LIMERICK SUFFERED THEIR first defeat in almost two years as Galway notched their second win of the Allianz League in a low tempo game at Pearse Stadium.
Shane O’Neill’s men never trailed against the All-Ireland champions throughout the afternoon.
Galway went in leading by 0-14 to 1-8 at the break having enjoyed more possession but a goal from Seamus Flanagan after he was set up by the superb Gearoid Hegarty kept Limerick in touch.
Galway led by 0-7 to 0-4 by the first water break without the game coming to life. The sides were level twice in that period, with David Reidy and Evan Niland exchanging frees and then when Brian Concannon and Niall Burke pointed for Galway, Reidy and Peter Casey responded for the All-Ireland champions.
Another free from Niland and efforts from Conor Whelan and David Burke pushed Gakway 0-6 to 0-3 after 17 minutes before Reidy and Niland again swapped frees.
The sides twice swapped points after that before efforts from Ja Mannion and Whelan opened up a 0-10 to 0-5 lead but then Flanagan found the net after 27 minutes.
The Galway response to the goal was good with three points in succession after Niland and Reidy had again exchanged points but two more frees from Reidy cut the gap to a goal by the break.
There was little between the sides in the third quarter, with Galway, having introduced Joe Canning off the bench, leading by 0-19 to 1-14 at the second water break, while Aaron Gillane hit a couple of superb points after coming on.
Galway maintained their lead in the final quarter with Limerick never looking like they would get in for the goal they needed to preserve their long unbeaten run.
Scorers for Galway: Evan Niland 0-14 (0-14 frees), Conor Whelan 0-3, Cathal Mannion 0-2, Joe Canning 0-2 (0-1 free), David Burke 0-2, Brian Concannon 0-1, Niall Burke 0-1, Ja Mannion 0-1.
Scorers for Limerick: David Reidy 0-8 (0-7 frees), Aaron Gillane 0-4 (0-2 frees), Seamus Flanagan 1-0, Peter Casey 0-2, Gearoid Hegarty 0-2, Diarmuid Byrnes 0-1 (0-1 free).
1. Eanna Murphy (Tommy Larkins)
2. Sean Loftus (Turloughmore)
3. Gearoid McInerney (Ornamore Maree)
4. Jack Fitzpatrick (Killimordaly)
5. Adrian Tuohey (Beagh)
6. Padraic Mannion (captain — Ahascragh-Fohenagh)
7. Fintan Burke (St Thomas’)
8. David Burke (St Thomas’)
9. Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh-Fohenagh)
10. Joseph Cooney (Sarsfields)
11. Evan Niland (Clarinbridge)
12. Brian Connannon (Killimordaly)
15. Conor Whelan (Kinvara)
14. Niall Burke (Oranmore Maree)
13. Jarlath Mannion (Cappataggle)
26.Johnny Coen (Loughrea) for D Burke (35)
19. Darren Morrissey (Sarsfields) for Loftus (48)
25. Joe Canning (Portumna) for Cooney (50)
18.Shane Cooney (St Thomas’) for Tuohey (50)
20. Jason Flynn (Tommy Larkins) for J Mannion (55)
1. Nickie Quaid (Effin)
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2. Aaron Costello (Kilmallock)
3. Dan Morrissey (Ahane)
4. Richie English (Doon)
5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell)
6. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo/Pallaskenry)
7. Barry Nash (South Liberties)
8. William O’Donoghue (Na Piarsiagh)
9. Brian O’Grady (Kilteely/Dromkeen)
10. Gearoid Hegarty (St. Patrick’s)
11. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell) (Captain
12. David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacca)
13. Cathal O’Neill (Crecora/Manister)
14. Seamus Flanagan (Fohenagh-Castlemahon)
15. Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh)
21. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell) for O’Neill (half-time)
24. Darragh O’Donovan (Doon) for O’Grady (half-time)
26. Brian Ryan (South Liberties) for English (55)
18. Adrian Breen (Na Piarsaigh) for Casey (59)
23. Tom Morrissey (Ahane) for Reidy (63)
Referee: James Owens (Wexford)
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