All-Ireland hurling semi-final as it happened: Limerick blitz Galway to make final

Monstrous second-half display leaves John Kiely’s men on course for the four-in-a-row


That’s quite enough from me. Some boyos, Limerick. One of the great displays by one of the great, great teams. Can either Clare or Kilkenny stop them? Tune in tomorrow afternoon to find out.

So long!


Gordon Manning’s on-the-whistle report...


Henry Shefflin: “I felt we were in a better place this year to attack it. We’re going back down the road really disappointed. We were probably depending on set-play movement to win the ball. When Limerick made it a man-on-man battle, they were better than us.”


Henry Shefflin: “We spoke beforehand about playing on out terms and we probably did it for the first 20-25 minutes but after that, they played it on theirs. We started the game very, very well. Maybe it was the fact that we had the extra match. I thought we started very strong. Our puck-outs were going really well. But they got it back on their terms. Going in at half-time just one point up didn’t feel like it was enough.”


John Kiely: “I’ve often said it to the lads. They don’t need to do anyhting further to demonstrate to me or to anyone that they’re a great team. They are, we know that. They are great men. You don’t concentrate on the finish line. We’re very experienced. They’re very experienced. We’ve had enough to worry about with injuries and a barrage of matches coming in the Munster Championship.”


John Kiely: “The last three weeks have been good to us. We have had time to reorganise things. Declan [Hannon] has every chance of making the final.”


John Kiely: “We were playing second fiddle [when we were six points down]. Galway were setting the terms of the game and they were that bit more efficient as well. We had a few wides in that first half. But the response from the boys was good. We managed to close in on their puck-out. We closed out the first half very strong. We didn’t realise that the game was in a pattern at that stage but it was.”


Stick around a while. I’m down at the press conference room waiting on the managers and I’ll have some pearls of wisdom as I come by them. Gordon Manning’s report is imminent too.


This was probably the key score. Aaron Gillane got a bit of luck, no doubt about it. He should have scored first tie around but for Pádraic Mannion’s flailing attempt at a clearance to fall to him like that was a killer for the Galway man. Anywhere else and there’s still only a point in it. But Limerick disappeared into the distance from here.


FULL-TIME: Limerick 2-24 (30) Galway 1-18 (21)

It is! Limerick are in the final. A monstrous second-half display turned what had been a fantastic game into a cakewalk. That’s a massive display from John Kiely’s side, who keep meeting every challenge. Awesome stuff.


75 mins: Evan Niland lobs a free into the square and Kevin Cooney whips a loose ball wide. That’s that, you’d imagine. Limerick 2-24 (30) Galway 1-18 (21)


72 mins: Gillane pops another free for Limerick. Graeme Mulcahy comes off the bench to notch one of his own. Cathal O’Neill lands a huge one. Five minutes of injury-time to be played. No way back for Galway now. Limerick 2-24 (30) Galway 1-18 (21)


67 mins: A game that was really thumping when the teams came out for the second half is in grave danger of petering out now. Limerick are spraying the ball around, running nice angles and tapping lovely lay-offs to each other. Monaghan grabs a point for Galway but they really need a goal soon. Limerick 2-21 Galway 1-18


66 mins: At the other end, Gillane stitches a free and Limerick go seven ahead. Limerick 2-20 Galway 1-17


63 mins: Galway don’t have time for this amount of messing. It takes them five pucks to get a sideline cuts in the air and it ends with Conor Cooney hoiking one wide. Limerick 2-20 Galway 1-17


61 mins: Galway finally post a score - a Niland free from 60 metres. They’ll need plenty more of that. Limerick 2-20 Galway 1-17


57 mins: Galway can’t get anything going now. Dan Morrissey breaks up an attack and Hegarty moves it upfield, ending with Peter Casey splitting the posts. Within 40 seconds, David Reidy does the same from further out. Hard to see a way back into this for Shefflin’s men. They’ve been outscored 1-8 to 0-3 since half-time. Limerick 2-20 Galway 1-16


54 mins: Limerick are liable to kill this off soon. Hegarty spears one from the right wing. Galway can’t get their puck-out away and Limerick follow up with two quick wides. A bit of accuracy in front of the posts and they’d be running away with this. Galway 1-16 Limerick 2-18


52 mins: Monumental score from Kyle Hayes. He must have run 60 metres there with half of Galway hanging out of him. Finishes it with a scoop over the bar. Tom Monaghan is on for Glennon and he immediately wins a free that Niland... misses! Oh Evan, that’s the wrong time to wobble. Galway 1-16 Limerick 2-17


51 mins: And they get it. Tom Morrissey fouls Ronan Glennon under the Cusack Stand and Niland does his bit. A goal between them. Galway 1-16 Limerick 2-16


49 mins: Galway are badly in need of the next score here.


46 mins: Magnificent response from Galway. Kevin Cooney put everything he had into that, splitting the posts to leave one in it. But Limerick strike back with a GOAL! David Reidy puts Gillane in on the edge of the square and when his shot comes back off the crossbar, he’s quickest to react. Galway 1-15 Limerick 2-16


44 mins: Huge point by Tom Morrissey. Flanagan rode three tackles before dishing off to him and Morrissey found his range from the sideline. Limerick are humming. Galway 1-14 Limerick 1-16


40 mins: Jack Grealish is possibly lucky there. He and Flanagan go into the book for a spot of wrestling off the ball. But Grealish also, in more or less the same breath, takes the head of Peter Casey on the sideline. Stays on one yellow and Gillane scores the free. Limerick lead for the first time since their goal. Galway 1-14 Limerick 1-15


38 mins: Conor Whelan is having none of it, as he puts Galway one up with a brilliant point. But Byrnes is equally having none of that, as he pots a free from 80 metres. Galway 1-14 Limerick 1-14


36 mins: And within seconds, Limerick are level. Flanagan whips a trademark point after nice interplay with Gillane. Galway 1-13 Limerick 1-13


The teams are back - no changes to either team.


HALF-TIME: Limerick will be over the moon with that. They were gasping for air 10 minutes short of the break but a vintage period of power hurling has them going in only a point behind. Henry Shefflin stands at the mouth of the tunnel roaring his charges off the pitch and gets a dunt from Will O’Donoghue for his troubles. Shefflin doesn’t move an inch. There is eating and drinking in this one yet. I’m away for a quick lie down. Galway 1-13 Limerick 1-12


36 mins: Limerick have dominated since Quaid suddenly discovered his mysterious head injury. Byrnes lands a monster free from his own 65 and the gap is down to one. Galway 1-13 Limerick 1-12


34 mins: And that’s another for Limerick. For the first time all day, Seamus Flanagan gets the kind of ball he loves, in space running away from goal. He swings it over his shoulder and there’s suddenly two in it. Galway 1-13 Limerick 1-11


33 mins: Over and back, to and fro. Concannon points for Galway, Lynch fires back for Limerick. Gillane makes it two in a row. All in the space of about 80 seconds. Three in it. Galway 1-13 Limerick 1-10


31 mins: Oh, that could be a turning point. Mike Casey somehow gets a hurley to a Concannon goal chance, clearing off the line. Within a minute, Darragh O’Donovan cuts the gap to four. The place is pulsing now. Galway 1-12 Limerick 1-8


30 mins: Diarmaid Byrnes gets Limerick moving again with a long-range free. Badly needed, that. Galway 1-12 Limerick 1-7


29 mins: There hasn’t been a score for five minutes. Feels like that’s worth saying. Galway 1-12 Limerick 1-6


24 mins: And now they’re six up. Hayes gets a yellow card for a chop on Concannon. Niland does the necessary and Galway are rampant. Nickie Quaid slows the game down and buys Limerick a much-needed breather. Galway 1-12 Limerick 1-6


23 mins: Make that 31! Excellent score from Cathal Mannion and Galway are five clear. Galway 1-11 Limerick 1-6


22 mins: Niland has been flawless so far and he scuds another over from 70 metres. That’s 30 shots in 22 minutes! These people are no friends of the liveblogger. Galway 1-10 Limerick 1-6


20 mins: Two sumptuous scores, one for either side. First, Conor Whelan monsters Mike Casey under a high ball and whips a point over his shoulder. From the puck-out, Kyle Hayes lands a huge one to cancel it out. Galway 1-9 Limerick 1-6


19 mins: Tom Morrissey ends the messing for Limerick with a leader’s point off his left hand side and the gap is back to three. Galway 1-8 Limerick 1-5


18 mins: Limerick have spilled six wides so far. Galway are being far more economical. Niland pops a free they’re four up. Galway 1-8 Limerick 1-4


16 mins: Hegarty steadies the ship for Limerick with a point as he falls over. But Galway hit back within seconds through Brian Concannon. Galway 1-7 Limerick 1-4


15 mins: GOAL FOR GALWAY! What a goal this is by Cathal Mannion. Kevin Cooney makes a brilliant catch and a mesmeric pass inside for the onrushing Mannion, who gives the whole stadium the eyes by shaping as if to cross but scorching his shot past Nickie Quaid. Stunning. Galway 1-6 Limerick 1-3


12 mins: This is relentless stuff. After a couple of careless wides apiece, Peter Casey draws Limerick level. Galway 0-6 Limerick 1-3


10 mins: Gillane is money in the bank at the other end from a free. Galway 0-6 Limerick 1-2


9 mins: Niland ices his fourth free after Kyle Hayes tackles Cianan Fahy without the ball. Great response from Galway. Galway 0-6 Limerick 1-1


5 mins: GOAL FOR LIMERICK! Aaron Gillane raises the first green flag of the day. Referee James Owens had his hand up for a Limerick free around centrefield and Galway seemed to stop and wait for it. Tom Morrissey took advantage and lasered a flat ball into Gillane on the edge of the square and he didn’t need to be asked twice. To their credit, Galway hit back with two quick Niland frees and a fine score from play by Conor Whelan. Hectic stuff! Galway 0-5 Limerick 1-1


4 mins: Out of a scrum around midfield, the ball squirts to Brian Concannon and that’s the first point from play. Galway 0-2 Limerick 0-1


3 mins: Anything you can do... An equally routine opener for Aaron Gillane at the other end. Galway 0-1 Limerick 0-1


2 mins: Evan Niland gets the scoring underway with a handy free in front of the posts. Galway 0-1 Limerick 0-0


So the biggest question of build-up has its answer - Will O’Donoghue lines up at centre-back for Limerick. Cian Lynch is in midfield, Gearóid Hegarty and Kyle Hayes take up their usual positions at wing-back and wing-forward. The ball is in and the game is on!


The most interesting thing to look out for when the teams line up will be who starts at centre-back for Limerick. It says Kyle Hayes in the programme but there was a delicious rumour doing the rounds during the week that it could be Cian Lynch. We’ll find out pretty soon. In the meantime, here’s 1,600 words on it...


This really could be a cracker. Along with Clare, Galway are the team who have made life most uncomfortable for Limerick. You wouldn’t want to get too carried away on that score, granted - they got within a goal in their last two semi-finals against John Kiely’s side. But still, there’s little doubt that Limerick aren’t as good as they were. Galway won’t have to improve an awful lot to match strides.

Seán Moran breaks it all down here...


There is news from Croke Park. And that news is that there is no news. Both teams will start with the 15 they sent to the programme makers during the week. No late changes. We’ll wait for the anthems to finish to see how it all washes out position-wise.


Some light reading to while away the next 40 minutes until throw-in. How about we start with Nicky English’s preview of a huge weekend?


Hello! It’s time for the serious business. Welcome to live coverage of the All-Ireland hurling semi-final between Limerick and Galway, throw-in at Croke Park is at 6pm.

What’s it going to be? A fourth All-Ireland final in a row for Limerick? Or a first appearance ina decider by Galway since 2018? One way or the other, we’ll know tonight - if it’s level at full-time there will be extra-time. If it’s level after that - gulp - it’ll be penalties.

Malachy Clerkin here, high in the Hogan Stand, taking you through until they kick us out.

We may as well start with the teams:

LIMERICK (SHC v Galway): Nickie Quaid; Mike Casey, Dan Morrissey, Barry Nash; Diarmaid Byrnes, Kyle Hayes, Gearóid Hegarty; Will O’Donoghue, Darragh O’Donovan; David Reidy, Cian Lynch, Tom Morrissey; Aaron Gillane, Séamus Flanagan, Peter Casey. Subs: David McCarthy, Conor Boylan, Ronan Connolly, Aaron Costello, Colin Coughlan, Adam English, Richie English, Graeme Mulcahy, Barry Murphy, Cathal O’Neill, Oisín O’Reilly.

GALWAY (SHC): Éanna Murphy; Jack Grealish, Daithí Burke (capt), Darren Morrissey; Pádraic Mannion, Gearóid McInerney, Joseph Cooney; Seán Linnane, Cathal Mannion; Ronan Glennon, Cianan Fahy, Kevin Cooney; Conor Whelan, Brian Concannon, Evan Niland. Subs: Darach Fahy, TJ Brennan, Fintan Burke, Adrian Tuohy, Liam Collins, Tiernan Killeen, Tom Monaghan, Conor Cooney, Declan McLoughlin, Gavin Lee, Jarlath Mannion.