Limerick progress to play Wexford in qualifiers   18/07/2011

GAA Football All-Ireland Qualifiers Round 3
Limerick 0-14 Waterford 0-9

Limerick deserved to win this Round 3 Qualifier, but they were tested throughout this Munster derby as Waterford proved dogged opponents.

Gary Hurney's sending off with 10 minutes left in the game sealed Waterford's fate as the Shannonsiders' scoring capabilities proved too much in the closing stages.

Waterford were looking for a goal that never came to set up a tense finish but their inability to set up any scoring opportunities was their Achilles Heel in the end.

The visitors started the game with the wind at their backs but it was Limerick who began the brighter of the two.

Points from Stephen Kelly, John Mullane and Séamus O'Carroll were key to them getting off on the right foot.
But a free from Paul Whyte and a score from Gary Hurney kept the Déise within touching distance.

John Owens' men thought they had a penalty on the 17th minute when referee Cormac Reilly awarded a spot kick. Reilly had first thought that Waterford danger man Whyte was fouled but after talking with his umpires, he judged that the forward had slipped in the area.

It could have got worse for the Déise if it was not for their goalkeeper Kieran Cotter after he pulled off a fine save to deny O'Carroll.

Maurice Horan's side started to kick on midway through the opening half and stretched their lead to four points with the help of O'Carroll (0-2), Collins and Kelly as they took a 0-8 to 0-3 lead.

But it was Waterford that surprised most by staging a comeback with a good scoring spell before the break. Scores coming from Patrick Hurney, Brian Wall and Whyte left the sides at 0-9 to 0-7 at half-time.

Things should have gone in favour for John Owen's men shortly after the restart when Patrick Hurney was sent through on goal but his effort was too high and Waterford had to settle for the point.

It was Limerick's turn to go for goal and Mullane went extremely close only to see his effort take a deflection and subsequently cleared from the danger area. Cotter was then called upon again only moments later when Collins broke straight through in on goal with Waterford's number one tipping the shot around the post.

Limerick converted the resulting '45 through Stephen Kelly and there were two points between the sides again. But any chance of a Waterford comeback was quashed on the hour mark.

After a coming together, Gary Hurney was adjudged to have knocked Limerick midfielder Thomas Lee to the ground and the Waterford full-forward received his marching orders and with that the game was over.

Further points from Collins and Kelly secured the victory for Limerick and they go through to face Wexford in Round 4 of the Qualifiers.