Limerick 2-18 - Galway 1-19: A stirring second-half comeback has brought an end to Limerick’s eight-year spell in Division 1B, writes Eoghan Cormican.
The visitors to Pearse Stadium trailed by eights points at half-time but kept Galway to four points in the second thirty-five minutes to secure a return to Division 1A.
The first quarter of an hour upon the restart belonged to John Kiely’s side as they outscored the hosts by 1-5 to 0-1. Aaron Gillane was responsible for four of these five points, with Kyle Hayes’ tame effort dribbling past Skehill for their second goal.
Limerick drew level for the first time with 11 minutes to go, 1-18 to 2-15, with Cian Lynch sneaking them in front for the first time on 67 minutes. Pat Ryan landed an injury-time minor to seal a famous comeback and a famous win.
Wind assisted, Galway tore into proceedings and were 1-3 to 0-0 to the good after just three minutes. A Cathal Mannion ground stroke found the Limerick net, with Conor Cooney, along with the midfield pairing of David Burke and Johnny Coen, supplying the white flags.
Limerick responded with an unanswered 1-2, Aaron Gillane converting a penalty after Adrian Tuohy fouled Barry Murphy.
Then Galway took it up a notch, clipping 10 of the next 12 points. Cathal Mannion had 1-4 to his name, all from play, by the 28th minute. Half-back Greg Lally cut over a sideline cut before adding one from open play.
Two Seamus Flanagan minors stemmed the tide, somewhat, but they still faced an uphill task with the interval scoreline reading 1-15 to 1-7. Frustrating management must have been their first-half wides tally of 11.
They turned it around in spectacular fashion thereafter.
Scorers for Galway: C Mannion (1-4); J Flynn (0-7, 0-6 frees); G Lally (0-1 sc), C Cooney, J Coen (0-2 each); J Canning (0-1 ‘65), D Burke (0-1 each).
Scorers for Limerick: A Gillane (1-7, 1-0 pen, 0-6 frees, 0-1 ‘65); S Flanagan (0-5); K Hayes (1-0); D Reidy (0-2); G Hegarty, R Ryan, G Mulcahy, C Lynch (0-1 each).
Galway: J Skehill; A Tuohy, P Mannion, S Bannon; G Lally, G McInerney, A Harte; J Coen, D Burke; S Moloney, C Mannion, C Whelan; N Burke, C Cooney, J Flynn.
Subs: D Glennon for D Burke (24-28 mins, blood); J Hanbury for Tuohy (49); J Canning for Moloney (53); S Cooney for Lally (55); D Glennon for Flynn (58); B Concannon for N Burke (67);
Limerick: N Quaid; S Finn, R McCarthy, R English; D Byrnes, D Hannon, D Morrissey; P Browne, C Lynch; G Hegarty, T Morrissey, D Reidy; A Gillane, S Flanagan, B Murphy.
Subs: K Hayes for Hegarty (19, inj); G Mulcahy for Flanagan (60); P Ryan for Reidy (63); C Ryan for Browne (66)
Referee: C McAllister (Cork).