Limerick see off Cork as Donal O’Grady retirement confirmed

Clare proved far too good for a very experimental Waterford team on Sunday

Limerick’s Donal O’Grady has retired. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Limerick’s Donal O’Grady has retired. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Limerick 3-17 Cork 0-18

Limerick made it two wins from two thanks to a greater goalscoring threat against Cork at Mallow on Sunday.

While the home team rarely tested Barry Hennessy in the Limerick goal, the visitors were far more clinical and would have won by more but for some good saves by Cork netminder Anthony Nash.

Limerick manager TJ Ryan confirmed after the game that 2013 Munster winning captain Donal O’Grady has retired from inter-county hurling. The 35-year-old has made 46 senior hurling championship appearances for the Shannonsiders but had yet to commit for the 2016 season.

Graeme Mulcahy’s 19th-minute strike put the Treatymen into a 1-7 to 0-3 lead and by half-time they were 1-11 to 0-7 to the good, Patrick Cronin and Paudie O’Sullivan the top scorers for the hosts.

With the wind behind them in the second half, Cork scored five unanswered points after the restart, with sub Patrick Horgan getting in on the act alongside William Leahy and Conor Lehane. The closest they came was two points before Limerick struck again, Declan Hannon - who finished with 1-9 - converting a free and then sending a rasping shot to the top corner.

That gave Limerick a cushion which they weren’t going to relinquish and Darragh O’Donovan wrapped things up with the third goal late on. Having already beaten Kerry, another win against Waterford tomorrow night - in Mallow once more - will be enough to secure them a place in the final of the competition against Clare.

Clare 1-20 Waterford 1-9

Waterford manager Derek McGrath appeared to concede this result even before the throw-in by selecting a side without a single championship regular. These sides will meet again later this season in the Munster championship but it bothered Clare little as they went on to record a facile 11 point victory and guarantee a place in the final of the inaugural Munster senior hurling league.

An error from rookie corner back Jordan Henley allowed David Reidy fire home an early Clare goal after just 12 minutes. Colin Ryan and John Conlon were in superb scoring form for the Banner hitting 9 points between them in the opening half. Waterford best player on view Thomas Ryan did place team mate Andy Molumby for well struck goal in the 25th minute but such was the dominance of the visitors at Carriganore it barely raised a cheer. The new Clare management team of Davy Fitzgerald and Donal Óg Cusack led their charges to the dressing rooms leading 1-12 to 1-3.

The more experienced Clare side continued to dominate throughout and despite playing against the breeze over the second 35 minutes outscored their hosts 0-8 0-6. Only poor finishing and 12 wides prevented Clare from inflicting a heavier defeat on their Munster rivals. Darach Honan with a pair of white flaggers in each half also showed a return to form with David McInerney and Cian Dillon in complete control against an anaemic looking Waterford attack.

Former hurler of the year Tony Kelly got some early season game time under his belt and he too managed to find his way on the score sheet before the end.

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