Allianz HL D1: Limerick defeat Galway
Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Group A
LIMERICK 1-19 GALWAY 0-14
By John Fallon at LIT Gaelic Grounds
Allianz League champions Limerick made it two wins from two when they defeated Galway in front of a crowd of 14,151 at LIT Gaelic Grounds.
Hopes by Galway manager Shane O’Neill for victory on return to his native county never looked materialising as Limerick held an edge throughout.
The sides were deadlocked four times in the opening half but Limerick, playing against the breeze, finished the opening half strongly to lead by 0-12 to 0-9 at the break.
They were the sharper side in the opening half and should have been much further ahead, but a failure to finish a couple of goal chances and seven wides to Galway’s three curtailed them.
All six Limerick forwards scored from play in the opening half with David Reidy leading the way, shooting 0-6, half of them from frees.
They led by 0-4 to 0-2 after nine minutes, but Galway rallied and a point from wing-back Aidan Harte and two from Joe Canning, one of them a free, edged the Tribesmen 0-5 to 0-4 in front.
Two more efforts from Reidy were responded to by Conor Whelan and a brace from Canning to lead by 0-8 to 0-6 ten minutes from the break.
Limerick then took over and landed the next six scores, with Seamus Flanagan’s effort flying over the bar after pressure by TJ Brennan to leave it 0-12 to 0-8 approaching the break but Canning gave Galway hope with his sixth point and second from play.
Limerick struck a telling blow a minute after the restart when a cross from Flanagan was fielded by Dempsey over Sean Loftus and he dispatched the ball into the bottom left corner of the net.
Galway responded with three points in a row from Canning, Shane Cooney and Whelan to cut the gap to a goal again after 45 minutes.
But Galway then suffered a big blow when Canning had to go off with a hand injury before Reidy and Conor Cooney swapped points.
The next three points came from Limerick as Gearoid Hegarty, sub Aaron Gillane and a superb effort from William O’Donoghue to lead by 1-16 to 0-13 with 12 minutes left.
Subs Sean Bleahane and Darren O’Connell then exchanged points but Galway couldn’t get the goal needed to stage a comeback and Limerick ran out convincing eight point winners.
Scorers for Limerick: David Reidy 0-7 (4fs), David Dempsey 1-1, Gearoid Hegarty 0-2, Tom Morrissey 0-2, Aaron Gillane 0-2 (1f),Declan Hannon 0-1, Seamus Flanagan 0-1, Graeme Mulcahy 0-1, William O’Donoghue 0-1, Darren O’Connell 0-1.
Scorers for Galway: Joe Canning 0-7 (5fs), Conor Whelan 0-2, Conor Cooney 0-1 (f), Shane Cooney 0-1, Aidan Harte 0-1, Sean Bleahane 0-1, Cathal Mannion 0-1.
LIMERICK: Nicky Quaid; Aaron Costello, Sean Finn, Richie English; Dan Morrissey, Declan Hannon, Barry Nash; Darragh O’Donovan, William O’Donoghue; David Reidy, Tom Morrissey, Gearoid Hegarty; David Dempsey, Seamus Flanagan, Graeme Mulcahy.
Subs: Cian Lynch for O’Donovan (blood 4-6), Tom Condon for English (half-time), Diarmaid Byrnes for Hannon (40), Aaron Gillane for Flanagan (54), Darren O’Connell for Dempsey (60), Brian Ryan for Reidy (65).
GALWAY: Eanna Murphy; Sean Loftus, Gearoid Morrissey, TJ Brennan; Padraic Mannion, Shane Cooney, Aidan Harte; Adrian Tuohey, Sean Linnane; Diarmuid Kilcommins, Cathal Mannion, Joe Canning; Jason Flynn, Conor Whelan, Brian Concannon.
Subs: Conor Cooney for Concannon (half-time), Sean Bleahane for Canning (47), Darragh Burke for Kilcommins (52), Paul Killeen for Loftus (54), Jack Grealish for Linnane (65).
REFEREE: Colm Lyons (Cork).