Six important moments from the thrilling All Irish SHC final between Limerick and Kilkenny.
According to Limerick boss John Kylie, Gerald Hegarty’s sensation goal was very disappointed with his performance against Galway. He finally set the tone for the Man of the Match performance by catching the ball from a break from a diagonal free dispatched by Nicky Quaid. He pushed Richie Reed out of the way and sent an unstoppable angled shot to the roof of Kilkenny’s net. Score: Limerick 1-1 Kilkenny 0-0.
Kilkenny counterattacked with Billy Ryan’s stunning goal after Limerick scored six points in the second half with Kyle Hayes and Aaron Gillan scoring. Half-time exchange Walter Walsh was an architect who caught Owen Murphy’s packout before offloading into the scoring zone. A clever flick from Martin Cohan set up Ryan for the majors. Score: Limerick 1-19 Kilkenny 1-16.
Croke Park erupts when Kilkenny’s second goal leaves a point between both sides. This time TJ Reed is a Monster Catch architect. His off-road is subtly redirected away from Limerick’s cover to Martin Cohan’s path to blow up Nickie Quaid. Score: Limerick 1-22 Kilkenny 2-18.
Kilkenny’s replacement, Ritchie Hogan, is making its debut in the season, rolling back several years with sublime points from under the Hogan stand to level the game for the second time. Cats have momentum, and Hogan’s animated reactions suggest that they feel they are trying to cause great upset. Score: Limerick 1-26 Kilkenny 2-23.
Kyle Haze’s fourth point in the afternoon and arguably his most important point. Not only did it regain Limerick’s advantage, but it also stopped the cat’s momentum as the end of the contest’s business. As Kilkenny’s boss Brian Cody subsequently admitted, his side pulled the level on both occasions in the second half, but couldn’t lead. Score: Limerick 1-27 Kilkenny 2-23.
Hegarty decorates an almost perfect personal performance with monster points from inside half of himself. It makes his personal tally 1-5. This is the fifth point on the Limerick spin and extends its advantage to five points. Finally, their fans were able to start breathing again, but Kilkenny countered the odds by hitting the last three points in one of the classic finals so far. Score: Limerick 1-31 Limerick 2-23.