farrell (Fenor) for Tom Lynch (54 minutes), Donnacha Walsh (Bunmahon) Andrew Ryan (injured, 57 minutes), Liam Kavanagh (Kilmacthomas) for Ciarán Power (injured, 59 minutes).

LIMERICK: Aaron Deane (Bruree); Sean Hanley (Oola), Danny McCarthy (Father Caseys), Seán Gallahue (Galtee Gaels); Conor Ó Longaigh (Mungret-Saint Pauls), Harry McDermott (Monaleen), Daniel Murphy (Ballylanders); Cian Costelloe (Cappagh-Rathkeale), Daniel O’Connell (Mungret-Saint Pauls); Shane Dolan (Monaleen), Evan O’Connor (Father Caseys), Shane O’Dea (Hospital-Herbertstown); Rory Mulins (Mungret-Saint Pauls), Ben Ryan (Croom); Charlie Casey (Monaleen), Rian McNamara (Cappagh-Rathkeale), Cillian McNamara (Monaleen. SUBS: Michael Naughton (Croom) for Conor Ó Longaigh (34 minutes), Seán O’Donnell (Galtee Gaels) for Seán Gallahue (34 minutes), Cillian Clifford for Evan O’Connor (48 minutes), Eoghan Fitzgerald (Galtee Gaels) for Shane O’Dea (48 minutes), Robbie Widger (Monaleen) for Cillian McNamara (53 minutes).

REFEREE: John Michael Fitzgerald (Kerry).