Limerick beat Kerry by 30 points at Gaelic Grounds

Kerry scored just the five points - four of which were from play - in the second half

Kerry’s Conor O’Keeffe is chased down by Limerick’s David Reidy. The latter scored 1-14 on Sunday. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho

Kerry’s Conor O’Keeffe is chased down by Limerick’s David Reidy. The latter scored 1-14 on Sunday. Photograph: Evan Treacy/Inpho

 

Limerick 4-29 Kerry 0-11

Strong performances from David Reidy and Pat Ryan saw Munster Hurling Cup holders Limerick take one step closer to regaining their title thanks to a comfortable 30-point win over Kerry at TUS Gaelic Grounds on Sunday.

Limerick - playing their first competitive game since their 16-point All-Ireland win over Cork last August, all of 147 days ago - got off to a flying start with Cathal O’Neill slotting over after just 15 seconds.

Barry Nash - the first South Liberties man to captain Limerick since Éamonn Grimes - was the only starter from last August’s All-Ireland final to keep his place in the side.

Kerry - still without any of their Kilmoyley players ahead of the North Kerry club’s All-Ireland Club Intermediate semi-final against Banagher of Derry next Sunday - struggled from the get-go.

The sucker punch for Stephen Molumphy’s side who defeated Tipperary in the quarter-final came in the 13th minute when Pat Ryan ran on to a superb over the top ball from Brian O’Grady before blasting into the roof of the net.

Limerick were seven points ahead at this stage, and in truth, the result already looked beyond doubt. Limerick led by 15 points - 1-17 to 0-6 at the half-time break.

A Reidy goal in the 44th minute extended Limerick’s advantage to 17 points, before Adam English burst through the tiring Kerry defence in the 53rd minute - the last puck of the third quarter - to raise the green flag for the third. That put John Kiely’s men 25 points ahead at the second half water break.

A Ryan goal - his second of the afternoon - gave the Treatymen their fourth goal of the afternoon.

Kerry scored just the five points - four of which were from play - in the second half as Limerick, backed by a faultless free-taking performance from Reidy, extended their lead to 30 by the final whistle. The Dromin-Athlacca clubman slotted over the last four of Limerick points in the final quarter.

LIMERICK: David McCarthy; Barry Nash, Jerome Boylan, Richie English; Colin Coughlan (0-2), Ronan Connolly, Mark Quinlan; Rory Duff, Brian O’Grady (0-3); Cathal O’Neill (0-4), David Reidy (1-14, 0-9 frees, 0-1 ‘65), Conor Boylan; Darren O’Connell, Pat Ryan (2-3), Oisín O’Reilly (0-1)

Subs: Paddy O’Loughlin (0-1) for Quinlan (nine mins), Adam English (1-1) for O’Reilly (half-time), William O’Donoghue for O’Grady, Patrick O’Donovan for O’Connell (both 53 mins).

KERRY: Martin Stackpoole; Sean Weir, Fionan MacKessy (0-1), Eric Leen; Eoin Ross (0-1), Conor O’Keeffe, Colin Walsh; Michael Leane (0-1), Gavin Dooley (0-2); Michael O’Leary, Paudie Ahern (0-1), Colum Harty (0-2); Mark Heffernan, Shane Conway (0-2, 0-2 free), Shane Nolan (0-1)

Subs: Darragh Slattery for Leen (48 mins, temporary), James Sheehan for Heffernan (52 mins), Leen for Slattery (55 mins, temporary reverse), Slattery for Ross (56 mins), Brian Lonergan for O’Leary (57 mins), Sean Sheehan for Weir (60 mins), Cathal Dunne for Walsh (66 mins).

Referee: Niall Malone (Clare).

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