Moments that mattered
The scruffy opener
John Kiely wanted a lead early on, but not too much of a lead. He just needed something tangible to show for Limerick’s authoritative start, even if that confidence sometimes melted when the shot was on. But then Kiely had urged his players to get shots away, not to dally in possession. At times haste begot waste. Graeme Mulcahy’s 16th-minute goal was the least their bedding-in period deserved, even it was a goal to reflect a scratchy opening period. Kyle Hayes’ arrowed cross was inviting, and Mulcahy spilled and dunted and persevered until the green flag went up.
Morrissey’s steps to heaven Kiely said afterwards how pleased he was that attacking turnovers contributed such a sizeable chunk to Limerick’s tally. Micheal O’donoghue refused to condemn his defenders afterwards for taking the ball into danger, insisting they had stuck to his gameplan. But Limerick lurked all day for muggings whenever Galway chanced a blind alley. Their second goal came when it was needed, with Joe Canning sawing into their advantage. Morrissey robbed Gearóid Mcinerney in possession before setting off on the merriest of dances through the rest of Galway’s defence. A question of steps? The first big step to heaven.
Ultimately, the defining moment when the ball landed in Tom Condon’s paw at the death. But there had been any number of eleventh-hour dips and twists on the rollercoaster. If James Shehill will be disappointed with his contribution to Mulcahy’s goal, his remarkable point-blank save from Seamus Flanagan, at some cost to his health, made the grand finale possible. Johnny Glynn’s first goal ignited terror and sent Limerick minds to disheartening archives. Joe Canning’s blistering free had the press box, anyway, decide on the inevitability of a draw. Mulcahy’s composure to sneak another point was critical. But even as Joe’s final free dropped short, fate hadn’t yet made the call on the 45 years of hurt.
Words: Larry Ryan