Limerick comfortably dismissed Galway to extend their winning run in the Allianz League to six games going back to last year.
Watched by a handsome 14,151 crowd in LIT Gaelic Grounds, the visitors will have been concerned about Joe Canning’s hand injury, which forced him off, as the flatness of their second-half display.
Limerick lost Richie English and Declan Hannon to injuries too, had 15 wides and hit three short but they were by far the superior team in the second half. David Dempsey’s goal two minutes into the new half, assisted by a crossfield ball by Seamus Flanagan, put them six up.
Galway did peg back the difference to three points but Limerick ruled in the final quarter and by the end, eight of their nine forwards used had scored from play.
Limerick faced a stiff breeze in the first half but deservedly led at the interval, 0-12 to 0-9. Their conversion rate, though, left a lot to be desired as they struck seven wides and one point attempt short and it wasn’t until the 27th minute that Galway registered their first of three first-half wides.
Illustrating some lovely stick-passing at the outset in difficult conditions, Limerick had two goal chances in the opening 10 minutes, both falling to Dempsey but he failed to make contact with the first in the sixth minute and four minutes later put the ball wide after a Flanagan pass.
Those let-offs fuelled Galway and despite giving their inside line little ball, it 0-5 each after 15 minutes. With Canning warming nicely into the game, they went ahead by two in the 23rd minute but then didn’t score for the next 13 minutes.
David Reidy was powering into the game too and scored half of Limerick’s six unanswered points, two of them from frees. One of the other three was a Flanagan point which he blazed over having been teed up for a goal by Mulcahy.
Scorers for Limerick: D. Reidy (0-7, 4 frees); D. Dempsey (1-1); G. Hegarty, T. Morrissey, A. Gillane (1 free) (0-2 each); D. Hannon, G. Mulcahy, S. Flanagan, W. O’Donoghue, D. O’Connell (0-1 each).
Scorers for Galway: J. Canning (0-7, 4 frees); C. Whelan (0-2); C. Mannion, A. Harte, S. Cooney, C. Cooney (free), S. Bleahane (0-1 each).
LIMERICK: N. Quaid; A. Costello, S. Finn, R. English; D. Morrissey, D. Hannon (c), B. Nash; D. O’Donovan, W. O’Donoghue; T. Morrissey, D. Reidy, G. Hegarty; S. Flanagan, D. Dempsey, G. Mulcahy.
Subs for Limerick: C. Lynch for D. O’Donovan (blood, 4-7); T. Condon for R. English (injury, h-t); D. Byrnes for D. Hannon (injury, 40); A. Gillane for S. Flanagan (55); D. O’Connell for D. Dempsey (60); B. Ryan for D. Reidy (65).
GALWAY: E. Murphy; S. Loftus, T.J. Brennan, G. McInerney; P. Mannion (c), S. Cooney, A. Harte; A. Tuohey, S. Linnane; D. Kilcommins, C. Mannion, J. Canning; J. Flynn, C. Whelan, B. Concannon.
Subs for Galway: C. Cooney for B. Concannon (h-t); S. Bleahane for J. Canning (injury, 47); Darragh Burke for D. Kilcommins (54); P. Killeen for S. Loftus (55); J. Grealish for S. Linnane (65).
Referee: C. Lyons (Cork).