National Hurling League: Invincible Limerick in Antrim rout
Antrim 0-15 Limerick 4-15: Limerick prolonged their 100 per cent league record with a four-goal victory over Antrim at Loughgiel in Division 2 of the Allianz Hurling League.
Donal O’Grady’s side had already secured a place in the league final in two weeks’ time, but there was no complacency in their ranks and the visitors were 0-4 to 0-0 ahead after seven minutes.
Declan Hannon got the Treaty men off the mark after 50 seconds and added his second from a free a minute later.
Neil McManus opened Antrim’s account from a free with Karl Stewart cutting the gap to two by the 12th minute. By the quarter hour mark, Antrim trailed 1-6 to 0-2, with Downes dancing through the home defence to send an unstoppable shot past Clare native Sean Hawes.
McManus and Barry McFall provided temporary respite for Antrim, but normal service was resumed through Paul Browne. Richie MacCarthy became the sixth name on the Limerick scoresheet with McManus completing the first half scoring with Limerick well in control at 1-10 to 0-6.
Tobin fired home Limerick’s second goal just after the restart although Antrim did manage to string together four unanswered scores midway through the half to cut the gap to 2-11 to 0-10.
James Ryan and Downes with his second goal brought the deficit to double figures. Antrim added five points, but Downes' injury time goal gave a more accurate reflection to the final scoreline.
Antrim: S Hawes; N McAuley; K McGourty, K Molloy; A Graffin, M Herron, C Herron; K Stewart (0-1), S McNaughton; P Shiels, S McCrory (0-1), K McKeegan, M Armstrong, N McManus (0-9f), B McFall (0-3). Subs: J Black for S McCrory, M Donnelly for K Stewart, S Shannon for C Herron, C McGuinness (0-1) for K McKeegan
Limerick: N Quaid; T Condon, S Lucey, D Reale; D Breen, S Hickey, W McNamara (0-1); D O'Grady, P Browne (0-2); D Hannon (0-6, 5f), R McCarthy (0-2, 1f), J Ryan (0-2); S Tobin (1-1), K Downes (3-0), G Mulcahy. Subs: M O’Riordan for D O’Grady, N Moran for J Ryan, E Reale (0-1) for P Browne, P McNamara for R MacCarthy, B Geary for S Hickey
Referee: E Hasson (Derry).