Limerick 3-16 Galway 2-18: How the Limerick players rated

Gavin Cummiskey runs the rule over John Kiely’s side after their All-Ireland win

Limerick’s Mike Casey keeps a tight rein on Galway’s Johnny Glynn during the All-Ireland SHC Final at Croke Park. Phjotograph:  James Crombie/Inpho

Limerick’s Mike Casey keeps a tight rein on Galway’s Johnny Glynn during the All-Ireland SHC Final at Croke Park. Phjotograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Nickie Quaid

Sat behind a heroic, ravenous full-back line. No fault for bullet goals from Conor Whelan and Joe Canning, although he handled ball on the ground to give Canning the opportunity. Rating: 6

Seán Finn

Conor Whelan came good in the final flings but the corner back broke out of defence more often than the young sharp-shooter was allowed swipe at goal. In particular, there was a cleanly won exchange on 20 minutes. Rating: 8

Mike Casey

Herculean 50 minutes, before injury, to utterly snuff out Johnny Glynn’s influence. Despite a 20kg and five inch advantage, the giant Bronx based full forward was dominated under high and low ball as Galway’s primary weapon was disarmed. Rating: 9

Richie English

Unbelievable catch over Niall Burke on 51 minutes seemed like the start of the Limerick coronation – until they collectively froze – but the viciousness of this man cannot be overstated. Rating: 8

Diarmuid Byrnes

Punched the sky after a sweet score early in the second half to put Limerick five clear but shooting was otherwise poor. Covered Canning from puck outs and whenever Galway’s star turn attempted (rarely) to influence the attack. Rating: 7

Declan Hannon celebrates at the final whistle. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Declan Hannon celebrates at the final whistle. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Declan Hannon

Monumental display with two first-half points drilling holes in Galway’s resistance – see Reeling in the Years 2018 for his intercept of Pádraic Mannion’s pass, intended for Canning, before romping up field to score. Rating: 9

Dan Morrissey

Earned an early free when Glynn bulldozed over him, which showed Limerick would match Galway’s famed physicality blow for blow. Rating: 6

Darragh O’Donovan

Neat point on 11 minutes before zipping about the middle third for 66 unrelenting minutes. Rating: 6

Cian Lynch

Decent super-hero impression after eight minutes when riding three heavy Galway tacklers before lasering a point. Matched David Burke play for play. Rating: 8

Gearóid Hegarty

Hunted and harassed in equal measure but when manager John Kiely needed to introduce Shane Dowling the yellow-carded wing forward made way. Rating: 6

Kyle Hayes

A collection of wides included two misses as Limerick’s stroll towards the Hogan steps turned to panic but 0-4 from play included two gems on 40 minutes that made it seem impossible Limerick could lose. Rating: 8

Limerick’s Tom Morrissey in action against Paul Killeen of Galway. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
Limerick’s Tom Morrissey in action against Paul Killeen of Galway. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

Tom Morrissey

A year ago Gearóid McInerney walked off the Croke Park turf having devoured then hurler of the year Austin Gleeson but in a cruel twist of fate the injured centre half will be remembered by the Morrissey pick-pocket for the goal that made it 2-15 to 0-12. Rating: 8

Aaron Gillane

If Limerick’s stumble resulted in defeat or even a draw Gillane’s jittery free taking and consistent inaccuracy would be highlighted forever but victory paints him as the ultimate decoy that consumed Daithí Burke. Rating: 6

Séamus Flanagan

A lovely strike on the stroke of half-time meant Limerick’s dominance, rather than their 11 wides, controlled the narrative, yet he was rightly pulled for Peter Casey on 63 minutes. Rating: 6

Graeme Mulcahy

The hero who scrambled the jammiest goal in the history of hurling before batting the insurance point on 77 minutes. That’s more than enough to be gifted the keys to the Treaty City. Rating: 8

Bench

Richie McCarthy had a hell of a job replacing Mike Casey, but he held well; Shane Dowling delivered, yet again, with a goal for the ages, while it was Tom Condon who escaped with the sliotar when Canning’s last free dropped short. Rating: 8

Coach

Besides Shane Dowling “there is no substitute for hard work” said a teary eyed school principal named John Kiely on the field afterwards. The words are visible in how his young team exists. Rating: 8

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