Improving Galway have claimed a 1-20 to 1-12 Allianz Hurling League quarter-final win over Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds.

Last year proved to be a disappointing campaign for Galway, but there has been promising performances from the Tribesmen this spring and another satisfying success was added to the list.

Galway went in at the end of a lively opening period leading by 1-08 to 0-08 with Conor Cooney's 14th-minute penalty dividing the teams at the break.

But when Galway hit six of the first seven points after the restart Limerick were in trouble and the victors were able to introduce Portumna's All-Ireland club winning star Joe Canning in the closing stages.

Scores arrived thick and fast in the first nine minutes as Limerick led Galway by 0-05 to 0-02 following the early enterprise.

Cathal Mannion and Padraig Brehony, who have enjoyed encouraging outings in the competition for Galway this spring, found the range, but Limerick struck five in a row.

James Ryan, Kevin Downes, Shane Dowling (2), and Conor Allis all lofted points for Limerick, who were keen to make an impact.

Wing forward Downes was a constant threat, while James Ryan's bustling aggression was a feature initially too, but Galway responded.

A Conor Cooney 65 was followed by a Galway goal converted by the St Thomas' marksman after a Cathal King foul on Niall Healy.

Shane Dowling restored parity with a 16th minute free, but Galway were hurling smartly and Anthony Cunningham's side reeled off four points without reply including two Cooney efforts.

Jonathan Glynn and David Burke also notched scores for Galway, but Limerick remained competitive and by the time the interval rolled around the Tribesmen's advantage was cut to three.

When the action recommenced Cooney, Niall Burke, and Brehony rifled over further points for a determined Galway outfit.

Glynn forced a brilliant reaction save from Limerick custodian Nickie Quaid as Galway sought to bag a second goal.

Limerick terminated a ten-minute search for a second-half score when Graeme Mulcahy clipped a tidy point from an acute angle.

Galway, though, were utterly dominant and were never seriously troubled late on as Cooney continued to be accurate before James Ryan netted a last-gasp injury-time consolation for Limerick.

Galway: C Callanan; F Moore, R Burke, D Collins; A Harte, I Tannian, Daithi Burke; P Brehony (0-02), J Coen; N Burke (0-01), C Cooney (1-09, 1-06fs, 365s), David Burke (0-03); N Healy (0-01), J Glynn (0-02), C Mannion (0-01).

Subs: J Canning for N Burke (53 mins), J Flynn for Mannion (58 mins), K Hynes for Harte (62 mins), D Hayes (0-01) for David Burke (62 mins), G McInerney for Healy (66 mins)

Limerick: N Quaid; C King, P O’Loughlin, T Condon; P O’Brien, W McNamara, G O’Mahony; D O’Grady, P Browne; K Downes (0-03), J Ryan (1-03), D Reidy; G Mulcahy (0-1), S Dowling (0-03, 2fs, 165), C Allis (0-01).

Subs: A Dempsey (0-01) for Browne (54 mins), M Carmody for King (62 mins), W Hickey for Reidy (65 mins)

Referee: B Gavin (Offaly).