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Published: 15:30 | 17/4/16

Waterford breeze past Limerick

League holders will meet Clare in final on 1 May

Waterford are through to a second successive league final after a 3-23 to 1-18 victory over Limerick at Semple Stadium.

Limerick led the semi-final in Thurles by 0-12 to 0-11 at half-time, but the holders outscored TJ Ryan's Division 1B side by 3-12 to 1-6 in the second half to set up a final date against Clare on 1 May.

The first goal of the game came on 42 minutes, when Limerick's Richie McCarthy took down Shane Bennett and the Ballysaggart player converted the penalty himself into the top right corner to hand the Deise a 1-15 to 0-13 lead.

Limerick, who managed just three points in the third quarter, all from frees, then went 2-20 to 0-17 up on the hour with a drilled Patrick Curran goal from Michael Walsh's pass.

The Treaty County side netted a late goal of their own, following Curran's sending off for a second yellow card, as Limerick substitute Shane Dowling netted from a free three minutes into injury-time.

But Waterford hit straight back as Tom Devine scored a scruffy goal to extend the victory margin to 11 points.

Curran, playing as a centre-forward instead of Bennett, finished with 1-10 with Bennett ending with an individual haul of 1-3.

Waterford manager Derek McGrath is "delighted" his side have progressed to a second Allianz League final in 12 months and given themselves another opportunity to win a trophy.

"We're just delighted to be in another final because we've only won three titles in the past. As I said before, that's our best possibility of progress long term, to keep winning as many matches as we can," he told TG4.

"We're very happy to be in a league final. It's great for Waterford,"

Man-of-the-match Michael Walsh played down the Deise's achievement of a second successive league final, insisting that the championship and the Liam McCarthy cup was the focus this summer.

"It's still only April, no-one knows what it's really going to be like until the championship," he said.

"We want another tough game and we've got it here today and move onto the next day. There's a long season ahead."

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