THE post-match discussions following a tepid Thomond Park encounter were dominated by two controversial decisions.
Shelbourne were furious that they were forced to play with 10 men for most of the match after Robert Bayly was sent off with just eight minutes on the clock, while Limerick felt aggrieved that Danny Galbraith's claim for a late penalty was turned down by referee Neil Doyle.
Limerick manager Stuart Taylor was convinced that Shels substitute Sean Brennan had clipped the impressive Galbraith with 13 minutes remaining.
"After the game I went up to the referee and I asked him about the penalty claim," said Taylor. "He said there was contact. In my rule book, if there is contact, it is a penalty."
Galbraith, who was shown the yellow card, said: "To have something like that go against you is baffling. The ref said to me that there was contact, but there wasn't enough. Where is the line?"
Shelbourne demonstrated admirable defiance after Bayly was given his marching orders following a routine collision with Robbie Williams.
Though Galbraith, Shane Tracy, and Rory Gaffney subsequently spurned chances for Limerick, Shels boss Alan Mathews was encouraged by the resilience his players showed.
"It was an exceptional performance," said Mathews who was amazed by Bayly's sending-off. "I am really delighted because it showed the character and the qualities that we always felt were in the team."
LIMERICK – Ryan; Kelly, O'Callaghan, Folan, Williams; Galbraith, Gamble, O'Leary, Tracy, Gaffney (Brown, 82); Curran.
SHELBOURNE – Hanley; Flynn, Shortall, Ryan, Memery; Mooney (Brennan, 71), Hurley, Crowley, Hanlon; Bayly; Kelly (Leech, 62).
Ref – N Doyle (Dublin).