Limerick produced another superb performance to send Waterford packing from the Munster SHC at the Gaelic Grounds.
John Kiely's side had the win all but wrapped up by half-time time when they held a commanding 2-14 to 0-7 with Gearoid Hegarty and Graeme Mulcahy finding the net in the 10th and 13th minutes respectively. Sub Tommy Ryan gave last year's beaten All-Ireland finalists hope with a goal six minutes after the restart, but the Treaty were always comfortable as they set up a big showdown with Clare in Ennis next Sunday, the winners of which will qualify for the Munster final on July 1.
Limerick have shown steady improvement all season and they were far too slick for the visitors who only scored two points from play in the second half. Pauric Mahony top-scored with 0-10 (0-9 from placed balls), but he was eclipsed at the other end by Shane Dowling who shot 0-15 (0-13 from frees) on his return to the Limerick starting line-up.
The visitors, who were unlucky not to beat Tipperary last weekend, led by 0-2 to 0-1 after three minutes thanks to points from Tom Devine and DJ Foran, but that was as good as it for them as the unerring Dowling put Limerick in the driving seat with three quick points to lead by 0-5 to 0-2 after nine minutes.
Hegarty's goal a minute later tightened their grip on proceedings before Mulcahy punished a mistake by Stephen O'Keeffe to raise a second green flag four minutes later.
The hosts were purring now and hit six points in-a-row, including three from the impressive Cian Lynch, to take a big lead into the break.
Derek McGrath's charges resumed with a Mahony free before goalkeeper O'Keeffe scored from play after racing up the right wing. Limerick replied with two more points before Tommy Ryan netted with his first touch in the 41st minute to leave Waterford trailing by 1-9 to 2-16.
But the hosts responded with two Dowling frees and a Seamus Flanagan effort from play. Hegarty and sub David Dempsey extended their advantage with Waterford only managing frees from Mahony in reply.
Limerick: Nickie Quaid; Sean Finn, Mike Casey, Richie English; Diarmuid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Dan Morrissey; Darragh O'Donovan (0-1, 0-1 sl), Cian Lynch (0-3); Tom Morrissey (0-2), Kyle Hayes (0-2), Gearoid Hegarty (1-0); Seamus Flanagan (0-1), Graeme Mulcahy (1-0), Shane Dowling (0-15, 0-13f). Subs: David Dempsey (0-1) for Hegarty (54), Barry Murphy for Mulcahy (61), Willian O'Donoghue for O'Donovan (63), Barry Nash for Flanagan (68), Paul Browne for Lynch (68).
Waterford: Stephen O'Keeffe (0-1); Shane Fives, Conor Gleeson, Noel Connors; Philip Mahony, Austin Gleeson, Michael Walsh; Stephen Roche, Jamie Barron; Kevin Moran, Pauric Mahony (0-10, 0-9f), DJ Foran (0-1); Tom Devine (0-1), Stephen Bennett (0-1), Patrick Curran. Subs: Shane McNulty for Fives (4), Maurice Shanahan (0-01) for Curran (35), Tommy Ryan (1-00) for Bennett (35), Jake Dillon for Roche (52), Mikey Kearney (0-01) for Barron (65).
Referee: Sean Cleere (Kilkenny).Tweet