Limerick crash out under Dublin assault

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By Eoghan Cormican, in Semple Stadium

Dublin 1-17 Limerick 1-16

A dogged second-half performance from Ger Cunningham’s Dublin sent Limerick crashing out of this summer’s hurling championship.

Chris Crummey, Dublin, celebrates his side’s victory today. Picture: Sportsfile.

The underdogs, led by the outstanding Paul Ryan, outscored their opponents by 1-10 to 0-8 upon the change of ends to move into the All-Ireland quarter-final draw.

Ryan, as mentioned, was a vital cog in this triumph, the corner-forward hitting 0-12 over the 70 minutes, including five from play in the second period.

The Dublin sharpshooter clipped the first five points of the second-half to move his team 0-12 to 1-8 in front, having trailed by 1-8 to 0-7 at the break. And while Limerick responded with four unanswered points, Cunningham’s charges refused to go away.

The decisive play arrived in the 62nd minute, Dotsy O’Callaghan stealing in behind the Limerick full-back to pounce for a goal. The major moved Dublin 1-14 to 1-13 in front and it was a lead they would not relinquish during a tense conclusion.

TJ Ryan’s side bombarded the opposition half during the three minutes of stoppages allotted, but could not locate an equaliser.

The first-half of this round 2 qualifier could best be described as strange. Limerick did all the hurling for the first 28 minutes or so, enjoying, at one point, a 1-8 to 0-2 lead despite hitting 11 wides.

Failure, however, to drive the knife into Dublin following David Breen’s goal on 26 minutes proved costly. Dublin were on the ropes, big names like Liam Rushe, Ryan O’Dwyer and Conal Keaney non-existent, but the knockout punch TJ Ryan’s men failed to deliver.

Instead, three on the hop from Paul Ryan and a Mark Schutte effort cut the margin to four by half-time, 1-8 to 0-7, scarcely believable in the context of the opening half an hour.

For Limerick, the performances of Richie McCarthy, Paudie O’Brien, Declan Hannon and David Breen encapsulated their dominance, and while points Hannon, Dowling and Graeme Mulcahy nudged them in front in the opening quarter, they were unable to move out of sight.

They were made to rue said missed chances in the end.

Scorers for Dublin: P Ryan (0-12, 0-6 frees); D O’Callaghan (1-0); D Plunkett (0-2); C Boland, R O’Dwyer, M Schutte (0-1 each).

Scorers for Limerick: S Tobin (0-6, 0-5 frees); S Dowling (0-4, 0-2 frees, 0-2 ‘65’s); D Breen (1-1); G Mulcahy, D Hannon (0-2 each), P O’Brien (0-1).

Dublin: G Maguire; P Schutte, C Crummey, S Barrett; S Durkin, L Rushe, N Corcoran; J McCaffrey, R O’Dwyer; D Plunkett, E Dillon, D Sutcliffe; P Ryan, C Keane, M Schutte.

Subs: D O’Callaghan for Dillon (29 mins), J Boland for Corcoran (51), C Boland for Keaney (59), D Treacy for M Schutte (65).

Limerick: N Quaid; S O’Brien, R McCarthy, S Hickey; P O’Brien, G O’Mahony, W McNamara; J Ryan, P Browne; G Muclahy, D Breen, C Lynch; S Dowling, K Downes, D Hannon.

Subs: D Morrissey for McNamara (44), S Tobin for Dowling (44), D O’Grady for Breen (55), D Reidy for Hannon (65), C King for Browne (70).

Referee: C McAllister (Cork).