HL1B: Treaty trip Tribe to claim promotion

March 11, 2018

Limerick's Seamus Flanagan gets away from Greg Lally of Galway

Limerick earned promotion to Division 1A with a remarkable comeback against holders Galway in Salthill, 2-18 to 1-19.

Both teams went into the game with 100% records and it looked like the hosts were destined for victory as they established a commanding eight-point interval advantage but John Kiely's charges produced a stunning second-half recovery, outscoring their opponents by 1-11 to 0-4 after the restart to escape the second tier for the first time in eight years.

Aaron Gillane and Seamus Flanagan were top scorers for the winners, nailing 1-7 (all from placed balls) and 0-5 (all from play) respectively, as Limerick claimed a top-placed finish on the table and in the process secured a quarter-final meeting with neighbours Clare next weekend.

With 9,728 looking on, the losers bossed the opening-period exchanges, rattling the Shannonsiders early to take a 1-15 to 1-7 advantage into the break.

The holders started brightly with a run of 1-3 without reply, Cathal Mannion nailing the goal in the fourth minute. However, the Treaty County responded well and roared back into contention as Gillane expertly tucked away a tenth-minute penalty, 1-3 to 0-2.

With Mannion prominent, the All-Ireland champions crept six ahead, 1-9 to 1-3, with 15 minutes left before the break. Further points from Jason Flynn, Greg Lally (2) and Mannion kept the home team ticking over and they led by eight at the turnaround.

The Treaty knocked over five of the first six points of the second half - with Gillane on target four times and David Reidy getting the other - to close within four and Kyle Hayes' 48th-minute shot somehow made it to the net to leave them within the minimum.

Despite the introduction of Joe Canning for the fourth quarter, Galway couldn't stem the rising Limerick tide and the visitors surged to a historic win. The sides were level with two minutes remaining but points from Cian Lynch and substitute Pat Ryan earned the away team a memorable success.

Galway will stay in 1B next year but they remain very much in this year's competition; they'll meet Wexford at the quarter-final stage next weekend.

Limerick - N Quaid; S Finn, R McCarthy, R English; D Byrnes, D Hannon, D Morrissey; P Browne, C Lynch (0-1); G Hegarty (0-1), T Morrissey, D Reidy (0-2); A Gillane (1-7, 1-0pen, 0-6f, 0-1'65), S Flanagan (0-5), B Murphy. Subs: K Hayes (1-0) for G Hegarty, G Mulcahy (0-1) for S Flanagan, P Ryan (0-1) for D Reidy, C Ryan for P Browne.

Galway - J Skehill; A Tuohy, P Mannion, S Bannon; G Lally (0-2, 1sl), G McInerney, A Harte; J Coen (0-2), D Burke (0-1); S Maloney, C Mannion (1-4), C Whelan; N Burke, C Cooney (0-2), J Flynn (0-7, 6f). Subs: D Glennon for J Flynn, J Hanbury for A Tuohy, J Canning (0-1'65) for S Maloney, S Cooney for G Lally, B Concannon for N Burke.

Referee - C McAllister.

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