Allianz HL D1: Limerick eventually tame plucky Westmeath
Allianz Hurling League Division 1A
LIMERICK 3-26 WESTMEATH 0-18
Limerick put their foot on the accelerator in the second-half to eventually run out comfortable 17-point victors over Westmeath in this Allianz Hurling League Division 1A clash at TEG Cusack Park.
The reigning All-Ireland champions started relatively slowly, though, and the teams were tied at 0-4 apiece after the first 10 minutes of the match.
Five successive points before the water-break gave John Kiely’s team a buffer on the score-board but Westmeath produced their best hurling in the third quarter and had reduced the deficit to just four points at the break, 0-14 to 0-10.
Westmeath remained competitive in the third quarter too as both teams shared four points each, but in the final quarter Limerick finally moved through the gears.
Kyle Hayes hit the first goal of the match after 59 minutes and then substitute Darren O’Connell and Pat Ryan hit two more late on that added a gloss to the final score-line that wasn’t quite reflective of just how well Westmeath had played for most of the game.
Scorers for Limerick: Aaron Gillane 0-9 (5f, 1 '65), Seamus Flanagan 0-4, Kyle Hayes 1-1, Darren O'Connell and Pat Ryan 1-0 each, Tom Morrissey 0-3, Peter Casey and Barry Murphy (1f) 0-2 each, Brian O'Grady, Conor Boylan, Graeme Mulcahy, Gearoid Hegarty and Richie English 0-1 each.
Scorers for Westmeath: Niall O'Brien 0-6 (5f, 1 '65), Ciaran Doyle 0-3 (1f), Derek McNicholas, Aonghus Clarke and Josh Coll 0-2 each, Cormac Boyle, Alan Cox and Shane Clavin 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Jerome Boylan, Richie English, Barry Nash; Brian O'Grady, Ronan Connolly, Kyle Hayes; Robbie Hanley, Darragh O'Donovan; Tom Morrissey, Peter Casey, Conor Boylan; Aaron Gillane, Seamus Flanagan, Graeme Mulcahy. Subs: Adrian Breen for Seamus Flanagan (ht), Pat Ryan for Graeme Mulcahy (49mins), William O'Donoghue for Robbie Hanley (49mins), Gearoid Hegarty for Tom Morrissey (56mins), Darren O'Connell for Peter Casey (61mins), Barry Murphy for Aaron Gillane (61mins), Dan Morrissey for Kyle Hayes (61mins).
WESTMEATH: Noel Conaty; Darragh Egerton, Tommy Gallagher, Conor Shaw; Aaron Craig, Tommy Doyle, Aonghus Clarke; Cormac Boyle, Shane Clavin; Niall O'Brien, Derek McNicholas, Joey Boyle; Darragh Clinton, Niall Mitchell, Ciaran Doyle. Subs: Josh Coll for Darragh Clinton (26mins), Kevin Regan for Aaron Craig (46mins), Alan Cox for Cormac Boyle (51mins), Shane Williams for Joey Boyle (61mins), Brendan Doyle for Darragh Egerton (61mins), Jordy Smith for Niall O'Brien (63mins).
Ref: Chris Mooney (Dublin)