Limerick prove too good for Galway at the Gaelic Grounds

Injury which forced Joe Canning to go off in the second-half is not believed to be serious

Limerick’s Dan Morrissey and Joe Canning of Galway in action at the Gaelic Grounds. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Limerick’s Dan Morrissey and Joe Canning of Galway in action at the Gaelic Grounds. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

 

Limerick 1-19 Galway 0-14

Ten players found the target as reigning league champions Limerick registered their second win of the campaign with an impressive showing at LIT Gaelic Grounds.

Galway struggled to stay with the Munster champions for long periods, although there was relief afterwards that an elbow injury which forced Joe Canning to go off in the second-half is not believed to be serious.

A crowd of 14,151 witnessed a strong Limerick showing with Galway manager Shane O’Neill never looking like he was going to gain victory against his native county. Limerick never looked back once David Dempsey cracked home the only goal of the game just a minute after the restart and they were good value for their win in the end.

Indeed, the margin would have been greater had Limerick not fluffed several more goal chances and shot 14 wides to six for the Tribesmen.

All six forwards scored for Limerick in the opening half and while the sides were level four times, John Kiely’s men went in leading by 0-12 to 0-9 after finishing the first half strongly.

Limerick, despite playing against the breeze, were the better side in the opening half and should have been further ahead but they shot seven wides to Galway’s three, while a few goal chances also went abegging.

The best of them fell to Seamus Flanagan after Graeme Mulcahy broke through but TJ Brennan did enough to force Flanagan’s shot to fly over the bar a minute from the interval.

That was Limerick’s sixth point in a row after they had taken charge with some fine scores.

Galway, who didn’t hit their first wide until nine minutes from the break, recovered from a slow start and a point from wing-back Aidan Harte and two from Canning, one of them a free, edged them 0-5 to 0-4 in front after 14 minutes.

Two more efforts from David Reidy, who scored 0-6 in the opening half, either side of a point from Conor Whelan for Galway, tied the sides before a brace from Canning pushed Galway 0-8 to 0-6 ahead 10 minutes from the change of ends.

But Limerick then took over and struck for the next six scores with Reidy getting three of them and Tom Morrissey, David Dempsey and Flanagan hitting the target before Canning responded with his sixth point of the half, and second from play, to leave a goal between the 2018 All-Ireland finalists at the interval.

Galway’s hopes suffered a massive blow shortly after the restart when they failed to clear their lines and a cross from the right from Seamus Flanagan was caught by Dempsey over Sean Loftus - and he then drilled the ball low into the bottom left corner.

The Galway response was a good one, with three points in a row from Canning, Shane Cooney and Whelan to bridge the margin back to a goal again.

But that was as close as Galway got after Canning went off. Reidy and Conor Cooney exchanged points before Limerick pulled away with Hegarty, Aaron Gillane and a superb effort from William O’Donoghue pushing them 1-16 to 0-13 in front after 58 minutes.

Galway substitute Sean Bleahane and Limerick replacement Darren O’Connell exchanged points but Limerick eased to victory with Tom Morrissey and Gillane finding the range as they backed up their opening night win over Tipperary with another solid display.

Galway were unable to get the goal they needed to get back in the hunt, with Jason Flynn, who earlier had an effort hooked by Dan Morrissey when he seemed certain to hit the net, cracking a free off the crossbar deep into injury-time as they fell to an eight-point loss.

Limerick: N Quaid; A Costello, S Finn, R English; D Morrissey, D Hannon (0-1), B Nash; D O’Donovan, W O’Donoghue (0-1); D Reidy (0-7, 0-4 frees), T Morrissey (0-2), G Hegarty (0-2); D Dempsey, S Flanagan (0-1), G Mulcahy (0-1).

Subs: C Lynch for O’Donovan (blood 4-6 mins), T Condon for English (half-time), D Byrnes for Hannon (40 mins), A Gillane (0-2, 0-1 free) for Flanagan (54 mins), D O’Connell (0-1) for Dempsey (60 mins), B Ryan for Reidy (65 mins).

Galway: E Murphy; S Loftus, G Morrissey, TJ Brennan; P Mannion, S Cooney (0-1, 0-1 free), A Harte (0-1); A Tuohey, S Linnane; D Kilcommins, C Mannion (0-1), J Canning (0-7, 0-5 free); J Flynn, C Whelan (0-2), B Concannon.

Subs: C Cooney for Concannon (half-time), S Bleahane (0-1) for Canning (47 mins), Darragh Burke for Kilcommins (52 mins), P Killeen for Loftus (54 mins), J Grealish for Linnane (65 mins).

Referee: C Lyons (Cork).

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