Hurling League: Limerick lash Saffrons in Gaelic Grounds clash

Antrim collapsed in the second half as Munster champions Limerick hit three goals to complete a 3-26 to 0-12 win in the Hurling League Division 1B game.

The Saffrons competed well in the first half as they trailed 0-5 to 0-3 and 0-9 to 0-6 before Limerick hit the last two points of the half to lead 0-11 to 0-6.

Paul Shiels's fourth point kept Antrim in touch at 0-12 to 0-8 down before Limerick hit six unanswered points.

Dave Reidy, Sean Tobin and William Hickey struck Limerick's late goals.

Limerick hit the opening four points with Conor Alis (two), Donal O'Grady and Tobin on target but Antrim responded with three of the next four points to cut the Treaty men's lead to only two.

Shiels's third score in the 20th minute cut Limerick's lead to 0-6 to 0-4 and while the home side moved 0-9 to 0-4 ahead, Darren Hamill and Niall McKenna points left only three between the teams.

But perhaps crucially, Alis hit the final two scores of the first half and Limerick took control in the third quarter as six unanswered points increased their lead to 0-18 to 0-8.

As Antrim's resolve appeared to wane, Reidy, Tobin and Hickey all found the net in the closing stages to give the scoreboard a somewhat flattering look for the home side after the first-half exchanges.

In the Division 2 games involving Ulster counties, Down made it two wins from two as they defeated Wicklow 1-15 to 0-10 at Ballycran, Derry hammered 12-man Westmeath 3-11 to 0-8 at Mullingar while Fingal beat Armagh 2-18 to 2-13 at Swords.

Paddy McCloskey scored Derry's first goal which helped them lead 2-8 to 0-4 at the break after Westmeath had already been reduced to 14 players.

Down's win leaves them on a maximum four points in Division 2B after two games.

Limerick: Nickie Quaid; Stephen Walsh, Tom Condon, Mark Carmody; Paudie O'Brien, Wayne McNamara, Gavin O'Mahony; Donal O'Grady, Paul Browne; Thomas Ryan, James Ryan, Conor Allis; Thomas O'Brien, Tommy Quaid, Seanie Tobin. Subs: Aaron Murphy, Philip O'Loughlin, Barry Lynch, Richie English, Dan Morrissey, Cathal McNamara, Darragh Kennedy, William Hickey, David Reidy, Michael Ryan, John Fitzgibbon.

Antrim: Chris O'Connell; Chris McGuinness, Conor McKinley, Michael Bradley; Simon McCrory, Neal McAuley, Odhran McFadden; Neil McManus, Ciaran Johnston; Paul Shiels, Conor Carson, Niall McKenna; Daniel McKernan, Darren Hamill, Ciaran Clarke. Subs: Seanan McToal Oisin, Tomas O Ciarain, Barry McFall, Stephen McAfee, Eoghan Campbell, Jackson McGreevy, Matthew Donnelly, Nigel Elliott, Conor Johnson, Mark McFadden, Stephen Beatty.

WEEKEND ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE FIXTURES

SATURDAY

Division 1B

Laois 0-7 0-14 Cork

SUNDAY

Division 1A

Dublin 2-17 0-17 Clare

Kilkenny 5-20 5-14 Tipperary

Waterford 0-22 1-13 Galway

Division 1B

Wexford 2-19 2-13 Offaly

Limerick 3-26 0-12 Antrim

Division 2A

Carlow 2-24 0-8 London

Kerry 2-24 0-13 Kildare

Westmeath 0-8 3-11 Derry

Division 2B

Fingal 2-18 2-13 Armagh

Down 1-15 0-10 Wicklow

Meath 1-12 0-7 Mayo

Division 3A

Fermanagh P-P Louth

Roscommon 1-8 1-12 Monaghan

Longford 3-9 1-20 Donegal