the game at a glance
Man of the match
Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny)
Still the craftiest fox of all when it comes to picking off the chickens. He scored 2-2 from play in the first 20 minutes and added four more points from frees later on, while also adding trademark leadership.
More of a turning period. From being level in the 43rd minute, Kilkenny scored 2-5 without reply over the next 13 minutes, which left them well able to cope with being a man down after Richie Hogan's 58th-minute dismissal.
Are Kilkenny on their way to revisiting the peaks of previous years? It took them a long time to shake off Limerick, but once they powered up to full momentum they were an impressive sight as they squeezed the resistance out of brave opponents.
Sean Tobin's point for Limerick in the 42nd minute was a perfect example of simple but effective hurling. Richie McCarthy fed Wayne McNamara, who angled an accurate delivery to Tobin, who finished well.
Straight red cards are rare in hurling but Michael Wadding took the ultimate sanction after consulting with his linesman. Technically it was probably a correct decision, but others have got away with yellow cards for similar offences this year.
What they said
Brian Cody (Kilkenny manager):
"We expected a phenomenal challenge from Limerick and we got it. They out-hurled us in many areas in the first half and we were lucky to be a point ahead at half-time, so the response had to be serious and thanks be to God it was."
John Allen (Limerick manager):
"At half-time, being just a point down after playing with the wind, I said to the lads 'do we now believe we can win?' We were in well in contention at that stage but in the 15 minutes after half-time the game was won and lost. Unfortunately, we lost it."
Wides: Kilkenny 10 (7 in 1st half); Limerick 5 (3)
Frees: Kilkenny 16 (8); Limerick 16 (6)
Yellow cards: Kilkenny 0; Limerick 2 (D O'Grady 51, T Quaid 70)
Red cards: Kilkenny 1 (R Hogan 58); Limerick 0
Kilkenny play Tipperary in the All-Ireland semi-final on August 19. Limerick's season is over.