GAA: Limerick and Mayo conquer the provinces

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Limerick’s William O’Donoghue celebrates the final whistle against Waterford in the Munster Senior Hurling final. Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy
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Muireann Duffy

Limerick retained their Munster hurling title in Semple Stadium this afternoon beating Waterford 0-25 to 0-21.

John Kiely's side were the runaway favourites, but the Déise provided the closest contest in recent outings for the 2018 All-Ireland champions.

The sides pulled even on four occasions, most notably at the second half water break when each had 18 points on the board, but in the crucial final quarter Limerick's reliables clinched the win.

Dublin recorded a much more sizeable win over Laois to earn their place in the Leinster football final on a scoreline of 2-23 to 0-7 in Croke Park.

Goals Ciaran Kilkenny and Sean Bugler were the least of Laois' worries, who only managed two points in the opening half.

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Dublin will now face Meath after they defeated Kildare in an equally one-sided semi-final ending 5-9 to 0-15.

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Six points down at half time, Kildare's spot in the final seemed promised before a goal from Mathew Costello in the opening minute of the second half began Meath's transformation.

Two minutes later, it was the turn of Jordan Morris to lift the green flag, cutting Kildare's lead to just one point.

A 45th minute goal from Cillian O'Sullivan finally put Meath ahead, before Joey Wallace and Jason Scully put the game beyond Kildare's reach.

Mayo march on

Meanwhile in Pearse Stadium, Mayo ended the Connacht title drought, beating Galway by a single point.

Galway struck first with an opening point from Ian Burke, but it did take Mayo long to announce their intent with five unanswered points in the opening 15 minutes.

Shane Walsh launched his own comeback, slotting three points over the bar before Paul Kelly reduced Galway's deficit to three just before half time, leaving it 0-8 to 0-5.

No slow start for either side in the second half, claiming four points a piece within 15 minutes of the restart.

With the gap down to two, a run on goal from Eoghan McLaughlin looked like Mayo's chance to end Galway's charge, but a brilliant save from Bernard Power denied the Westport man in the 64th minute.

McLaughlin was back in action at the other end of the pitch ten minutes later as Galway needed a goal to take the lead.

A run from Seán Kelly deep in injury time looked likely to give the Tribesmen what they needed, before a foul by McLaughlin crushed their chance for the mere cost of a black card.

The final score read 0-14 to 0-13 in favour of James Horan's side, with a provincial final win eluding Galway two years on the trot.

In the remaining Ulster semi-final, Cavan also saw off Down to set up their clash with Donegal on November 22nd.

One point was the ultimate difference between the sides at the Athletic Grounds as Mickey Graham's team fought back from eight points down at half time to prompt a re-staging of the 2019 provincial decider.

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