Galway had got off to a flyer, with Farragher pointing a free and Hayes hitting over a sublime point from the wing. The dazzling Hayes was causing the Limerick defence all sorts of problems but gradually the home side clawed their way back.
After two terrific build-ups, Paul O’Grady and TJ Ryan levelled matters in the eighth minute. Then Ryan was inexplicably off target with an easy free and Limerick’s revival was halted.
Galway put daylight between the sides with a series of fine scores, culminating in a goal of quality from “man of the match” Hayes at the end of the first quarter.
The unerring Ger Farragher pointed another free to leave Galway leading by 1-7 to 0-2 before Limerick fought back and three points on the trot from TJ Ryan, Ollie Moran and Niall Moran, gave the Shannonsiders cause for hope.
It was 1-9 to 0-6 at half-time but in just four minutes Limerick succeeded in wiping out the deficit a goal from corner-forward, Donie Ryan 45 seconds after the restart being the spur.
Then captain Ollie Moran, in his new role at half-back, began to hurl brilliantly and when Andrew O’Shaughnessy was hauled down inside the square full-forward TJ Ryan blasted the penalty to the net to give Limerick the lead for the first time in the 39th minute.
Galway eased their way back into the lead with Farragher’s accurate free-taking their most lethal weapon.
Indeed, had Limerick a free-taker of Farragher’s ability, they would almost certainly have won this qualifier.
True, Patrick Kirby hit over four points from frees while TJ Ryan added a goal and a point from placed balls but both missed crucial scores.
The sides were level four times in the second half but Galway, with some fine points, most notably from David Tierney, Fergal Healy and substitute, Alan Kearns always looked the more likely to top the section.
Farragher, with his point from frees, sealed Galway triumph two minutes from the end.
Scorers for Galway; D. Hayes 1-4, G. Farragher 0-7 (0-6 frees), D. Tierney 0-2, T. Og Riain, O. Kenny, F. Healy, R. Mooney, A. Kearns 0-1 each.
Limerick: TJ Ryan 1-2 (1-1 from frees), D. Ryan 1-0, P. Kirby 0-6 (0-5 free), N. Moran 0-2, O. Moran, P. Tobin 0-1 each.
GALWAY; L. Donoghue, D. Joyce, S. Kavanagh, C. Coen, D. Collins, D. Hardiman, O. Canning, T. Og Riain, F. Healy, R. Murray, D. Forde, D. Tierney, G. Farragher, K. Hayes, D. Hayes.
Subs. A. Kearns for K. Hayes, N. Healy for Tierney.
LIMERICK: T. Houlihan, M. Clifford, S. Lucey, M. Foley, P. O’Dwyer, B. Geary, P. Lawlor, P. O’Grady, D. O’Grady, A. O’Shaughnessy, O. Moran, N. Moran, D. Ryan, TJ Ryan, P. Kirby.
Subs. K. Tobin for Clifford, P. Tobin for O’Shaughnessy, C. Fitzgerald for N. Moran, J. O’Brien for K. Tobin.
Referee B. Gavin (Offaly).
Antrim 1-16 Laois 0-21
By Matt Fitzpatrick
ANTRIM produced their best hurling of the season against Laois in this All-Ireland Liam MacCarthy Cup Group Qualifier in Casement Park on Saturday.
Antrim were unlucky not to have taken the points, and they still have a chance of being in the Liam McCarthy competition next year if they overcome Offaly in a relegation battle.
The sides were level at half time, Antrim 1-7, Laois 0-10.
ANTRIM: D. D. Quinn; M. Kettle, K. Kelly, A. O Caireallain; G. Cunningham, J. Campbell, C. Herron; M. Scullion, J. Connolly (0-1); K. McKeegan (0-3 65 s), M. Herron (0-1), K. Stewart; J. McIntosh (1-7,)-2 frees, 0-1 65), P. Richmond (0-1), A. Delargy (0-1).
Subs: C. Cunning for K. Kelly (2mins); Joey Scullion (0-1) for A. O Caireallain (10mins); B. Quinn (0-1) for A. Delargy (54 mins).
LAOIS: P. Mullaney; John Walsh, P. Cuddy, M. McEvoy; J. Fitzpatrick, P. Mahon, S. Dwyer; James Walsh (0-2), J. Phelan (0-1); J. Rowney (0-1), L. Tynan (0-4), J. Young (0-8. 0-6 frees, 0-1 65); T. Fitzgerald (0-1), M. Rooney (0-2), D. Culleton.
Subs: E. Meagher (0-1) for J. Phelan (44 mins); C. Healy for P. Mahon (45 mins); C. Brophy (0-1) for James Walsh (58); P. Russell for J. Rowney (65)
Referee: P. Greene (Galway).