Hurling League Division One B: Saffrons lashed by under-strength Limerick

Neil McManus lack support in the Antrim attack
Neil McManus tried manfully for the Saffrons as he hit eight points

Antrim hurlers will be in the Division One B relegation play-off being hammered 3-21 to 0-13 by Limerick.

Limerick were minus eight Na Piarsaigh players and 10 other panelists involved in Saturday's Fitzgibbon Cup final but still were in a different class.

Aaron Gillane missed an early Limerick penalty before Oisin O'Reilly's goal put the visitors in control.

Limerick led 1-13 to 0-8 at the break in Cushendall before further goals from Gillane and Graham Mulcahy.

Antrim stayed in touch early on thanks to three Neil McManus frees but the danger signs were there as Gillane's penalty rattled the crossbar and Saffrons keeper Ryan Elliott also made a superb pointblank change.

But from a position of being only 0-7 to 0-6 ahead after 28 minutes, Limerick cut loose in the minutes before the break as O'Reilly netted from a tight angle and six other points followed to put them eight ahead.

The second half was one-way traffic as Antrim's attack, bar the brave McManus, were no match for Limerick's superb half-back line.

Antrim's policy of opting for short puck outs also proved an abject failure while Limerick's greater speed and superior option taking was there for all the crowd to see in the sunny Glens venue.

Gillane's goal was followed by Mulcahy's late injury-time three-pointer although there was the suspicion that Limerick could have achieved a much bigger scoreline had it been necessary.

After the promise of the opening narrow defeats by All-Ireland champions Galway and Dublin, Antrim's form has tailed away badly in their last two games as the muck of late January and early February has turned into harder and better quality pitch surfaces.

The Saffrons are certain to be involved in the Division One B relegation play-off irrespective of the result in Offaly next weekend, with Laois looking likely to be their opposition in the play-off after losing in Tullamore on Sunday.

ALLIANZ HURLING LEAGUE RESULTS

Saturday

Division Three A
Warwickshire2-17Monaghan3-13
Division Three B
Sligo2-09Lancashire3-15

Sunday

Division One A
Kilkenny 2-21Tipperary2-21
Wexford0-20Clare1-13
Cork 1-15Waterford1-20
Division One B
Offaly1-21Laois1-16
Antrim0-13Limerick3-21
Dublin1-14Galway1-20
Division Two A
Kerry3-19Meath1-09
London1-10Westmeath2-12
Carlow3-15Kildare1-06
Division Two B
Donegal0-17Down0-14
Derry1-15Armagh2-18
Mayo1-22Wicklow2-16
Division Three A
Longford5-07Louth4-17
Tyrone1-16Roscommon1-12
Division Three B
Cavan3-08Fermanagh0-16

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