Limerick hold off Galway to set up rematch with Déise in All-Ireland final

Limerick hold off Galway to set up rematch with Déise in All-Ireland final

Limerick’s Cian Lynch with Daithí Burke of Galway. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Limerick 0-27 Galway 0-24

LIMERICK will face Waterford next month in an All-Ireland final rematch of the Munster decider.

The Shannonsiders, league and Munster champions in 2019 and this year, brought their trademark power-game to Croke Park and recovered from a slow start to hold off Galway. Having been beaten in last year's semi-final by Kilkenny, they always looked like getting over the line here once they settled.

Gearóid Hegarty had a massive game for Limerick. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Gearóid Hegarty had a massive game for Limerick. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

This was no classic, far less entertaining than Waterford-Kilkenny the night before, but Limerick remain unbeaten in 2020, just one win away from a clean sweep of major trophies.

Gearóid Hegarty, Diarmuid Byrnes and Tom Morrissey hit 0-9 from play between them in the first half, which was crucial as Galway kept a tight leash on Aaron Gillane, Seamus Flanagan and Graeme Mulcahy closer to goal. 

Daithí Burke of Galway wins possession of the sliotar ahead of Seamus Flanagan. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile
Daithí Burke of Galway wins possession of the sliotar ahead of Seamus Flanagan. Picture: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

The final tally from the Limerick half-forward line of Hegarty, Cian Lynch and Morrissey was 12 points.

Defensively Seán Finn was immense at corner-back and Kyle Hayes bombed upfield on the counter from his new berth at wing-back. Sub Peter Casey clipped 0-2 and Will O'Donoghue secured some key possessions when Galway reeled them in injury time.

Joe Canning's haul of four sidelines was breathtaking but despite the best efforts of Brian Concannon and Conor Whelan up top, the Tribe never threatened the goal they were going to need.

The loss of Cathal Mannion to a first-half injury didn't help Galway's cause, though Daithí Burke and Pádraig Mannion offered leadership and Johnny Coen hurled a lot of ball from midfield. 

Kyle Hayes of Limerick clashes with Joe Canning and Joseph Cooney of Galway. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Kyle Hayes of Limerick clashes with Joe Canning and Joseph Cooney of Galway. Picture: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Canning was stretchered off in the last 10 minutes after a collision with Conor Cooney, though his replacement Evan Niland immediately landed a tough free and had a hand in a score for Whelan to tie the game 0-22 apiece, before clipping over a stunning effort from play himself.

With Canning's injury there were nine minutes added on, where Tom Morrissey proved to be a match-winner, three points, including a free to take his tally up to 0-6. Galway keeper Éanna Murphy made some smart saves but struggled at times to find his target on puck-outs, which made a difference in a tight game.

Limerick were worthy winners and will be strong favourites against the Déise in two weeks. They've room for improvement though, which is exactly how John Kiely would like it.

Scorers for Limerick: A Gillane (0-5 f), T Morrissey (0-1 f) 0-6 each, G Hegarty 0-4, D Byrnes 0-3 (0-1 f), S Flanagan, P Casey, C Lynch 0-2 each, D Hannon, A Breen 0-1 each.

Galway: J Canning 0-12 (0-8 f, 0-4 sl), B Concannon, C Whelan 0-3 each, E Niland 0-2 (0-1 f), C Mannion, A Tuohey, J Cooney, F Burke (sl) 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: N Quaid; S Finn, D Morrissey, B Nash; D Byrnes, D Hannon (c), K Hayes; D O’Donovan, W O’Donoghue; G Hegarty, C Lynch, T Morrissey; A Gillane, S Flanagan, G Mulcahy.

Subs: P Casey for G Mulcahy (40); D Reidy for D O’Donovan (52); A Breen for S Flanagan (62); P O’Loughlin for D Hannon (74); P Ryan for A Gillane (inj 77).

GALWAY: E Murphy; S Loftus, Daithí Burke, A Harte; S Cooney, G McInerney, P Mannion (c), J Cooney; David Burke, J Coen; C Cooney, C Mannion, B Concannon; J Canning, C Whelan.

Subs: A Tuohey for C Mannion (inj 24); F Burke for David Burke (h-t); J Flynn for C Cooney (45); S Linnane for S Cooney (52); E Niland for J Canning (inj 69).

Joe Canning scores a sideline. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson
Joe Canning scores a sideline. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

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