Opening Allianz HL wins for Clare, Limerick and Waterford while Model men deny Cats late on

February 04, 2024

Wexford's Seamus Casey in action against Kilkenny ©INPHO/Ken Sutton

Holders Limerick had minimal fuss in the opening round of their Allianz Hurling League title defence by seeing off Antrim on an emphatic 1-36 to 1-9 scoreline in Thurles in Division 1 Group B.

Despite the All-Ireland champions’ dominance for large portions of the first-half, Fred McCurry’s goal had kept Antrim in contention by the end of the first-half as they trailed 0-16 to 1-7 come the interval.

John Kiely’s men netted a goal through Shane O’Brien in the opening seconds of the restart however and, form there, they kicked on for the resounding 27-point victory.

In Division 1 Group A, Waterford were 3-20 to 0-17 winners over Offaly in Tullamore on opening weekend.

Having trailed 0-7 to 0-4 after the opening 15 minutes, the Deise men’s goals came from Sean Walsh, and Stephen Bennett (2) before half-time as they kicked on to win out by a dozen points.

Meanwhile, Clare held off Cork’s spirited fightback to claim both points in Ennis.

It finished 1-25 to 2-19 at Cusack Park, where Seadna Morey’s goal with seven minutes to go proved key for the hosts after the Rebels had reduced a seven-point deficit to just two in the closing quarter.

In Nowlan Park, Cian Byrne’s injury-time goal denied Kilkenny as Wexford came away with a 2-16 to 2-16 draw in round one.

The Cats had led by 0-9 to 0-5 at the halfway stage and, while the Model men pulled level after the turnaround, two Billy Drennan goals (one a penalty) look to have done the trick for the home side before Byrne’s late intervention.

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