Ryan stars for Limerick but Dubs call foul over 'square ball' goal
Limerick 1-18 Dublin 0-15
Three years ago the Limerick minor hurlers were left aggrieved when Hawk-Eye ruled out a legitimate score in the first minute of their All-Ireland semi-final against Galway.
But yesterday at Croke Park a big call went in their favour as Cian Magnier-Flynn appeared to be static in the square before whipping home Brian Ryan's free.
The goal stood and Limerick, who moved 1-4 to 0-1 clear in the 13th minute, built from there to set up a final clash with Galway or Tipperary on September 4.
Limerick, in truth, were full value for their win nevertheless and after overcoming Wexford at the quarter-final stage, the scars from that 17-point Munster final mauling against Tipp appear to have healed.
If they haven't, the demons could yet be exorcised in glorious fashion on the first Sunday in September as their provincial final conquerors could face them again.
Brian Ryan banged over 10 points yesterday for the winners, including eight frees, as they saw off Dublin by six.
The Leinster champions looked a pale shadow of the side that ruled the Eastern province and manager Johnny McGuirk admitted that Limerick's system, with Ciarán O'Connor highly effective as a sweeper, caused them problems.
In fact, Dublin never got to grips with it and struggled to punch holes in Limerick's massed ranks, the Sky Blues scoring just six points from play.
Their scorer-in-chief was Colm Currie but all eight of his points came from placed balls.
Limerick had the hard work done by half-time, leading by 1-13 to 0-7.
And Dublin's second successive semi-final defeat saw them end the game with 14 men when substitute Jack O'Neill was dismissed late on.
Dublin trailed by 10 points three times in the opening half and while they got back to within five, it was comfortable for Limerick.
Their manager Pat Donnelly was pleased with how his players adapted to their new surroundings, considering he passed up the opportunity to visit GAA HQ before the game.
He explained: "We knew if we started well that we would gain a bit of confidence and once you have that start, the Croke Park factor becomes irrelevant."
McGuirk believed that Limerick's goal shouldn't have stood but he also admitted that Dublin should have dealt with the situation regardless.
He said: "I haven't seen it back but it looked to me like he was parked in the square.
"At the end of the day, we had an extra man there and we should have been able to deal with those balls, simple as that."
Limerick are now through to a second All-Ireland final in three years.
Scorers - Limerick: B Ryan 0-10 (8f), C Magnier-Flynn 1-1, C Boylan & K Hayes 0-2 each, M O'Kelly (f), F Hourigan & A Barrett 0-1 each. Dublin: C Currie 0-8 (6f, 2 '65s), C Dowling & J McGuirk (1f) 0-2 each, E Foley, C Burke & D Gray 0-1 each.
LIMERICK - M O'Kelly; B Nash, C Nicholas, R Connelly; J Adams, J Boylan, F Hourigan; C O'Connor, D Carroll; M O'Grady, A Barrett, C Boylan; K Hayes, C Magnier-Flynn, B Ryan. Subs: J Flynn for Carroll (46), D Woulfe for Barrett (49), P O'Riordan for Magnier-Flynn (58), M Bourke for O'Grady (60+1).
DUBLIN - D De Poire; D Hawkshaw, P Smyth, D Ryan; J McVeigh, C O'Sullivan, E Foley; C Ryan, D Keogh; D Burke, J McGuirk, C Burke; R Hayes, C Dowling, C Currie. Subs: J Walsh for Hayes (h-t), D Gray for Keogh (h-t), J O'Neill for McVeigh (48), P Feeney for C Currie (49), S Currie for McGuirk (54).
Ref - J Heffernan (Wexford).