All-Ireland Hurling Semi-Final: Limerick Beat Galway
With Limerick trailing by six points after 25 minutes of this All-Ireland semi-final, you wondered if it was three successive All-Ireland champions in action. He was busy and thought of by Galway’s power-packed team, and struggled to play the ball well and control the attack without it.
– The GAA (@officialgaa) July 8, 2023
Limerick’s Defensive Dominance
But their defense and centre-back William O’Donoghue met their set-pieces, began to compete with their fervor for possession in the central third, and dominated the running game.
Limerick’s Forward Domination
This gave them the chance to take the lead in the contest and they dominated the last 10 minutes of the first half and the entire second to eventually run out the winners.
Limerick’s Famine and Galway’s Depression
It is clear that the Limerick team’s hunger is still there as they head for another All-Ireland Final, and they are looking to make it four titles in a row and five in six years. The way their woes continued after a promising start will be a huge disappointment for the Galway players.
Galway’s Promising Start and Limerick’s Response
They settled into the contest quickly, with points from Evan Niland (free) and Brian Concannon setting up Aaron Gillane’s free for Limerick. But, right on the stroke of half time, Limerick got the first punch of the game when Gillane pounced for a goal.
Galway struggle with Limerick’s shooting woes
Galway hit back almost immediately with another Niland free which testified to the determination they faced in the contest. Another Niland free brought them level and then Conor Whelan pushed them in front when he won the ball in front of Mike Casey, moved past the Limerick defender, and tipped the sliotar over the bar.
Another Niland free quickly followed before Limerick clawed back the game – 1-3 to 0-6 – through points from Gillane (free) and Peter Casey. Then came the best play of the game so far when Kevin Cooney played in Cathal Mannion with real vision and the midfielder smashed the sliotar into the net from the tight side.
At the other end of the game Limerick’s shooting was very different with seven different players hitting seven shots in the first half.
Limerick’s Revival and Rushing
Things could have been worse for Limerick had Mike Casey not made a good goal-line save from a Concannon ground-stroke that looked set to find the net. As if buoyed by the miss, Limerick came alive in the final 10 minutes of the first half.
Darragh O’Donovan deserves a lot of credit for getting back on track. He hit a great point from the left flank and set up two more for Aaron Gillane and Seamus Flanagan with excellent loads. The dominant players hit the last four points of the half to leave the score reading 1-13 to 1-12 to Galway at the break, which should not reflect the great effort the Tribesmen produced.
Limerick’s Second-Half Dominance and Galway’s Struggle
Limerick have a good reputation for putting their foot on the gas early in the second half and they did it again. They beat Galway by four points to two in the first ten minutes of the half and selected the team in favor of Tom Morrissey.
Then came their second goal, and it was one that Galway will have nightmares about. Cian Lynch dribbled past David Reidy with a clever pass and after the striker shot Aaron Gillane, his first-time strike hit the crossbar. Padraic Mannion tried another good throw, but instead he headed Gillane’s way again and this time the Patrickswell star finished ruthlessly as he crashed into the net.
Now trailing by four points, Galway were in dire straits. They struggled to get hold of the game as Limerick swallowed up the ball almost every time Éanna Murphy released it. And while they managed to win midway through the third, they were under a lot of pressure from Limerick’s players who were in a tight spot and struggled to find good ways to get their forwards hungry.
Limerick’s Comfortable Victory and Galway’s Disappointment
Points from Kyle Hayes, Gearoid Hegarty, Peter Casey, and David Reidy pushed the Limerick team seven points clear by the 58th minute, and even then a Galway comeback looked unlikely. Limerick had the chance to drive their bench and they won, with Graeme Mulcahy and Cathal O’Neill scoring in injury time to get the last two points of the game.
Looking Ahead: The Limerick Tour Continues
And because of that, Limerick will go to another All-Ireland Final where they can hope to write another historic chapter in their already amazing story.
Scorers and Lineups
Limerick Scorers: Aaron Gillane 2-6 (5f), Diarmaid Byrnes 0-3 (3f), Kyle Hayes, Gearoid Hegarty, Tom Morrissey, Peter Casey, Seamus Flanagan all 0-2, Darragh O’Donovan, Graeme Mulcahy, Cathal O ‘Neill, David Reidy, Cian Lynch all 0-1.
Scorers for Galway: Evan Niland 0-9 (all frees), Cathal Mannion 1-1, Conor Whelan 0-3, Brian Concannon 0-3, Kevin Cooney, Tom Monaghan all 0-1.
The Limerick team: Nickie Quaid; Michael Casey, Dan Morrissey, Barry Nash; Diarmaid Byrnes, William O’Donoghue, Kyle Hayes; Darragh O’Donovan, Cian Lynch; Gearoid Hegarty, Tom Morrissey, Dv; Aaron Gillane, Seamus Flanagan, Peter Casey. Subs: Cathal O’Neill for Tom Morrissey (56), Graeme Mulcahy for Peter Casey (67), Conor Boylan for Gearoid Hegarty (69), Oisin O’Reilly for Seamus Flanagan, Adam English for Darragh O’Donovan (both 72) .
The Galway team: Eanna Murphy; Jack Grealish, Daithi Burke, Darren Morrissey; Padraic Mannion, Gearoid McInerney, Sean Linnane; Joseph Cooney, Cathal Mannion; Ronan Glennon, Cianan Fahy, Kevin Cooney; Conor Whelan, Brian Concannon, Evan Niland. Sponsors: Tom Mon
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