Allianz HL D1B: Limerick outclass Dublin
*Allianz Hurling League Division 1B *
LIMERICK 1-26 DUBLIN 0-17
By Daragh Small at the Gaelic Grounds
Seamus Flanagan was outstanding as Limerick maintained their promotion push with a 12-point win over Dublin at the Gaelic Grounds.
Aaron Gillane scored freely, and ended with 1-9 to his name, but it was another all-round brilliant effort from this Limerick side.
Gillane was on target for the crucial penalty in the first-half and Limerick eased themselves into a 1-13 to 0-7 lead at half-time.
And with the game already sown up Limerick didn’t have to go through the gears in the second-half, with Flanagan building on his positive start to 2018.
Limerick were desperate to continue on their path towards a promotion decider against reigning All-Ireland champions Galway at Pearse Stadium on March 4.
And they started well with Tom Morrissey a constant threat up front. He scored points in the first and second minutes to give his side the lead.
Dublin hit back through their forward Cian Boland, but Morrissey turned provider when he won a free and Gillane slotted his first point in the sixth minute.
Limerick were the dominant side and even though Dublin clung to their coattails in the opening quarter they couldn’t resist Gillane and his free-taking.
But it was the Patrickswell clubman’s penalty that really put daylight between the sides in the 23rd minute.
Limerick were 0-9 to 0-5 ahead when Flanagan drove at the heart of the Dublin defence. He off-loaded to Barry Murphy who was hauled down by Dublin goalkeeper Alan Nolan.
Then Gillane stepped up and blasted to the bottom right corner of the Dublin net. He scored four more points before the interval while Dublin’s chances quickly faded.
Danny Sutcliffe kept up the fight, and he scored twice while Donal Burke was on target on three occasions, but it was all too little, and Gillane brought his first-half tally to 1-7 to give his side a 1-13 to 0-7 lead at half-time.
Donal Burke tagged on his fourth point for Dublin after the interval but points from Gillane and Flanagan quashed any hopes of a fight back.
Hegarty scored another quality point and Gillane continued to add his tally, before he was hauled off with 22 minutes remaining.
Limerick were afforded the luxury of testing out their squad again but Morrissey kept piling on the pressure.
Substitute Pat Ryan got his name on the scoresheet and Limerick almost scored another goal but Nolan saved well from David Reidy.
Scorers for Limerick: Aaron Gillane 1-9 (0-7f, 1-0 pen), David Reidy 0-4 (0-1f), Tom Morrissey 0-4, Diarmaid Byrnes 0-3 (f), G Hegarty 0-2, Seamus Flanagan 0-2, Pat Ryan 0-1, Barry O’Connell 0-1.
Scorers for Dublin: Donal Burke 0-6 (0-6f), Danny Sutcliffe 0-5, Conal Keaney 0-2, Cian Boland 0-1, Fergal Whitely 0-1, Eoghan O’Donnell 0-1, Fiontan McGibb 0-1
LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Sean Finn, Seamus Hickey, Richie English; Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Dan Morrissey; Paul Browne, Cian Lynch; Gearoid Hegarty, Tom Morrissey, David Reidy; Aaron Gillane, Seamus Flanagan, Barry Murphy. Subs: Tom Condon for Richie English (35), Pat Ryan for Aaron Gillane (48), Barry O’Connell for Gearoid Hegarty (57), Richie McCarthy for Seamus Hickey (66)
DUBLIN: *Alan Nolan; Paddy Smyth, Bill O’Carroll, Eoghan O’Donnell; Shane Barrett, Chris Crummey, Tomas Connolly; Cian McBride, Niall McMorrow; Fionntain MacGibb, Fergal Whitely, Danny Sutcliffe; Conal Keaney, Cian Boland, Donal Burke. *Subs: Daire Gray for Bill O’Carroll (15, blood), Bill O’Carroll for Daire Gray (18), Cillian Costello for Cian McBride (24), Liam Rushe for Cian Boland (35), Ronan o hAodha for Niall McMorrow (35), Darren Kelly for Bill O’Carroll (35), James Madden for Tomas Connolly (70).
Ref: Johnny Ryan (Tipperary).