Player ratings: Tom Morrissey and Gearoid Hegarty inspire Limerick to December final

Hegarty ended the first half with three good points to his credit
Player ratings: Tom Morrissey and Gearoid Hegarty inspire Limerick to December final

Limerick's Gearoid Hegarty celebrates with Tom Morrissey at the final whistle. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

LIMERICK

Nickie Quaid: His puckouts were as dependable as always, and Galway created no real goal chances in the first half. Handled one tricky ball under the bar very well. 7.

Sean Finn: Found Conor Whelan a handful early on - what defender hasn’t had that experience? - and picked up a yellow for fouling Brian Concannon later in the first half. Settled to his task after the break, though. 7.

Dan Morrissey: Had Joe Canning for company early on but had a very good opening half. Fielded one dangerous ball just before the break well but his clearance went out of play and Joe Canning pointed the resulting sideline. 7

Barry Nash: Was the spare man early on, pushing up to sweep behind Declan Hannon. Won some good ball in that role and gave good deliveries to the inside line when clearing. Always available to Quaid for a puck-out or clearance. 8.

Diarmuid Byrnes: Not involved in the first quarter but hit the equaliser for Limerick with a typical long-range effort from out on the wing on 21 minutes and broke up a couple of Galway attacks also. Nailed a nervy late free, too. 8.

Declan Hannon (c):  His distribution was up to his usual high standards, linking the play well. He finished a typical sweeping move out of the Limerick defence with a fine long-range point in first-half injury time. Organised his defence well, too. Replaced in injury time by Paddy O'Loughlin. 7.

Kyle Hayes: Got on plenty of early ball and was always looking to bring his teammates into the game. Kept driving forward down the left wing and asking questions of the Galway defenders and midfielders. Won a couple of frees also. 9

Limerick manager John Kiely celebrates after the game with Kyle Hayes. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson
Limerick manager John Kiely celebrates after the game with Kyle Hayes. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Darragh O’Donovan: Broke even with his man early on but wasn’t as involved in the game in the second quarter with the middle of the field being bypassed. Set up Cian Lynch for a point but replaced by David Reidy on 52 minutes. 6.

William O’Donoghue: Got involved physically in the exchanges around the middle of the field to give Limerick a bridgehead in that area. Held the middle without being prominent. 6

Cian Lynch: Subdued in the opening quarter by his own standards, with Galway quick to get bodies around him. Tried hard to get involved in the second half and set Peter Casey up for a point before getting off the mark himself. 7

Gearoid Hegarty: Started with a poor wide but hit Limerick’s fourth point before the first water-break and ended the first half with three good points to his credit. A loose pull on Joe Canning wasn’t as impressive but he had the energy to win that vital late, late free. 9.

Tom Morrissey: Limerick were three points down and had hit three wides before Morrissey intervened in the ninth minute to open their account. Tacked on two more points in the first half in a typically hard-working display and added three huge points late on. 9

Aaron Gillane: Missed his first free and saw little of the ball in the first quarter. Got involved needlessly with Galway ‘keeper Eanna Murphy as well but ended the first half with four points. More involved in the second half in general play. Replaced in injury time by Pat Ryan. 7.

Limerick's Aaron Gillane and Adrian Tuohy of Galway. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo
Limerick's Aaron Gillane and Adrian Tuohy of Galway. Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

Seamus Flanagan: Moved to the right corner to let Aaron Gillane in on the edge of the square, and was busy all through, working hard on and off the ball. Hit two points before being replaced by Adrian Breen on 62 minutes. 7.

Graeme Mulcahy: Intercepted an Eanna Murphy clearance early on but couldn’t get a shot away when the goal was on. Taken off for Peter Casey on 40 minutes. 5

Subs:

Peter Casey (40 minutes): Showed a lot of energy when he came in, hitting two points in eight minutes and making a good interception and later, a fine catch. 8.

David Reidy (52 minutes):  Casey placed him for a good goal chance but Murphy saved well. Hit a wide also. 6

Adrian Breen (62 minutes): Didn't get on much ball but hit a vital late point. 7

Paddy O'Loughlin (70 minutes): Didn't get involved

Pat Ryan (75 minutes)

GALWAY

Eanna Murphy: Under pressure after a series of stray short puck-outs early on and never really inspired confidence. Went long mostly thereafter. Pulled off important saves from Seamus Flanagan (twice), Kyle Hayes and David Reidy. 6

Aidan Harte: Had his hands full all evening and at fault late on with a loose pass that ended in an Adrian Breen point. 7

Daithi Burke: Duelled Aaron Gillane and not as dominant as against Tipperary. Fielded superbly above Seamus Flanagan in the 44th minute to deny a Limerick goal and got better as the game progressed, dishing out some thunderous hits. 7

Galway’s Daithi Burke and Seamus Flanagan of Limerick. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie
Galway’s Daithi Burke and Seamus Flanagan of Limerick. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

Shane Cooney: Booked in the opening quarter for a high challenge on William O'Donoghue. Started the second-half at midfield after a shake up of positions. Eventually taken off with around 20 minutes to go when Galway were five down. 6

Sean Loftus: A late addition to the Galway defence in place of Fintan Burke. Outfield by the other number 19, Peter Casey, in a spectacular aerial battle that ended with David Reidy hitting the woodwork in the second-half. Cynical hurley pull late on. 6

Gearoid McInerney: Moved onto the wing in the second-half. First act after the restart was to foul Kyle Hayes for a free that was pointed. Left Aaron Gillane in a heap on the floor with a huge shoulder in the 56th minute. 6

Joseph Cooney: Moved into the attack after Fintan Burke's introduction at half-time. Won an important free that Joe Canning converted as Galway rallied. Struck a bad wide too. 6

Padraic Mannion: Deployed as a sweeper and did his best to patrol the space around Limerick's inside forward line in particular. His role limited his ability to get on the ball and impact the play himself. 7

Johnny Coen: Put in a big shift of hard running and won some useful possessions but generally under pressure in the Galway engine room. 7

Joe Canning: First touch was a sumptuous sideline cut that sailed over and, remarkably, he drilled over three more, scoring 0-12 in total. Got treatment for a strike on the lower back by Gearoid Hegarty. Taken off in the 69th minute after a blow to the head from colleague Joseph Cooney. 8

Galway's Joe Canning scores a point from a sideline cut. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson
Galway's Joe Canning scores a point from a sideline cut. Picture: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Cathal Mannion: Pulled up with a hamstring injury in the 23rd minute. Had been covering a huge amount of ground and enjoying plenty of possession. Put Galway 0-4 to 0-1 ahead in the 10th minute and looked to be on for a big game. 7

David Burke: Wore number 12 but reverted to midfield, clearing number eight Padraic Mannion to play as a sweeper. Didn't hit his peak this time and was taken off at half-time. 6

Brian Concannon: Began brightly by winning a third minute free that Joe Canning pointed. Added three first-half points and was a real danger to the Limerick defence but faded out and didn't score from the 27th minute. 7

Conor Cooney: Picked up by Kyle Hayes initially. Fouled Tom Morrissey for a 19th minute free that was pointed and struggled generally to impact the game. Replaced By Jason Flynn in the third quarter. 6

Conor Whelan: Galway had only five in attack but Whelan made it seem like six at times as he covered acres of ground, winning frees and fighting for every loose ball. Another tireless display and 0-3 tallied. 8

Subs

Adrian Tuohey (24 minutes): Came on for the injured Cathal Mannion in an unfamiliar position and pinched a tasty score. Moved to wing-back in the second-half and helped quell Limerick's dominance there. 7

Fintan Burke (half time): Brought on at the interval in a generally successful move by Shane O'Neill to shore up the half-back line. Scored from a sideline late on, a la Canning. 7

Jason Flynn (45 minutes): Came on and got stuck in but failed to grab a score as were surely his orders. 6

Sean Linnane (52 minutes): Played the final 20 minutes or so and generally under pressure as Limerick finished strongly. 6

Evan Niland (69 minutes): Replaced the injured Joe Canning and couldn't have done much more, scoring 0-2 and setting up a Conor Whelan point. 8

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