Fintan O’Toole reports from Semple Stadium, Thurles
JACK GREALISH HIT the crucial goal as Galway overcame Limerick in today’s All-Ireland minor hurling quarter-final to set up a semi-final meeting with Kilkenny on 9 August.
Grealish fired to the net in the 36th minute after a wonderful individual run that helped the Tribesmen put daylight between the sides.
Full-forward Evan Niland shot 0-9 in an excellent display of markmanship to help Galway advance against a Limerick team who couldn’t bridge the deficit in the second-half.
Galway started brightly to go 0-4 to 0-0 ahead in what was their 2015 competitive debut.
Limerick, defeated by Tipperary in the Munster final, bounced back with Kyle Hayes 13th minute point leaving them 0-5 to 0-4 adrift.
Then Galway reeled off four points without reply through Michael Lynch and Niland (3) yet Limerick recovered again before the break thanks to points form Michael Mackey, Peter Casey, Barry Murphy and captain Eoghan McNamara.
Galway made a decisive burst after half-time and that period essentially settled the contest. They shot 1-3 thanks to Grealish’s goal and a trio of points from Niland.
Entering the final quarter, Galway were in control as they held a 1-12 to 0-9 advantage but Limerick fought hard and cut the deficit to there points on a couple of occasions.
Yet Galway defended stoutly and substitute Cianan Fahy hit the insurance point in injury-time to seal their victory.
Scorers for Galway: Evan Niland 0-9 (0-7f), Jack Grealish 1-0, Cianan Fahy, Tom Monaghan, Fintan Burke, Michael Lynch 0-1 each.
Scorers for Limerick: Peter Casey 0-5 (0-2f), Cian Magner-Flynn, Eoghan McNamara (0-2f) 0-2 each, Oisin O’Reilly, Kyle Hayes, Barry Murphy, Michael Mackey 0-1 each.
1. Darragh Gilligan (Craughwell)
2. Shane Bannon (Clarinbridge)
3. Jack Fitzpatrick (Killimordaly)
4. Kieran O’Connor (Kilnadeema-Leitrim)
20. Caelom Mulry (Abbeyknockmoy)
6. Ian O’Brien (Clarinbridge)
7. Andrew Greaney (Craughwell)
8. Jack Grealish (Gort)
9. Jack Coyne (Castlegar)
10. Brian Concannon (Killimordaly)
11. Tom Monaghan (Craughwell)
12. Fintan Burke (St Thomas)
13. Michael Lynch (Kilnadeema-Leitrim)
14. Evan Niland (Clarinbridge)
15. Sean Loftus (captain) (Turloughmore)
17. Cianan Fahy (Ardrahan) for Coyne (45)
18. Liam Forde (Ardrahan) for Lynch (55)
23. Patrick Foley (Clarinbridge) for Burke (60)
1. Eoghan McNamara (Capt) (Doon)
2. Oisín O Reilly (Kilmallock)
3. Conor McSweeney (South Liberties)
4. Jack O Grady (Knockainey)
5. Conor Byrnes (Murroe/Boher)
7. Conor Houlihan (Na Piarsaigh)
14. Seamus Flanagan (Feohanagh/Castlemahon)
8. Thomas Grimes (Na Piarsaigh)
9. Darragh Carroll (Kilteely/Dromkeen)
12. Michael Mackey (Adare)
11. Barry Murphy (Doon)
13. Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh)
10. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo/Palllaskenry)
6. Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock)
15. Cian Magner Flynn (Kileedy)
19. Ciarán O’Connor (Kilmallock) for O’Loughlin (38)
24. Brian McPartland (Doon) for Carroll (39)
17. Colum Carroll (Ahane) for Houlihan (43)
18. Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh) for Mackey (44)
22. Willie O’Meara (Askeaton) for Magner-Flynn (56)
Referee: Tony Carroll (Offaly)