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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 19 April, 2019
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Flanagan goal helps Limerick end 13-year wait for league final with win over Dublin

The All-Ireland champions advance to the final next weekend.

Limerick 1-19
Dublin 1-16

Fintan O’Toole reports from Nowlan Park

ANOTHER MILESTONE REACHED by the reigning All-Ireland champions as Limerick moved through to a Division 1 hurling league final in impressive fashion this afternoon.

It will be their first time challenging at the final of the top level spring competition since 2006 and this semi-final victory over Dublin provides them with a chance to lift that title next weekend for the first time since 1997.

Richie English and Dan Morrissey Limerick duo Richie English and Dan Morrissey and Dublin's Danny Sutcliffe.

The second half was lit up by the opening goal of the afternoon, a game-breaking incident that effectively sealed’s Limerick’s progression. It was Seamus Flanagan who deposited his shot in the back of the net in the 62nd minute but the strike was all about the creation, Diarmaid Byrne’s angled delivery from distance, Cian Lynch’s improvised catch and the 2018 Hurler of the Year’s deft lobbed pass to Flanagan.

That pushed Limerick ahead 1-17 to 0-12, as part of a scoring spree they embarked upon in the final quarter. Dublin had closed within one, 0-13 to 0-12, in the 50th minute before Limerick reeled off four points and then notched that goal.

Seamus Flanagan celebrates scoring a goal Seamus Flanagan celebrates his goal for Limerick against Dublin. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Ronan Hayes got clear to finish neatly to the net for Dublin the 65th minute before Cian Lynch popped over a point to send Limerick clear by seven. That power surge had sent John Kiely’s team out of sight although Dublin rattled off four unanswered points late on to suffer a three-point loss by the finish.

Mattie Kenny was forced to turn frequently to his Dublin bench in the first half. Injury brought the involvement of Seán Treacy and Oisin O’Rorke to a premature halt, Daire Gray suffered a blood injury while Riain McBride’s withdrawal in the 25th minute meant Dublin had pressed four substitutes into action by that stage.

Limerick got themselves in front at the interval by virtue of late points from Gearoid Hegarty and Aaron Gillane, the latter blasting over when a goal chance was presented to him by a powerful run from Kyle Hayes that punched a hole in the centre of the Dublin rearguard.

But Dublin could be pleased to be 0-10 to 0-9 adrift. Danny Sutcliffe rattled over three first-half points, including a pair inside the opening three minutes, while Eamon Dillon picked off a brace of scores.

Paul Ryan with Paddy O’Loughlin and Sean Finn Paul Ryan in action in the Dublin attack against the Limerick rearguard. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Dublin remained in contention early in the second half but once Limerick cranked up the gears, they accelerated clear. Eoghan O’Donnell was immense at the back for Dublin and Sean Moran produced some super passage of play yet they could not withstand Limerick’s forays with Flanagan’s goal the moment they moved out of sight.

Scorers for Limerick: Diarmaid Byrnes (0-4f), Aaron Gillane (0-3f) 0-5 each, Séamus Flanagan 1-0, Graeme Mulcahy 0-3, Darragh O’Donovan 0-2, Cian Lynch, Gearoid Hegarty, Tom Morrissey, Peter Casey 0-1 each.

Scorers for Dublin: Paul Ryan 0-6 (0-6f), Ronan Hayes 1-0, Danny Sutcliffe, Eamon Dillon 0-3 each, Chris Crummey, Sean Moran (0-1f), Tomás Connolly, David Treacy 0-1 each.

Limerick

1. Nicky Quaid (Effin)

2. Tom Condon (Knockaderry)
3. Seán Finn (Bruff)
4. Richie English (Doon)

5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell)
6. Dan Morrissey (Ahane)
7. Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock)

8. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell)
9. Darragh O’Donovan (Doon)

10. Gearoid Hegarty (St. Patrick’s)
11. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry)
12. Tom Morrissey (Ahane) (captain)

13. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell)
14. Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh)
15. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock)

Subs

18. David Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh) for Tom Morrissey (52)
20. Séamus Flanagan (Feohanagh) for Mulcahy (55)
19. Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh) for Hegarty (59)

Dublin

1. Alan Nolan (St. Brigid’s)

7. Darragh O’Connell (Cuala)
2. Paddy Smyth (Clontarf)
3. Eoghan O’Donnell (Whitehall Colmcille)

6. Seán Moran (Cuala)

26. Shane Barrett (Na Fianna)
4. Dáire Gray (Whitehall Colmcille)
5. Chris Crummey (Lucan Sarsfields)

8. Rian McBride (St. Vincent’s)
9. Seán Treacy (Cuala)

22. Cian Boland (St Oliver Plunkett’s-Eoghan Ruadh)
12. Danny Sutcliffe (St. Jude’s)
15. Eamonn Dillon (Naomh Fionnbarra)

11. John Hetherton (St Vincent’s)
14. Oisín O’Rourke (Kilmacud Crokes)

Subs

23. Paul Ryan (Ballyboden St-Enda’s) for O’Rorke (inj) (11)
17. Tomás Connolly (St Vincent’s) for Gray (blood sub) (14)
13. Fergal Whitely (Kilmacud Crokes) for Treacy (inj) (21)
10. Jake Malone (Cuala) for McBride (25)
30. Gray for Connolly (half-time)
25. Ronan Hayes (Kilmacud Crokes) for Hetherton (43)
19. David Treacy (Cuala) for Boland (52)

Referee: John Keenan (Wicklow)

Murray Kinsella and Andy Dunne dissect Ireland’s disappointing Six Nations campaign, and discuss the pros and cons of rugby’s new law proposals in the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly:


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Fintan O'Toole

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