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treaty delight Dominant Limerick clear final hurdle as Galway star Joe Canning is stretchered off

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Cian Lynch, left, of Limerick celebrates with team-mate Diarmaid Byrnes after their victory over Galway

Cian Lynch, left, of Limerick celebrates with team-mate Diarmaid Byrnes after their victory over Galway

Cian Lynch, left, of Limerick celebrates with team-mate Diarmaid Byrnes after their victory over Galway

Limerick 0-27 Galway 0-24

Normal service resumed for the imperious Limerick half-forward line as they pushed on to a second All-Ireland final in three years with hard-earned All-Ireland semi-final win over Galway.

Two late points from Tom Morrissey, one from a free, gave them some comfort but, in truth, they should never have found themselves in such a tight position down the home straight as they were the dominant team for three-quarters of this 2018 All-Ireland final repeat.

The game was marred by a nasty head injury sustained by Galway's Joe Canning in the 61st minute which required his removal after a seven-minute delay by medics following a collision with his own colleague Joseph Cooney.

Canning had been in great striking form throughout with 12 points amassed, four from sideline balls.

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Conor Whelan of Galway is tackled by William O'Donoghue of Limerick

Conor Whelan of Galway is tackled by William O'Donoghue of Limerick

Conor Whelan of Galway is tackled by William O'Donoghue of Limerick

Joe Canning of Galway is assisted off the field by medical personnel during the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Limerick and Galway at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

But for that, however, and a string of fine saves from goalkeeper Eanna Murphy, they would not have been in that game.

Murphy's puck-outs came under significant pressure throughout as he failed to consistently find his way around Limerick's impressive aerial screen and they were a source of several of the winners' scores.

For Morrissey, it was a personal triumph after a Munster final blank as he finished with six points and many fine assists, most notably for Declan Hannon's first half point which reflected everything about Limerick's renowned team work.

With Gearoid Hegarty chipping in with four first half points and Cian Lynch coming alive after the break, Limerick's most effective line was back in business.

They got some impetus from their bench too with Peter Casey very prominent after he replaced Graeme Mulcahy while Adrian Breen and David Reidy also contributed well.

Galway had started the game with real menace, landing the first three scores as Limerick struggled to get any flow.

By the 15th minute, they were 0-7 to 0-2 clear and winning all the big battles, particularly in defence where they closed down Lynch and Aaron Gillane.

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Seán Finn of Limerick celebrates

Seán Finn of Limerick celebrates

Seán Finn of Limerick celebrates

But Limerick's power really told as they dragged themselves back into contention with half-backs Diarmuid Byrnes and Kyle Hayes dominant in the skies while Hegarty and Morrissey began the thrive across the half-forward line.

Hegarty was fortunate however to stay on the field when he chopped his hurl into Joe Canning's back late in the half. Referee James Owens and his officials didn't see it but if they had, their discussions would have focused on a potential red card for dangerous use of the hurl.

The only goal chance of the half came courtesy of Seamus Flanagan when he bustled into Murphy's sight but the goalkeeper was equal to the shot. The concession of a free was respite for a troubled Galway side who had lost Cathal Mannion to a hamstring injury in the 22nd minute.

Canning's brilliance from sideline balls was very much in evidence in that first half as he landed three from three on the Cusack Stand side.

Limerick led by 0-14 to 0-11 at the break and were five clear at the end of the third quarter, 0-21 to 0-16.

But Galway hung in and Conor Whelan and Brian Concannon regained a foothold while Joseph Cooney also made a mark and by the 70th-minute they were somehow level, 0-22 each, when Canning's replacement, Evan Niland, pointed having scored from a free on his arrival.

But Limerick asserted themselves with a massive Byrnes free and those spurned goal chances from Flanagan (twice) Reidy weren't to be a source of regret.

Scorers: Limerick: A Gillane (5fs), T Morrissey (1f) 0-6 each, G Hegarty 0-4, D Byrnes 0-3 (1f), C Lynch P Casey S Flanagan all 0-2 each, A Breen, D Hannon 0-1 each. Galway: J Canning 0-12 (8fs, 4sls), B Concannon, C Whelan 0-3 each, E Niland 0-2 (1f) C Mannion, J Cooney, A Tuohey, F Burke (sl) all 0-1 each

TEAMS - LIMERICK - N Quaid; S Finn, D Morrissey, B Nash; D Byrnes, D Hannon, K Hayes; D O'Donovan, W O'Donoghue; G Hegarty, C Lynch, T Morrissey; A Gillane, S Flanagan, G Mulcahy. Subs: P Casey for Mulcahy (40), D Reidy for O'Donovan (51), A Breen for Flanagan (62), P O'Loughlin for Hannon (74), P Ryan for Gillane (76)

GALWAY - E Murphy; S Loftus, Daithi Burke, A Harte; S Cooney, G McInerney, J Cooney; P Mannion, J Coen; C Cooney, C Mannion, David Burke; C Whelan, J Canning, B Concannon. Subs: A Tuohey for C Mannion (24), F Burke for David Burke (h-t), J Flynn for C Cooney (45), S Linnane for S Cooney (51), E Niland for Canning (68)

REFEREE - J Owens (Wexford)

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