Fourteen man Limerick dig deep to progress to NHL semi-finals

Galway 0-17
Limerick 0-17

Limerick qualified for the NHL Division 1 semi-finals, after a draw away to Galway, despite playing much of the contest with only 14-men.

Following the dismissal of Shane O’Brien, the boys in green dug deep to rescue a point in Salthill. Late scores from Diarmaid Byrnes and Gearoid Hegarty put Limerick in a winning position, though Evan Niland held his nerve to tie this clash at the death.

Injuries to Colin Coughlan and Fergal O’Connor will be a concern, but the fight shown will please the management team.
This was the final group game of Division 1B, after four wins from four for John Kiely’s men earlier in the Spring. It also represented a first outing for Limerick since the 2023 Munster final for captain Declan Hannon.

The early Treaty play was fragmented but they were ahead 0-3 to 0-2 by the sixth minute, as Tom Morrissey, Shane O’Brien and Adam English all on target.

At the other end, there was points from Cathal Mannion and Gavin Lee, with the home side content with shooting from distance, if Mannion couldn’t be found.
A second point from Adam English brought Limerick to within one, after 21 minutes.

O’Brien was shown a straight red card, on 26 minutes. After Cian Lynch was pulled for a free, the young forward was involved in the subsequent melee, and was guilty of pulling the helmet of Seán Linnane. Thomas Walsh, with the assistance of the fourth official, showed the Kilmallock man a straight red-card.

There was another blow, late in the half, as Colin Coughlan picked up a knee injury, and had to be replaced by Diarmaid Byrnes.

At half-time, Gillane’s late free made it 0-12 to 0-9, at a damp Pearse Stadium. Limerick hit more wides, 5-4, in a underwhelming half of hurling.

There was a score-shy third quarter but the game found a new gear in the closing stages. Shefflin’s men were never more than three ahead as Byrnes found his range. English ended with five and Byrnes and Hegarty ensured Limerick retain their national crown for another week.

The draw for the semi-finals will see them play the runners up from 1A.

Scorers for Galway:
Evan Niland 0-5 (0-4 frees); Cathal Mannion 0-4; Gavin Lee 0-2; Ronan Glennon 0-2; Adrian Tuohey, Padraic Mannion, David Burke 0-1

Scorers for Limerick:

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

Darach Fahy; Jack Grealish, Fintan Burke, Padraic Mannion; Adrian Tuohey, Cianan Fahy, Ronan Glennon; David Burke, Seán Linnane; Gavin Lee, Tom Mongahan, Joseph Cooney; Cathal Mannion, Conor Cooney, Evan Niland.

Brian Concannon for Lee (51); Jamie Ryan for Cooney (57); Darren Morrissey for Tuohey (62);

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.

Diarmaid Byrnes for Coughlan (inj – 35); Peter Casey for Flanagan (47); William O’Donoghue for Murphy (47); Gearoid Hegarty for Gillane (58); Aaron Costello for O’Connor (head temp– 62); Ronan Lyons (Monaleen) for Mike Casey for (68); Graeme Mulcahy for Reidy (68).

Thomas Walsh (Waterford).

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