Limerick 0-30
Waterford 0-19

LIMERICK’S PERFECT HURLING season concluded in December delight as the All-Ireland crown was safely added to their 2020 collection.

Waterford’s Stephen Bennett has a shot stopped by Limerick’s Diarmaid Byrnes.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

With league and Munster trophies already secured, they completed their hurling treble in style with a dominant showing as they swept past Waterford on hurling final day.

Stunning displays from wing-forwards Gearoid Hegarty and Tom Morrissey were central to the success. Hegarty shot 0-7 from play with Morrissey two behind him in the scoring stakes as they inflicted huge damage on the Waterford rearguard.

It was 0-14 to 0-11 in favour of Limerick at the interval after a half where Aaron Gillane and Morrissey were in mesmeric attacking form, both striking over three points from play.

Waterford hung in there until the break, producing a gutsy second quarter which they shaded by 0-7 to 0-6. They hit the final three points of the half with Stephen Bennett popping over frees and Austin Gleeson clipping over some fine efforts from play.

But a succession of goal chances were not converted in that opening period. Jack Fagan sent a shot whistling wide and was crowded out for another while Bennett fired one at Nickie Quaid after being denied by a despairing block from Diarmaid Byrnes a few minutes before.

Waterford suffered the monumental blow of seeing Tadhg De Búrca limp off in the 21st minute after he sustained a knock to his knee. He was a huge presence for Waterford to be robbed off but youngster Iarlaith Daly got to the tempo of the game instantly and acquitted himself excellently.

Tadhg De Búrca goes down injured in the first half.

Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Yet Waterford needed a powerhouse like De Búrca and the boost of a first-half goal. They trailed 0-8 to 0-4 at the first water break and the signs were ominous. Rattling off the last three scores of the half to halve the six-point deficit they faced, meant that Waterford retained some hope at the interval. They were also grateful to a quite stunning double save by Stephen O’Keeffe to deny Kyle Hayes and then Cian Lynch from netting.

Then came another Limerick onslaught to put this game to bed. They hit the first four points of the second half and ultimately outscored Waterford 0-10 to 0-5 in that third quarter.

It all meant there was little doubt by the second-half water break that a victory for Limerick was in store. Waterford went chasing the game, trying to manufacture goal openings. Yet Limerick’s defence where Sean Finn and Kyle Hayes were outstanding, blocked off the avenues of space available and Liam Cahill’s team were restricted to potshots. 

Bennett amassed 0-10 while Gleeson contributed 0-5 but it was the class of Hegarty, Morrissey and Gillane that told as Limerick cruised home in the end with plenty in reserve on the scoreboard.

Scorers for Limerick: Aaron Gillane 0-10 (0-6f), Gearoid Hegarty 0-7,  Tom Morrissey 0-5, Seamus Flanagan 0-3, Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Kyle Hayes, William O’Donoghue, Pat Ryan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Waterford: Stephen Bennett 0-10 (0-9f), Austin Gleeson 0-5 (0-1f, 0-1 sideline), Calum Lyons, Kevin Moran, Kieran Bennett, Dessie Hutchinson 0-1 each.

Limerick

1. Nickie Quaid (Effin)

2. Sean Finn (Bruff)
3. Dan Morrissey (Ahane)

4. Barry Nash (South Liberties)

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5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell)
6. Declan Hannon (Adare)
7. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo/Pallaskenry)

8. Darragh O’Donovan (Doon)
9. William O’Donoghue (Na Piarsaigh)

10. Gearoid Hegarty (St. Patrick’s)
11. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell)
12. Tom Morrissey (Ahane)

15. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock)
13. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell)
14. Seamus Flanagan (Feohanagh-Castlemahon)

Subs

19. Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh) for Mulcahy (49)
25. David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacca) for O’Donovan (59)
26. Pat Ryan (Doon) for Flanagan (62)
18. Adrian Breen (Na Piarsaigh) for Gillane (68)
24. Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock) for Hayes (70)

Waterford

1. Stephen O’Keeffe (Ballygunner)

2. Ian Kenny (Ballygunner)
3. Conor Prunty (Abbeyside)
4. Shane McNulty (De La Salle)

5. Calum Lyons (Ballyduff Lower)
6. Tadhg de Burca (Clashmore-Kinsalebeg)
7. Kevin Moran (De La Salle)

8. Jamie Barron (Fourmilewater)
9. Kieran Bennett (Ballysaggart)

10. Jack Fagan (De La Salle)
11. Neil Montgomery (Abbeyside)
15. Jack Prendergast (Lismore)

13. Dessie Hutchinson (Ballygunner)
14. Austin Gleeson (Mount Sion)
12. Stephen Bennett (Ballysaggart)

Subs

25. Iarlaith Daly (Lismore) for De Búrca (inj) (21)
23. Darragh Lyons (Dungarvan) for Kieran Bennett (40)
22. Conor Gleeson (Fourmilewater) for Montgomery (44)
20. Patrick Curran (Dungarvan) for Moran (52)
26. Shane Fives (Tourin) for Kenny (55)

Referee: Fergal Horgan (Tipperary)

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