Limerick 1-31 Kilkenny 2-26: Refusal to contract Cats in All-Ireland hurl final for the ages

Limerick 1-31 Kilkenny 2-26: Refusal to contract Cats in All-Ireland hurl final for the ages

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Highlights of a brilliant All-Ireland final

Highlights of a brilliant All-Ireland final

Limerick has won three straight games for the first time in its history after a titanic 1-31 to 2-26 All-Ireland Hurling Final win over Kilkenny.

Brian Cody’s charges threw the kitchen sink at the reigning champions and the rest of the kitchen at that, but the contract found the answers in exciting ways.

An early goal from Gearoid Hegarty looked to set Limerick on course, but the Cats stormed back after the break with goals from Billy Ryan and Martin Keoghan, pulling the Nore-siders back into contention.

But amid intense heat, the contract found the answers to earn a famous win that breaks new ground for limerick slinging. A fourth title in five seasons puts this team in the conversation with all-time greats.

And based on their resilience on Sunday, John Kiely’s charges are not settled.

Limerick's Dan Morrissey in action against Kilkenny's Eoin Cody

Limerick’s Dan Morrissey in action against Kilkenny’s Eoin Cody

It was stunning stuff right out of the box. The teams pounded each other. And despite tremendous physicality, it made for high-scoring competition.

It was Limerick who drew the first blood.

In the fourth minute, Hegarty lunged for a break after a long ball fell around the Kilkenny D. The 2020 Hurler of the Year ran for the ball, blasting Richie Reid out of the way like a wrecking ball and unleashing a fierce shot that found the top corner.

An early goal from Hegarty laid the groundwork for a Limerick procession in the 2021 decider but Kilkenny were in no mood to turn around.

The Leinster Fields struck back. TJ Reid was accurate from placed balls and converted seven frees in the first half. Paddy Deegan and Pádraig Walsh also each contributed two points from the game as the Cats managed to hold on.

Brian Cody chose to have Deegan not follow Hegarty as the limerick dropped low half-forward. And it proved a mistake as the St Patrick’s man grabbed another three points from play in the first half.

It was continuous, intense and captivating. Colm Lyons’ half-time whistle broke the competition, with Limerick leading 1-17 to 0-16.

Hegarty's early goal was a spectacular finish

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Hegarty’s early goal was a spectacular finish

Hegarty’s early goal was a spectacular finish

The introduction of Walter Walsh had a major impact. Within minutes of rebooting, he had created a green flag. After charging a high ball into the goal, he played it out and it fell in the way of Billy Ryan, who landed in the net.

Kilkenny weren’t done yet. They struck again in the 47th minute. This time it was TJ Reid who won a long ball that led to Martin Keoghan and the Tullaroan man hit the net.

Moments later, John Donnelly lined it up and the swing was black and amber. Brian Cody’s substitutions paid off with all five points registered.

Richie Hogan scored in the 63rd minute as the contest went to the end.

But like true champions, Limerick has found another gear. Try as they might, Kilkenny could not work their way to the top.

Leaders were in demand, and Gearoid Hegarty and Kyle Hayes rose as Limerick scored five points without a response to go 1-31-2-23 in added time.

Kilkenny answered with three of his own, but ultimately ran out of time.

Limerick are All Ireland Champion again and rightly so after playing their part in an epic.

Declan Hannon and Cian Lynch lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup

Declan Hannon and Cian Lynch lift the Liam MacCarthy Cup

Waiting: 82,000 about

referee: Colm Lyons (Cork)

scorers

limerick: Gearoid Hegarty (1-5), Aaron Gillane (0-7, 0-4f), Diarmaid Byrnes (0-5, 0-3f, 0-1 ’65), Kyle Hayes (0-4), Tom Morrissey ( 0-4), Seamus Flanagan (0-2), Declan Hannon (0-1), Dan Morrissey (0-1), Cathal O’Neill (0-1), Conor Boylan (0-1).

Kilkenny: TJ Reid (0-9, 0-9f), Martin Keoghan (1-1), Billy Ryan (1-0), Adrian Mullen (0-3), Paddy Deegan (0-2), Padraig Walsh (0- 2), Tommy Walsh (0-1), Mikey Carey (0-1), Richie Reid (0-1), Eoin Cody (0-1), David Blanchfield (0-1), Alan Murphy (0-1) , Walter Walsh (0-1), John Donnelly (0-1), Richie Hogan (0-1).

teams

limerick

1.Nickie Quaid

2. SeanFinn
3.Mike Casey
4. Barry Nash

5. Diarmaid Byrnes
6. Declan Hannon
7. Dan Morrissey

8. William O’Donoghue
9. Darragh O’Donovan

10. Gearoid Hegarty
12.Tom Morrissey
11. Kyle Hayes

13.Aaron Gillan
14. Seamus Flanagan
15. Graeme Mulcahy

subs
Peter Casey for Graeme Mulcahy (49)
David Reidy for Darragh O’Donovan (52)
Conor Boylan for Seamus Flanagan (60)
Cathal O’Neill for Tom Morrissey (64)

Kilkenny

1. Eoin Murphy

2. Mikey Butler
3.Huw Lawlor
4.Tommy Walsh

5.Michael Carey
6. Richie Reid
7. Paddy Deegan

8.Cian Kenny
9. Conor Browne

10. TJ Reid
11. Padraig Walsh
15. Eoin Cody

13. Adrian Mullen
12. Billy Ryan
14. Martin Keoghan

subs
Conor Fogarty for Conor Browne (time – 17-25)
Walter Walsh for Cian Kenny (ht)
John Donnelly for Padraig Walsh (47)
David Blanchfield for Conor Browne (54)
Richie Hogan for Eoin Cody (59)
Alan Murphy for Paddy Deegan (72)


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