One last win for All-Ireland hurling champions before Christmas
Murt Murphy reports from Austin Stack Park
LIMERICK MANAGER JOHN Kiely made seven changes to his Limerick team, from the side that lost to Tipperary in round one just six days ago. But it mattered little as the All-Ireland champions proved far too strong for a young Kerry side in this Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League Group A Round 2 game played in difficult conditions at the Austin Stack Park.
It was game where goals proved the difference between the sides and Kerry gifted Limerick two goals inside the opening three minutes, the first one only after fifteen seconds through David Reidy and two minutes later Oisin O’Reilly found the Kerry net after collecting a misdirected pass.
When Barry Murphy added a point Kerry looked in deep trouble but in driving rain, the Kingdom rallied and fired over four unanswered points from Michael O’Leary (2), Shane Conway and Jordan Conway.
Limerick finally ended a 12th-minute drought that included four wides when Tom Morrissey fired over from an acute angle but the Kerry defence particularly Sean Weir, Jason Diggins and Mikey Boyle were making life were uncomfortable for the Limerick attack.
Conditions made even holding the hurl difficult and Limerick added a free from Colin Ryan and a beauty from play by Barry Murphy but Kerry hit back with two Shane Conway points, one from play and the other a free as Kerry retired happy at the interval, trailing by just four 2-4 to 0-6.
Limerick lost David Reidy to a serious looking shoulder injury just before half time , however within 13 seconds of the restart Limerick struck for a killer goal when Graeme Mulcahy slipped in for a third goal.
Limerick dominated the rest of the game with Barry Murphy impressing with some fine points, while Diarmuid Byrnes came up from wing back to make it 3-9 to 0-7 with twenty minutes remaining.
It was a tough physical battle in desperate conditions and though Padraig Boyle came on for Kerry and scored a nice three-point cameo, it was the All-Ireland champions who finished in style with Barry Murphy lobbing Kerry keeper Martin Stackpoole for goal number four while Oisin O’Reilly added a point as Limerick eased to a comfortable 15 point win.
Scorers for Limerick: B Murphy (1-6, 3 frees), O O‘Reilly (1-1), D Reidy and G Mulcahy (1-0 each), G Hegarty (0-3, 1 s/l), C Ryan (0-2, 1free), D Byrnes and T Morrissey (0-1 each)
Scorers for Kerry: S Conway (0-4, 3 frees), P Boyle (0-3, 2 frees), M O’Leary (0-2), J Diggins and J Conway (0-1 each).
1. Barry Hennessy (Kilmallock)
2. William O’Meara (Askeaton)
3. Sean Finn (Bruff)
4. Lorcan Lyons (Monaleen)
5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell)
6. Dan Morrissey (Ahane)
7. Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock)
8. Robbie Hanley (Kilmallock)
9. Colin Ryan (Pallasgreen)
10. Gearoid Hegarty (St. Patrick’s)
11. David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacca)
12. Tom Morrissey (Ahane – captain)
13. Barry Murphy (Doon)
14. Seamus Flanagan (Feoghanagh/Castlemahon)
26. Oisin O’Reilly (Kilmallock)
Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock) for D Reidy (35)
Aaron Costello (Kilmallock) for L Lyons (48)
Ronan Connolly (Adare) for W O’Meara (53).
1. Martin Stackpoole (Lixnaw – captain)
2. Sean Weir (Crotta O’Neills)
3. Bryan Murphy (Causeway)
4. Eric Leen (St Brendan’s Ardfert)
5. Jason Diggins (Causeway)
6. Mickey Boyle (Ballyduff)
21. Pa Kelly (Clarecastle)
8. Daithi Griffin (St Brendan’s Ardfert)
9. Brandon Barrett (Causeway)
10. Jordan Conway (Crotta O’Neills)
11. Micheal O’Leary (Abbeydorney)
12. Micheal Lehane (Ballyheigue)
13. Jack Goulding (Ballyduff)
14. Shane Conway (Lixnaw)
15. Dan Goggin (Causeway)
James O’Connor (Abbeydorney) for E Leen ( ht)
Padraig Boyle (Ballyduff) for D Goggin (48)
Michael Slattery (Abbeydorney ) for P Kelly (48)
Niall O’Mahony ( Abbeydorney ) for D Griffin ( 54)
Evan Murphy Causeway for M Leane (66).
Referee: C Lyons (Cork)