Dublin 3-13 Limerick 0-18
Dublin are in an All-Ireland hurling semi-final for the first time since 1948, but they can count themselves fortunate that Limerick put in a wasteful afternoon’s work at Semple Staduim in Thurles.
Ryan O’Dwyer fored in a stunning first half hat-trick to give the Dubs a cushion, and how important those majors were to prove in the end.
Teenager Declan Hannon led the Treaty charge with a marvellous 11 points tally, but he did not have enough support from his attacking colleagues on the day.
O’Dwyer, playing at full forward in a departure from his normal role on the 40, justified Anthony Daly’s tactical call with the first of his three first half goals after just five minutes.
Teenager Declan Hannon kept Limerick in touch with a string of superb points from play, but they suffered another setback in the 11th minute when O’Dwyer blasted home a superb goal.
They increased their lead with a couple of points from Paul Ryan, one of them from play to give his side a five points cushion.
Liam Rushe and O’Dwyer added further points, and they grabbed a third goal on 24 minutes, O’Dwyer completing his hat-trick with a close range finish after Quaid had saved from David O’Callaghan.
Limerick now trailed by nine points, but to their credit, they stuck to their task and dominated the remainder of the first half.
Three more scores from Hannon and a Kevin Downes effort reduced the interval deficit to five, Dublin ahead by 3-6 to 0-10.
The gap had been cut to two points within three minutes of the restart, with Gavin O’Mahony powering over a long range free, and Hannon bringing his tally to eight.
The scores had dried up for Dublin until Ryan drove a free between the posts from distance, and they were somewhat fortunate that Limerick squandered a succession of scoring chances.
Ryan had just planted his seventh point between the posts when Hannon intervened again with another piece of magic, floating over a majestic point from play.
He added a free for his tenth score of the afternoon, and Dublin’s lead was now a precarious three points.
Downes and Hannon both hit the target to keep the pressure on, but Ryan kept the Dubs’ noses in front with his eighth score.
As a gripping contest entered its final 10 minutes, just two points separated the sides. Limerick continued to create chances, but nine second-half wides cost them dearly, while their opponents were much more efficient in their use of scoring opportunities.
And the Metropolitans sealed their first semi-final appearance since 1948 with late scores from O’Dwyer and Shane Ryan, with defenders Joe Boland and Peter Kelly shutting out Limerick’s late chase for a goal.
Dublin: G Maguire, N Corcoran, P Kelly, P Schutte, J McCaffrey, J Boland, S Durkin, L Rushe (0-1), M O’Brien, C McCormack, R O’Dwyer (3-2), M Carton, A McCrabbe, D O’Callaghan (0-1), P Ryan (0-8, 6f).
Subs:D Treacy for McCormack, S Lambert for McCrabbe, D Plunkett for O’Brien, D Sutcliffe for Durkin, S Ryan (0-1) for O’Callaghan
Limerick: N Quaid, D Moloney, S Hickey, T Condon, W McNamara, B Geary (0-2, 2f), G O'Mahony (0-2, 2f), D O'Grady (0-1), P Browne, N Moran, J Ryan, D Hannon (0-11, 4f, 1 ’65), G Mulcahy, K Downes (0-2), S Tobin.
Subs: S Walsh for Geary, D Breen for Tobin, R McCarthy for Moran, S Lucey for O’Grady
Referee: B Gavin (Offaly)