Limerick and Galway player ratings: Hayes and Gillane the stand-outs after All-Ireland SHC semi-final epic
Here’s how Limerick and Galway hurlers rated after their All-Ireland SHC semi-final thriller at Croke Park.
Nicky Quaid – 7
Had no chance from Brian Concannon’s shot for goal. Limerick’s retention from their own puck-outs, 28 from 41, didn’t deliver its usual efficient service.
Seán Finn – 8
Spent most of his afternoon in Conor Whelan’s company and was largely dominant. Brilliant in the closing stages too to hold off Conor Cooney and Concannon when Galway persisted in going long. The game’s most consistent defender still.
Mike Casey – 6
Had a few troubling moments that will give cause for reflection. Lost Concannon for the goal too easily and was unsure in possession on a couple of occasions but dealt well with Concannon.
Barry Nash – 8
Largely the free defender as Cathal Mannion roamed until late on and as ever used the ball with intelligence. Scored a booming first half point but maybe his most important contribution was a block on Fintan Burke that led to David Reidy’s lead point on 69 minutes.
Diarmaid Byrnes – 7
When Limerick needed a steady hand in the second half, Byrnes provided them from frees, scoring six, four between half-time and the 60th minute when their forwards just weren’t firing.
Declan Hannon – 7
A typical Hannon day. Read breaks, swept around, kept his calm, kept an eye on Conor Cooney, scored a point and made a big play at the end, cutting out one of those missiles that Galway were intent on sending.
Dan Morrissey – 6
Picked up Tom Monaghan and found himself on the backfoot as Monaghan found his range for four points but he did improve when limerick finally got on top down the home straight.6.
William O’Donoghue – 6
Squared off against David Burke and they had a right battle. O’Donoghue scored an early point but was pulled for a throw, giving Cooney a free to lead at one stage.
Darragh O’Donovan – 6
Put in some great ball in the first half with particular focus on Aaron Gillane’s corner that led to three of his six points from play. Less effective after the break.
Gearóid Hegarty – 6
For once his physical presence wasn’t so effective against Fintan Burke who conceded inches but not aggression. Scored a point off a puck-out but should have added another instead of shooting for goal in the second half.
Kyle Hayes – 9
Much more effective at centre-forward, Hayes scored three points and ran the hardest lines to put Galway on the back foot. One of the anchors through the pressure points of the second half. Catch in his own goalmouth at the end secured it.
Tom Morrissey – 6
Took his time to get going in Joseph Cooney’s presence but fired over a lead point when he appeared to be getting momentum. Soon replaced though and remains below performances levels of other years.
Aaron Gillane – 9
Started like a train with three remarkable points over the shoulder and finished with 0-8, 0-6 from play. Had three second half wides, one from a free, but always a danger. Now perhaps the game’s most lethal marksman.
Séamus Flanagan – 6
Like Gillane started impressively and looked to be continuing his Munster final efficiency with two points in the opening four minutes. Impact waned after that though as Jack Grealish and sometimes Daithi Burke got tighter.
Graeme Mulcahy – 5
Worked hard, won a couple of frees that Gillane converted but with Cian Lynch and Peter Casey back, may not have done enough to retain his place.
Huge impact from David Reidy (8) with three points and an assist, Peter Casey (5) was less prominent, Cian Lynch (5) made a decent block and set up Reidy for a point, Conor Boylan and Cathal O’Neill weren’t on long enough to be rated.
Eanna Murphy – 7
Limerick presented no goal threat to Murphy while he got 31 of Galway’s 42 puck-outs away successfully. A solid afternoon all round.
Darren Morrissey – 6
Edged his battle with Mulcahy but made mistakes in possession that were costly, most notably a failure to secure a puck-out with the concession of a free. Still, good effort under the early pressure they were under.
Jack Grealish – 7
Looked under pressure on Flanagan early on but worked his way into the game and was thriving in the second half. teed up Joseph Cooney for a point and made one good block on a Hegarty shot.
Daithí Burke – 7
Like Grealish, took a lot of early pressure with the perfect ball and quick shots that Gillane was able to get away. But also worked his way in and had some one-to-one success to aid recovery.
Joseph Cooney – 8
Big performance from Cooney who dropped back to mark Tom Morrissey so effectively when Gearóid McInerney was pulled. Scored the first lead point of the second half and made his presence felt throughout.
Pádraic Mannion – 8
Carried the fight impressively and was one of those to stem the early green tide. Always involved, showed aggression and a good head in possession. Scored a point and took one magnificent catch over Lynch.
Fintan Burke – 7
Was able to match Hegarty physically for much of it though four wides, two from sidelines, are probably a blemish. His second half point had Hawk-eye assistance and felt it could turn it at the time.
Ronan Glennon – 7
Went head-to-head with Darragh O’Donovan and didn’t step back, landing two points in either half. One of Shefflin’s 2022 successes to build on in 2023.
David Burke – 7
If it is to be his last game for Galway, as local speculation suggests, he will go out on a personal high. Wonderful lift and snap delivery for Concannon’s goal on top of other clever assists. What a servant.
Tom Monaghan – 8
Scored four points and provided the assist for three more by our count, Cooney, Cathal Mannion and Conor Whelan. An energetic performance always seeking involvement. Has recovered well after indifferent Leinster final.
Conor Cooney – 5
Promised much early on but no real impact here, apart from a first half point from play. Scored four frees but never got flight on his easiest as it dropped into Quaid’s grasp.
Jason Flynn – 5
Gearóid McInerney’s replacement, he worked hard to put pressure on Limerick and set Monaghan up for the opening score but had peripheral involvement.5.
Conor Whelan – 6
Finished with two points but never the threat that Galway hoped he would be and has been in this championship so far as Sean Finn and sometimes Mike Casey got to grips with him.
Brian Concannon – 6
Found space for the goal but it was a rare intrusion behind enemy lines for him. Won an early free which Conor Cooney converted but capable of more. To progress Galway will need it from him.
Cathal Mannion – 8
Dropped deep early on, sometimes to good effect and back-to-back points from distance stirred Galway in the first half before he added two more after the break. Their biggest attacking threat.
No real impact off the bench. Cianan Fahy (5) was first in while Johnny Coen, Evan Niland and Kevin Cooney were not on long enough to be rated.
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