Limerick 4-26 Wexford 1-11
Shane Dowling helped himself to 2-08 in Thurles this afternoon as Limerick battered Wexford in a one-sided All-Ireland senior hurling championship quarter-final.
The Shannonsiders cut loose to end Wexford’s championship odyssey at Semple Stadium.
A gap of 24 points separated the sides at the final whistle following this merciless demolition job.
And it was Dowling’s two goals within the space of a minute approaching half-time that helped to obliterate Wexford.
The Model County had travelled in big numbers and with huge confidence after knocking 2013 All-Ireland champions Clare and Waterford out in previous rounds.
But they ran into a Limerick juggernaut as the beaten Munster finalists rekindled their season in style.
TJ Ryan’s Treaty men were in devastating form but Ryan insisted afterwards that Wexford should not have had to face a situation where they were playing for a fourth successive weekend.
Limerick’s massive win sends them through to a second successive All-Ireland semi-final and in a fortnight’s time, they will lock horns with Leinster champions Kilkenny.
Wexford had momentum before throw-in but their dreams were dashed by clinical Limerick, who could even afford the luxury of shooting 16 wides.
And Wexford’s dismal afternoon ended on a sour note when full-back Matthew O’Hanlon was sent off in stoppage time for a challenge on Dowling.
By half-time, this tie was effectively over as a contest as Limerick had opened up a 3-15 to 0-08 lead.
David Breen, excellent for Limerick, scored Limerick’s first goal in the 28th minute before Dowling netted twice in first half stoppage time.
Dowling’s brace sucked any remaining life out of Wexford and the second half was a procession as the game petered out to an inevitable conclusion.
Limerick, who lined out without injured captain Donal O’Grady, continued to pile on the misery as midfielder Paul Browne charged through the heart of the Wexford defence to blast home a 37th minute goal.
Shane Tomkins netted a consolation goal for Wexford with eight minutes of normal time remaining but it came at a time when Limerick had been 23 points clear.
Limerick: N Quaid; T Condon, R McCarthy, S Hickey; P O’Brien, W McNamara (0-01), G O’Mahony; J Ryan (0-02), P Browne (1-01); D Breen (1-01), D Hannon (0-04), T Ryan; K Downes, S Dowling (2-08, 0-05f), G Mulcahy (0-03).
Subs: S Tobin (0-03, 1f) for Breen (51), N Moran for Downes (51), T O’Brien for Hannon (55), S Walsh for McCarthy (59), C King for J Ryan (65).
Wexford: M Fanning; L Ryan, M O’Hanlon, K Rossiter; A Shore, E Moore, C Kenny; D Redmond, L Chin; J Guiney (0-03, 1f, 1 65), P Doran (0-02), D O’Keeffe (0-03); P Morris (0-01), C McDonald (0-02), L Og McGovern.
Subs: R Kehoe for Kenny (h.t.), S Tomkins (1-00) for Redmond (h.t.), R Jacob for Morris (43), I Byrne for Doran (43), H Kehoe for Moore (44).
Referee: B Kelly (Westmeath).