Dogged Limerick maintain 100% league start with win over Galway

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Limerick made it two wins from two in the Allianz Hurling League with a 1-19 to 0-14 win over Galway at the LIT Gaelic Grounds.

It was the first meeting of the sides since the 2018 All-Ireland final but this game naturally lacked the intensity of the occasion, but the result was ultimately the same.

David Reidy top scored for John Kiely’s men as scores came from all parts of a dynamic forward line.

Limerick started the brighter and led 0-3 to 0-1 by the fifth minute. Captain Declan Hannon, Graeme Mulcahy and Gearoid Hegarty were all on target – with Cathal Mannion providing the reply.

Galway were extremely efficient up front and their first wide arrived on 27 minutes, from a Canning free, by which time Limerick had hit seven wides.

Prior to that, the Tribesmen were on target with Canning, from play and frees and perhaps the pick of the scores from Aidan Harte. Conor Whelan broke the home cover on 21 minutes and found a point – but the powerful forward was starved of possession.

The Munster champions led 0-12 to 0-9 at the break but it may have been a bigger margin, had Seamus Flanagan kept his shot lower having been released by the tireless Graeme Mulcahy.

The lead was made possible with points from Tom Morrissey, Reidy and David Dempsey. All six starting forwards were on target, which pleased the bulk of the 14,151 in attendance.

David Dempsey found the net for the games opening goal, inside 60 seconds of the second period, catching high on the 13 meter line, after a lovely cross-field pass from Flanagan.

Allianz Hurling League, LIT Gaelic Grounds, Limerick 2/2/2020 Limerick vs Galway Limerick’s Dan Morrissey and Joe Canning of Galway Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

Having lost Richie English to injury at half-time, Declan Hannon was next to be substituted, after just 40 minutes. Canning (free), Shane Cooney and Whelan reduced the deficit to a goal by the 43rd minute.

Galway almost found the net but a wonderful Dan Morrissey hook denied Conor Whelan, before a goalmouth scrambled eventually saw Limerick win a free-out.

Nickie Quaid made a good save from a Conor Cooney free but Galway appeared to lack creativity once they lost talisman Joe Canning in the 40th minute to a hand injury.

Aaron Gillane landed two points, coming off the bench, while William O’Donoghue and Darren O’Connell also added to the tally.

Allianz Hurling League, LIT Gaelic Grounds, Limerick 2/2/2020 Limerick vs Galway Limerick’s William O’Donoghue and Adrian Touhy of Galway Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

Cooney hit the cross bar with another free in stoppage time but this mattered little as Limerick ran out comfortable eight point winners.

Galway managed just five second half points and despite Limerick hitting 15 wides in total, they never looked likely to suffer first defeat of 2020.

Scorers: Limerick:David Reidy 0-7 (0-4 frees); David Dempsey (1-1); Graeme Mulcahy, Tom Morrissey, Aaron Gillane (0-2 each); Declan Hannon, Gearoid Hegarty, Seamus Flanagan, , William O’Donoghue, Darren O’Connell (0-1 each)

Galway: Joe Canning 0-7 (0-5 frees); Conor Whelan 0-2; Shane Cooney, Conor Cooney (free), Sean Bleahane, Padraic Mannion, Aidan Harte (0-1 each)

Limerick: Nickie Quaid (Effin); Aaron Costello (Kilmallock), Sean Finn (Bruff), Richie English (Doon); Dan Morrissey (Ahane), Declan Hannon (Adare) (capt), Barry Nash (South Liberties); Darragh O’Donovan (Doon), William O’Donoghue (Na Piarsaigh); Gearoid Hegarty (St. Patrick’s), Tom Morrissey (Ahane), David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacca); David Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh), Seamus Flanagan (Feohanagh), Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock).

Subs: Tom Condon (Knockaderry) for Richie English (half-time); Diarmuid Byrnes for Declan Hannon (40 mins), Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell) for Seamus Flanagan; Darren O’Connell for David Dempsey (60 mins); Brian Ryan (South Liberties) for David Reidy (65 mins).

Galway: Murphy; Sean Loftus, Gearoid McInerney, TJ Brennan; Padraic Mannion (catp), Shane Cooney, Aidan Harte; Adrian Tuohey, Sean Linnane; Diarmuid Kilcommins, Cathal Mannion, Joe Canning; Jason Flynn, Conor Whelan, Brian Concannon.

Subs: Conor Cooney for Brian Concannon (half-time), Sean Bleahane for Canning (46 mins), Darragh Burke for Diarmuid Kilcommins (52 mins), Paul Killeen for Sean Loftus (55 mins); Jack Grealish for Sean Linnane (65 mins).

Referee: Colm Lyons (Cork).

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