Limerick 0-25 Waterford 0-21 Limerick dominance continues as they claim back-to-back Munster hurling titles
Limerick claimed a fifth cup from their last six competitions as they put back-to-back provincial titles together for the first time since 1981 in the Munster final at Semple Stadium.
Added to their back-to-back league titles and 2018 All-Ireland win, only the 2019 All-Ireland has eluded them as they continue their dominance of the game.
But they were never allowed to dictate in the same way as they did in their previous Munster Championship outings against Clare and Tipperary, and it took a strong last-quarter push to see them home.
It was hard to believe at times that this was much the same Waterford team that hadn't won a championship game in the last two seasons - but they really gave the champions much to think about.
Kyle Hayes had a very strong second half for the winners, justifying his positioning once again at left-half back, while Sean Finn and Diarmaid Byrnes also lifted their game when the pressure came late on.
Neither side created much in the way of goal chances and for Waterford Tadhg De Burca was immense in a free defensive role that helped thwart so many Limerick attacks.
Limerick weren't helped by some wayward shooting with eight second-half wides keeping Waterford in touch at vital times.
But off the bench, Seamus Flanagan made a big impact while Gearoid Hegarty also came into it after a quiet opening.
Waterford made a real battle of it in the opening half, exerting big pressure on Limerick as they sought to adopt their normal methodical approach to use of possession coming out of defence.
Austin Gleeson was deployed in a free role and he chipped in with two points, three in all, including one magnificent effort as De Burca and Kevin Moran drove in unison from defence to peg Limerick back to 0-4 to 0-3 in the ninth minute.
Only once the did the reigning champions enjoy any real daylight, when they moved 0-12 to 0-8 clear in the 26th minute with a magnificent over the shoulder score from Aaron Gillane.
It had been 0-7 each at the first water break but Peter Casey swung over two scores within a minute of the restart, while Gillane (free) and Diarmaid Byrnes (65) were also on the mark as Limerick appeared to impose themselves.
But Waterford hung in and Stephen Bennett converted some great long range scores, including one from over 100 metres to cut the deficit to two points before Gillane made it 0-14 to 0-11 at the break from a free.
Waterford briefly led on 50 minutes after a furious third quarter effort, when Stephen Bennett punished a poor Finn clearance.
But at the second water break it was 0-18 each and Limerick kicked on impressively from there, with Gillane finishing with 10 points and a couple of neat assists for late Graeme Mulcahy points.
Scorers - Limerick: A Gillane 0-10 (8fs), G Mulcahy 0-4, P Casey 0-3, C Lynch, G Hegarty, D Byrnes (1f, 1 65) all 0-2 each, A Breen, S Flanagan 0-1 each. Waterford: S Bennett 0-12 (10fs, 1 65); A Gleeson 0-3, J Dillon 0-2, D Hutchinson, K Bennett, P Curran, J Prendergast all 0-1 each
Limerick: N Quaid; S Finn, D Morrissey, B Nash; D Byrnes, D Hannon, K Hayes; C Lynch, W O'Donoghue; G Hegarty, D Reidy, T Morrissey; G Mulcahy, A Gillane, P Casey. Subs: S Flanagan for Casey (52), D Dempsey for T Morrissey (52), D O'Donovan for Reidy (56), A Breen for Mulcahy inj (66)
Waterford: S O'Keeffe; S Fives, C Prunty, C McNulty; K Moran, T De Burca, C Lyons; J Barron, K Bennett; J Prendergast, J Fagan, J Dillon; D Hutchinson, S Bennett, A Gleeson. Subs: N Montogomery for Fagan (47), M Kearney for K Bennett (58), I Kenny for Fives inj (60), D Lyons for Dillon (63), P Curran for Gleeson (65)
Referee: C Lyons (Cork)
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