Galway storm into League final
GALWAY 1-21 LIMERICK 1-11
Galway's league dominance over Limerick was reinforced with a 10-point win over the home side at the Gaelic grounds in a lacklustre semi-final, writes Colm Keys.
Limerick hit 17 wides in all and really failed to leave a creative mark on the match which was over once Conor Cooney held off Richie English to bat home Galway's only goal in the 56th minute to lead by 1-15 to 1-9.
They eased it out after that with Limerick's flagging spirit too obvious as they succumbed to a more physical side.
Cooney finished with 1-4 while Cathal Mannion added four points to deliver a level of accuracy that Limerick just couldn't come close to.
Bary Nash did make an impact for them off the bench but it was too little, too late.
Limerick's first-half goal was against the run of play.
Galway had been steadily building a commanding position and were 0-7 to 0-3 ahead, thanks in the main to the accuracy of Mannion and Cooney when, on 15 minutes, David Dempsey found himself in behind Galway's defensive cover.
From a difficult position, he somehow engineered a pass into the path of his Na Piarsaigh colleague William O'Donoghue who couldn't control but managed to stab the ball with his foot past Colm Callanan.
Galway took it in their stride however and pressed on to establish a 0-13 to 1-5 interval lead despite Joe Canning's indifferent shooting.
It is Galway's sixth successive league win over Limerick who have much to ponder ahead of a Munster Championship campaign.
Scorers - Galway: J Canning 0-7 (6fs), C Cooney 1-4, C Mannion 0-4, C Whelan 0-2, P Mannion, J Coen, D Burke, T Monaghan all 0-1 each.
Limerick: S Dowling 0-5 (4fs), W O'Donoghue 1-0, B Nash 0-2, J Fitzgibbon, D Byrnes, D Dempsey, C Lynch all 0-1 each.
Galway: C Callanan; A Tuohy, J Hanbury, A Harte; P Mannion, G McInerney, Daithi Burke; J Coen, David Burke; P Brehony, J Canning, J Cooney; C Whelan, C Mannion, C Cooney. Subs:
T Monaghan for Brehony (53), P Killeen for Hanbury (55), N Burke for J Cooney (63), J Flynn for Whelan (66), S Loftus for David Burke (67)
Limerick: N Quaid; R English, R McCarthy, M Casey; D Byrnes, D Hannon, S Hickey; A Dempsey, W O'Donoghue; S Dowling, D Dempsey, G Hegarty; C Lynch, K Hayes, G Mulcahy. Subs: G O'Mahony for Hannon inj (15), S Finn for Hickey inj (37), B Nash for Mulcahy (47), J Fitzgibbon for D Dempsey (52), J Ryan for A Dempsey (52).
Referee: P O'Dwyer (Carlow).