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There were more shots than hooks, blocks and tackles - Five talking points from Limerick's dramatic All-Ireland triumph

Limerick 3-16 Galway 2-18

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Seán Finn of Limerick celebrates after the final whistle following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Limerick at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Seán Finn of Limerick celebrates after the final whistle following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Limerick at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

Seán Finn of Limerick celebrates after the final whistle following the GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Galway and Limerick at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

There were a lot of things to be gleaned from Limerick's ninth All-Ireland triumph.

1. What a finish!

After the greatest ever hurling championship, we didn't get the quality final the summer deserved but we got the dramatic finish that put the icing on the cake.

Shane Dowling's goal after 67 minutes put eight points in it but Galway refused to roll over. Goals from Conor Whelan and Joe Canning brought them back to within a point.

Although Limerick pucked some poor wides in the final 10 minutes, it was their oldest starter Graeme Mulcahy that popped up with the crucial score.

Joe's free to equalise at the death was too far out and Limerick cleared it triggering jubilant scenes for everyone in green and white. An unforgettable finish to an unforgettable season.

2. Galway's much-vaunted spine eclipsed

Much had been made of the strength of Galway's spine in the lead-up to the game but Limerick's all-action display overshadowed them.

Seamus Flanagan's tireless display was too much for John Hanbury to handle, Daithí Burke had his hands full with Aaron Gillane, even though the Limerick man was wasteful, Kyle Hayes got the better of Gearoid McInerney, who was also dispossessed for Tom Morrissey's goal, Joe Canning struggled to keep tabs on Declan Hannon and Mike Casey had an inspired game on Jonathan Glynn.

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The midfield pairings probably cancelled each other out.

3. Limerick movement trumps Galway's direct approach

It would be very interesting to see Limerick's GPS figures. The Limerick forward line covered so much ground and wore Galway down with their movement.

The ability of the likes of Diarmuid Byrnes and Declan Hannon to pick out the Limerick runners was crucial.

Seamus Flanagan might not be the moist skillful player but he worked his socks off and should be in the running for the man of the match award.

On the other hand, Galway stuck to a very direct gameplan and continually sought to hit Johnny Glynn. A combination of terrific defending from Casey, Sean Finn and Richie English and poor supply stymied the Tribesmen. Too often Glynn had to cover a lot ground to contest the ball.

4. Wides, wides and more wides

Galway had 10 wides and dropped a shot short in the first half and Limerick had 11 wides and dropped the ball into the hands of James Skehill twice in the opening 35 minutes.

Galway would add six more in the second half, Limerick a further nine and many in the final 10 minutes when they were desperate for scores.

There were 81 scoring chances in the game, almost one a minute when you factor in injury time. Interestingly, there were 65 hooks, blocks and tackles.

Limerick had 37 scoring chances from general play (rather than placed balls) and that highlights the dominance they enjoyed when the sliotar was in play.

5. Referee frustration

The performance of referee James Owens will come under the microscope. There were a lot of boos from the crowd over some soft frees in the opening half, he played advantage to Limerick in second half injury time when the Shannonsiders were baying for a foul and Seamus Flanagan clearly fouled David Burke in the lead-up to Graeme Mulcahy's first half goal.

It augments the argument that hurling needs a second referee given the speed of the game.


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