Donoghue cut an animated figure throughout this Division 1B promotion decider,
remonstrating with the Cork official on several occasions. In the second period, clearly annoyed at a particular incident which was not picked up on, he came face-to-face with linesman Fergal Horgan.
When asked if he was satisfied with the referee’s display, Donoghue replied: “No.” When asked if there was any particular foul that annoyed him, he replied: “Watch it.”
That promotion to Division 1A had escaped them for a second successive year did not represent a setback.
The perception outside, more than ourselves, was about promotion. For us, we didn’t change the template from last year. It was about using the league to get us as close to the championship. Nothing has changed.
He added: “Defensively, we had a poor day in the office. Limerick created a lot of space and when the scoring opportunities came, they took them.
For us, it is another game in the bank. The plusses are that Joe Canning and David Burke got game-time.
Limerick manager John Kiely described the victory as “their biggest result to date”.
He said there was massive relief at having finally found a way back to the league’s top tier.
“In any interview or team talk, I wasn’t going to mention what it would mean to move on to 1A because it becomes too much a load to carry. But it is a huge relief. We were tired of being in 1B. Tired of not being involved in the bigger games and having the bigger teams come to town. We mightn’t win four games next year — mightn’t win two — but at least we have the exposure of playing at the top level at that time of year.
It is a big step forward. Coming from eight behind here in Galway is a nice one. We can always look back on this as a major tight-game test. You need to come through those. And, maybe, we can look back on this game later in the year when we are in a similar situation.
Despite trailing at the break, Kiely felt they did a lot right in the opening half.
“People will probably say we played badly in the first half. We actually didn’t play terribly bad. In the first 15 minutes, people could see the difference between where Galway have been for the past couple of years and where we are. There was an adjustment to be made and we struggled for a couple of periods here and there. But we never panicked. We had 11 wides in the first half. So we were getting the shots off.”