Limerick secure gritty draw with Galway to book league semi-final spot:

By Siadbh Redmond Limerick Leader Sport

LIMERICK have recorded a 0-17 draw against Galway in Allianz Hurling League in Pearse Stadium, Galway this Saturday afternoon. The All-Ireland champions have won group 1B of the league and will face the second placed team in group 1A.

In a tough and physical game it was Galway that fought back in the closing minutes of the game to level the score board and record a draw.

It was the home side that got off to a brighter start with a point from play straight off the throw-in from Cathal Mannion. This score was answered immediately from Limerick’s Tom Morrissey.

Henry Shefflin’s side looked well on-top of the All-Ireland champions in the opening minutes with a second effort from Cathal Mannion and a point from Gavin Lee to leave them 0-3 to 0-2 ahead.

Scores went back and forth for a period with points from Limerick’s Adam English and Galway’s half-back Ronan Glennon before the Tribesmen pushed on scoring three vital points to keep them ahead of Limerick after 20 minutes of play.

The game became scrappy at times during this period as the rain poured down in Salthill, making the first-touch of the sliothar harder for the players.

John Kiely’s side got a further three points, two from Adam English and a free from Aaron Gillane before a moment of rage from Shane O’Brien saw him sent off after 26 minutes with a straight red card for removing a Galway players helmet, leaving Limerick to push on with 14 men for the remainder of the game.

This sending off spurred Galway on further with fabulous points from play through Cathal Mannion, who scored 0-4 in the first-half, with David Burke and Gavin Lee adding to the tally.
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Gillane finished off a disappointing half with a point from a free to leave Galway in the lead on a scoreline of 0-12 to 0-9, with five Limerick wides in the first-half.

Substitute Diarmaid Byrnes opened the scoring for Limerick two minutes into the second-half. This would be the only score in the opening minutes of the game as the structure and play of either sides went completely out of the game.

Galway had an opportunity for goal but an unbelievable save by Nickie Quaid after 41 minutes from Cathal Mannion’s shot put a stop to this.

Shefflin’s side first score of the second-half came from Ronan Glennon once again before a Niland free after 53 minutes sailed over the post to keep their three point lead.

It became the Diarmaid Byrnes show after the Patrickswell man slotted over three vital frees to keep his side in the game before Limerick found another gear with two quick points from Tom Morrissey and Adam English to level the game to 0-14 a piece after 57 minutes of play.

Galway were not deterred by Limerick’s quick scores as Niland scored his only point from play. Byrnes continued to play his part in the game with another free, followed by a fantastic long range effort from Gearoid Hegarty to leave the sides level once again on 0-16 each.

Limerick’s final score would come from another Byrnes score before Galway slotted a Niland free over the bar to leave the game at a draw on 0-17 a piece.

LIMERICK SCORERS: Adam English 0-5, Diarmaid Byrnes 0-5 (0-5 frees), Aaron Gillane 0-2 (0-2 frees), Tom Morrissey 0-2, Shane O’Brien, David Reidy, Gearoid Hegarty 0-1 each.

GALWAY SCORERS: Evan Niland 0-6 (0-5 frees), Cathal Mannion 0-4, Gavin Lee 0-2, Ronan Glennon 0-2, Padraic Mannion, Adrian Tuohey, David Burke 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid, Fergal O’Connor, Mike Casey, Barry Nash, Cathal O’Neill, Declan Hannon (C), Colin Coughlan, David Reidy, Barry Murphy, Shane O’Brien, Cian Lynch, Tom Morrissey, Aaron Gillane, Seamus Flanagan, Adam English.

SUBS: Diarmaid Byrnes for C Coughlan (35 minutes), William O’Donoghue for B Murphy (46 minutes), Peter Casey for S Flanagan (46 minutes), Gearoid Hegarty for A Gillane (57 minutes), Aaron Costello for F O’Connor (62 minutes), Graeme Mulcahy for D Reidy (66 minutes), Ronan Lyons for M Casey (66 minutes)

GALWAY: Darach Fahy, Jack Grealish, Fintan Burke, Padraic Mannion, Adrian Tuohey, Cianan Fahy, Ronan Glennon, David Burke, Seán Linnane, Gavin Lee, Tom Monaghan, Joesph Cooney, Cathal Mannion, Conor Cooney (C), Evan Niland.

SUBS: Brian Concannon for G Lee (50 minutes), Jamie Ryan for J Cooney (56 minutes), Darren Morrissey for A Tuohey (62 minutes).

REFEREE: Thomas Walsh (Waterford)