Kilkenny are back in the Electric Ireland All-Ireland minor final and will play Galway or Wexford in next month's decider after an impressive semi-final win at Croke Park.

Richie Mulrooney's side conjured their best display of the season to turn a two-point half-time lead into a 12-point win with a storming second-half.

Goals from Jack Doyle and Billy Drennan were crucial for the beaten Leinster finalists who are just an hour away now from a first All-Ireland minor title since 2014.

Drennan top scored for Kilkenny with 1-08 while Timmy Clifford weighed in with 0-06 and there was a huge display from midfielder Liam Moore who powered them to success, contributing 0-04.

There was even a point from goalkeeper Aidan Tallis late on when he boomed a free over from deep in his own half.

It's the end of the line for Munster champions Limerick who fought gamely in search of a first All-Ireland title since 1984 but ultimately had no answer to the quality and ferocity of the young Cats in that second-half.

Kilkenny came in as underdogs after losing the Leinster final to Wexford and navigating the three-team quarter-final group stage.

But they got the perfect start when Doyle blasted to the net at the Hill 16 End just 32 seconds into the contest.

It was a neat move as Doyle was released down the right by Man of the Match Clifford who did well to shrug off his man first.

It was a decisive strike because there was nothing between the teams otherwise in a first-half that was level on four occasions and which Kilkenny edged 1-12 to 0-13.

Patrick Reale of Limerick in action against Pierce Blanchfield of Kilkenny 

Clifford, wearing number 14 but playing in the half-forward line, scored three first-half points for Kilkenny while free-taker Drennan clipped 0-05.

Limerick captain Cathal O'Neill was the real star of the show initially with seven points in the opening half hour.

The centre-forward showed his full array of skills with four points from placed balls and three beauties from play.

His 16th and 18th minute points underlined his quality; the first coming off his left side, the second off his right with no sense that either of them was his weaker side.

O'Neill's sixth point of the game in the 21st minute put Limerick ahead briefly at 0-10 to 1-06 but Kilkenny finished the half stronger with a series of points from Clifford, Liam Moore, James Aylward, Drennan and Peter McDonald.

It gave them a narrow two-point edge at the interval which they doubled to four within minutes of the restart.

Moore's third point of the game stretched the margin to five before Drennan fired in Kilkenny's second goal in the 42nd minute.

Doyle, with Kilkenny's opening goal, was the provider this time as he off loaded to his left and picked out Drennan who fired low across the goalkeeper.

Suddenly, Kilkenny led by eight points and the game looked to be in real danger of slipping quickly away from Limerick.

Diarmuid Mullins' men were unable to pull it back and were buried in an avalanche of Kilkenny points in the final quarter as the Leinster men outscored them 0-07 to 0-02 in that period to stride confidently through to the final.

Kilkenny: Aidan Tallis (0-01, 0-01f); Billy Reid, William Halpin, Tristan Roche; Peter McDonald (0-02), Padraic Moylan, Zach Bay Hammond; Liam Moore (0-04), James Aylward (0-01); Pierce Blanchfield, Timmy Clifford (0-06), Colman O'Sullivan; Billy Drennan (1-08, 0-04f), Jack Doyle (1-00), Ian Byrne (0-02).

Subs: Denis Walsh for Blanchfield (55), Andy Hickey for O'Sullivan (58), Seanan Doyle for Byrne (61).

Limerick: Jack Franklin; Fergal O'Connor, Michael Cremin, Ronan Lyons; Jimmy Quilty (0-02), Ethan Hurley (0-01), Colin Coughlan; Patrick Kirby (0-02, 0-01 s/l), Adam Murrihy; Eddie Stokes (0-01), Cathal O'Neill (0-09, 0-06f), Adam English; Aidan O'Connor (0-03), Patrick O'Donovan, Liam Lynch.

Subs: Patrick Reale for Stokes (15), Cian Casey for Murrihy (44), Darragh Casey for Lynch (51).

Referee: Liam Gordon (Galway).