Mo­ments that mat­tered

Irish Examiner - Sport - - ALL-IRELAND SHC FINAL -

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.

Con­don’s catch

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

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