Declan Hannon hit two first-half goals to help Limerick to their second division 1B win of the season, with a 3-10 to 1-13 victory over Carlow at the Gaelic Grounds.
Hannon's brace was added to by Seanie Tobin's goal before the break as John Allen's side struggled to the win with Paul Coady's late goal leading to a nervy closing five minutes for Limerick.
After a bizarre opening half, Limerick somehow held a three-point lead at half-time, despite being out-hurled for the large part by John Meyler's side, who picked up their second defeat of the campaign.
In the end the three goals in that opening 35 minutes from the Treaty men proved crucial, the first arriving from Hannon's 20-metre free in the 12th minute, which helped Limerick past Carlow's early superiority, which had opened out a 0-3 to 0-1 lead.
But the Leinster men responded well to that goal and they hit the next four points - three frees from the deadly accurate Shane Kavanagh and a fine point by skipper Edward Coady after some clever interplay from the Carlow forwards.
But just as they recovered from the first goal, Hannon struck again in the 25th minute with a bullet shot to the top corner and two minutes later Tobin got in on the act and poked in an arrowed pass from Graeme Mulcahy to give Limerick a 3-2 to 0-8 lead at half-time.
After the restart Limerick looked like they had gotten rid of their first-half lethargy as three points in a row from Mulcahy, Hannon and Paudie O'Brien saw their advantage open out to six points by the 40th minute.
Craig Doyle slotted his first point for Carlow soon after and Shane Kavanagh also hit his second from play to keep Meyler's men in touch, but three scores in a row from Hannon gave Limerick their biggest lead of the day at 3-8 to 0-10 in the 52nd minute.
But from then on they only managed to hit the target twice as Carlow showed admirable spirit to work their way back into the game.
Shane Kavanagh landed two more frees before substitute Paul Coady flicked a Kavanagh 65 to the net to put just three between the sides but Limerick held on to set up an exciting clash with Dublin next weekend.
Limerick scorers: D Hannon 2-6 (1-4 fs), S Tobin 1-0, S Hickey, G Mulcahy, P O'Brien & A Breen 0-1 each.
Carlow scorers: S Kavanagh 0-9 (7fs), P Coady 1-0, C Doytle 0-2, S Murphy & E Coady 0-1 each.
Limerick: A Murphy; A Dempsey, R McCarthy, T Condon; C King, D O'Grady, G O'Mahoney; P Browne, P O'Brien; D Hannon, S Hickey, D Breen; G Mulcahy, N Moran, D Tobin.
Subs: W McNamara for O'Grady 22, K Downes for Moran h-t, J Ryan for O'Mahoney 50, A Breen for Tobin 52, S Dowling for Mulcahy 68.
Carlow: N Roberts; H P O'Byrne, E Nolan, D Shaw; J O'Hara, R Cody, Derek Byrne; M Brennan, E Coady; J Kavanagh, S Kavanagh, S Murphy; P Nolan, J M Nolan, C Doyle.
Subs: D Roberts for P Nolan h-t, Diarmuid Byrne for Derek Byrne 42, P Coady for J Kavanagh 46, A Guale for J M Nolan 52, D Galwey for O'Hara 58.