Efficient Limerick book spot in Division 1 final

Limerick 1-19 - 1-16 Dublin

Limerick took the honours in this NHL 1 semi-final, booking their place in the final with an efficient display.

Graeme Mulcahy of Limerick in action against Paddy Smyth of Dublin during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Semi-Final match between Limerick and Dublin at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

The sides swapped points early on, with Danny Sutcliffe showing up for wind-assisted Dublin and Aaron Gillane catching the eye for Limerick. Diarmuid Byrnes (free) and Graeme Mulcahy’s second point put Limerick 0-6 to 0-4 ahead on the quarter-hour of an entertaining game.

The All-Ireland champions kept their noses in front for over ten minutes, but Dublin sub Paul Ryan’s third pointed free gave Dublin the lead.

On 30 minutes Byrnes (free) levelled but Sutcliffe hit the point of the game to restore Dublin’s lead. Gearoid Hegarty equalised and in injury time Kyle Hayes tore through and placed Gillane near goal, but the latter’s shot blazed over the bar - 0-10 to 0-9 at half-time.

Limerick settled quickly after the break, with three points from Byrnes, Gillane (both frees) and Darragh O’Donovan and four wides as well.

Dillon hit back for Dublin on 49 minutes and Ryan added a free - 0-13 to 0-12, but Limerick getting their scores easier. Gillane (two frees), Byrnes and Peter Casey restored their lead turning into the final ten minutes, pushing them 0-17 to 0-12 ahead. Seamus Flanagan’s well-worked goal made it safe for them, and Ronan Hayes’ goal in response was a consolation for Dublin.

Seán Finn of Limerick against John Hetherton of Dublin during the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 Semi-Final match between Limerick and Dublin at Nowlan Park in Kilkenny. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Scorers for Limerick: A. Gillane (2 frees), D. Byrnes (4 frees)(0-5 each); G Mulcahy (0-3), S. Flanagan (1-0); D. O’Donovan (0-2); C. Lynch, D. Hegarty, T. Morrissey, P. Casey (0-1 each).

Scorers for Dublin: P. Ryan (frees)(0-6); D. Sutcliffe (0-4) R. Hayes (1-0), E. Dillon (0-3); T. Connolly, D. Treacy, S. Moran (free) (0-1 each).

LIMERICK: N. Quaid, T. Condon, S. Finn, R. English, D. Byrnes, D. Morrissey, P. O’Loughlin, C. Lynch, D. O’Donovan, G. Hegarty, K. Hayes, T. Morrissey, A. Gillane, P. Casey, G. Mulcahy.

Subs: D. Dempsey for T. Morrissey (53); S. Flanagan for Mulcahy (55); C. Boylan for Hegarty (60); M. Casey for Condon (66); B. Murphy for Hayes (68).

DUBLIN: A. Nolan, D. Gray, E. O’Donnell, P. Smyth, D. O’Connell, S. Moran, C. Crummey, R. McBride, S. Treacy, D. Sutcliffe, J. Hetherton, C. Boland, E. Dillon, O. O’Rourke, S. Barrett.

Subs: P. Ryan for O’Rourke (inj., 11); T. Connolly for Gray (blood 14-HT); F. Whitely for Treacy (inj., 30); J. Malone for McBride (25); R. Hayes for Hetherton (44); D. Treacy for Boland (52).

Referee: J. Keenan (Wicklow).

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