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Gearoid Hegarty of Limerick in action against Joey Holden of Kilkenny during the All-Ireland SHC Quarter-Final at Semple Stadium. 
Gearoid Hegarty of Limerick in action against Joey Holden of Kilkenny during the All-Ireland SHC Quarter-Final at Semple Stadium. 

All-Ireland SHC Quarter-Final: Limerick pip Kilkenny in classic

All-Ireland SHC Quarter-Final


By Daragh Small at Semple Stadium

Limerick had 11 different scorers from play as they came with a late surge to knock Kilkenny out of the hurling championship in their first win over the Cats since the 1973 All-Ireland final – the last time Limerick lifted the Liam MacCarthy Cup.

Late points from substitutes Peter Casey and Shane Dowling got Limerick over the line while Tom Morrissey also hit a key score late on to send Limerick into the All-Ireland semi-final against Cork.

John Kiely’s side were 0-15 to 0-12 clear at half-time and they were sublime before the break. And Kilkenny couldn’t find enough in the second half despite Richie Hogan’s goal.

Hogan was a late inclusion in the Kilkenny starting 15, he replaced Richie Leahy, and scored his side’s first point in the fourth minute.

Seamus Flanangan hit back for Limerick one minute later but Kilkenny were the dominant force. James Maher scored their second point and that was followed by Reid’s first from a free. Kilkenny went 0-4 to 0-1 in front when Reid popped over his second free.

Limerick were wasteful in attack and Kilkenny ran up a 0-7 to 0-3 lead with Hogan on target with his third and Colin Fennelly with his first. 

But Limerick almost goaled through Aaron Gillane in the 13th minute and the warning signs were definitely there. Kilkenny regressed massively between the 18th and 24th minutes and Limerick fought back to draw level.

Graeme Mulcahy scored first and Diarmuid Byrnes’ inspirational effort really drove Limerick on. Maher scored his second point to stem the flow but that didn’t last long.

Gillane scored either side of a big Declan Hannon point and the sides were level 0-8 to 0-8. TJ Reid and Kyle Hayes traded points after Limerick should have scored a certain goal but Flanagan’s heavy pass was cut out by Kilkenny goalkeeper Eoin Murphy.

Gearoid Hegarty and Maher scored for their sides but then Limerick went on a four-point run coming up to half-time. Hegarty scored after a stunning pass from Flanagan, and Mulcahy, Tom Morrissey and Darragh O’Donovan also found the range. 

Conor Fogarty reduced the arrears for Kilkenny, and Fennelly’s second meant Kilkenny trailed by 0-15 to 0-12 at half-time.

TJ Reid scored a fourth free on the resumption but Limerick remained in the ascendency and Hegarty began the second-half onslaught. 

Limerick were 0-17 to 0-13 in front when Eoin Murphy pulled off his third point-blank save, this time from Gillane in the 46th minute. He was keeping them in the game and the outfield players scored three points in two minutes to leave them trailing by one in the 53rd minute. 

Leahy made the impact off the bench with two scores and it was 0-19 to 0-18. Mulcahy should have goaled two minutes later but he took his point and it settled a shaky Limerick outfit.

Peter Casey came on for Flanagan after he missed another goal chance and Casey scored a crucial point with O’Donovan crowning that off from a sideline cut before he departed.

John Donnelly came on in the 62nd minute and after he scored a point he set up Hogan who swiveled and lashed his shot past Nickie Quaid.

But Limerick retained their composure and scored three points in a row for a 0-25 to 1-21 lead before Leahy levelled it again in the 68th minute.

The game was hectic and the error count rose but Morrissey kept a cool head to give Limerick the lead in the 71st minute and Gillane finished it off.

Scorers for Limerick: Aaron Gillane 0-5 (2f), Tom Morrissey 0-4, Kyle Hayes 0-3, Gearoid Hegarty 0-3, Graeme Mulcahy 0-3, Darragh O’Donovan 0-3 (1’sl), Peter Casey 0-2, Seamus Flanagan 0-1, Diarmuid Byrnes 0-1, Declan Hannon 0-1, Shane Dowling 0-1

Scorers for Kilkenny: TJ Reid 0-7 (5f, 1’65), Richie Hogan 1-3, Richie Leahy 0-4, James Maher 0-3, Colin Fennelly 0-2, Conor Fogarty 0-1, Liam Blanchfield 0-1, John Donnelly 0-1

LIMERICK: Nicky Quaid; Sean Finn, Mike Casey, Richie English; Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Dan Morrissey; Darragh O’Donovan, Cian Lynch; Gearoid Hegarty, Kyle Hayes, Tom Morrissey; Aaron Gillane, Seamus Flanagan, Graeme Mulcahy. Subs: Peter Casey for Flanagan (59), Shane Dowling for Hegarty (59),William O’Donoghue for O’Donovan (63).

KILKENNY: Eoin Murphy; Paul Murphy, Padraig Walsh, Paddy Deegan; Joey Holden, Cillian Buckley (c), Robert Lennon; Conor Fogarty, James Maher; Martin Keoghan, Richie Hogan, Pat Lyng; Billy Ryan, Colin Fennelly, TJ Reid. Subs: Liam Blanchfield for Lyng (35), Richie Leahy for Keoghan (45), John Donnelly for Fennelly (62), Ger Aylward for Ryan (72).

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath).

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