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Limerick return to top tier for first time since 2010 with defeat of All-Ireland champions

John Kiely’s side earned promotion to Division 1A with a two point win over All-Ireland champions Galway.

Seamus Flanagan evades the challenge of Greg Lally.
Seamus Flanagan evades the challenge of Greg Lally.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Limerick 2-18

Galway 1-19

Pádraic Ó Ciardha reports from Pearse Stadium

LIMERICK WILL PLAY Division 1A hurling next year for the first time since 2010 after producing a superb second half comeback to see off All-Ireland champions Galway in Pearse Stadium.

John Kiely’s side were eight points down at halftime but they dominated the last 35 minutes to leave the Tribesmen in Division 1B for another season.

Galway made a lightning start to the game and were 1-3 to 0-0 by just the third minute, Cathal Mannion grabbing the goal after Conor Cooney and David Burke, making his first start in the league, opened the scoring.

Gearóid Hegarty finally opened Limerick’s account in the fifth minute. They were then given a route back into the game moments later when Barry Murphy was dragged down in front of goal with Aaron Gillane expertly finishing the penalty.

When Séamus Flanagan pointed in the ninth minute, there was just a point between the teams, 1-3 to 1-2, but Galway took charge until the interval. Cathal Mannion was in superb form in front of goal, adding to his goal with four points from play while Jason Flynn also chipped in five points, four from frees.

Tom Morrissey and Gearoid McInerney Tom Morrissey and Gearoid McInerney. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Eight points separated the sides at halftime, 1-15 to 1-7, but Limerick hit 11 wides in total during the first half with Seamus Flanagan proving their only consistent threat up front.

In what had been an open contest up to that point, the final minutes of the half was marred by indiscipline with Galway’s David Burke and Limerick’s Diarmuid Byrnes picking up yellow cards after a brawl in which the Galway man, in particular, was lucky not to see red.

Limerick started the second half well, Aaron Gillane and David Reidy reducing the deficit to six and while Jason Flynn got one back for Galway, three frees on the bounce from Aaron Gillane left four between the teams.

That gap dropped to one in the 48th minute when Kyle Hayes’ found the net after his shot deflected off Adrian Tuohey, leaving James Skehill wrong-footed.

David Reidy and Conor Cooney David Reidy is blocked by Conor Cooney. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Conor Cooney hit an important point in response for Galway but Limerick were in the ascendancy and when David Reidy, Gillane and Flanagan all found the target, the Munster side were back on level terms.

The sides were still level in the 68th minute before Cian Lynch burst through to put them ahead for the first time. A draw was no good for Galway as they went in search of a goal but it was Limerick who got the final score through Pat Ryan.

Scorers for Limerick: Aaron Gillane 1-7 (1-0 pen, 0-6f, 0-1 sideline), Séamus Flanagan 0-5, Kyle Hayes 1-0, David Reidy 0-2, Gearóid Hegarty 0-1, Graeme Mulcahy 0-1, Cian Lynch 0-1, Pat Ryan 0-1.

Scorers for Galway: Jason Flynn 0-7 (0-6f), Cathal Mannion 1-4, Conor Cooney 0-2, Greg Lally 0-2 (0-1 sideline), Johnny Coen 0-2, Joe Canning 0-1 (0-1 ’65), David Burke 0-1.

Limerick

1. Nicky Quaid (Effin)
2. Seán Finn (Bruff)
18. Richie McCarthy (Blackrock)
4. Richie English (Doon)
5. Diarmuid Byrnes (Patrickswell)
6. Declan Hannon (Adare)
7. Dan Morrissey (Ahane)
8. Paul Browne (Bruff)
9. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell)
10. Gearóid Hegarty (St Patrick’s)
11. Tom Morrissey (Ahane)
12. David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacca)
13. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell)
14. Séamus Flanagan (Feohanagh)
15. Barry Murphy (Doon)

Substitutes

23. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry) for Hegarty (18)
19. Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock) for Byrnes (35-40, blood)
22. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock) for Flanagan (60)
20. Pat Ryan (Doon) for Reidy (63)
24. Colin Ryan (Pallasgreen) for Browne (66)

Galway

1. James Skehill (Cappatagle)
2. Adrian Tuohy (Beagh)
4. Pádraic Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh)
3. Shane Bannon (Clarinbridge)
5. Greg Lally (Gort)
6. Gearóid McInerney (Oranmore-Maree)
7. Aidan Harte (Gort)
8. Johnny Coen (Loughrea)
20. David Burke (St Thomas’)
10. Shane Maloney (Tynagh-Abbey/Duniry)
11. Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh)
13. Conor Whelan (Kinvara)
12. Niall Burke (Oranmore-Maree)
15. Conor Cooney (St Thomas’)
14. Jason Flynn (Tommy Larkins)

Substitutes

24. Davy Glennon (Mullagh) for Burke (25-29, blood) & for Flynn (58)
9. John Hanbury (Rahoon-Newcastle) for Bannon (44-47, blood) & for Tuohy (48)
26. Joe Canning (Portumna) for Maloney (53)
18. Shane Cooney (St Thomas’) for Lally (54)
22. Brian Concannon (Killimordaly) for Niall Burke (67)

Referee: Cathal McAllister (Cork)

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