Limerick manager John Kiely said his team's character and sense of unity "shone through" in the closing stages as they overcame Galway in a suffocating All-Ireland semi-final

The Munster champions dominated the second and third quarters, with Galway hanging in there through some last-ditch defending and Joe Canning's excellence from placed balls (primarily sideline cuts, of which he scored a remarkable four). 

Living on scraps for much of the second half, the 2017 champions drew early in the elongated period of injury-time, with Conor Whelan and Evan Niland landing points to equalise at various stages. 

But Man of the Match Tom Morrissey was the key figure in the driving finish, landing three late points to carry Limerick to victory. 

Kiely, now chasing a second All-Ireland title with Limerick in three years, acknowledged it had been a "physical" affair, with space at a premium.

"We just ground it out," Kiely told RTÉ Sport afterwards. 

"Our bench had a huge impact again in the last 20-25 minutes. They all made a significant impact when they came on. 

"It was a very physical battle, it was very condensed in the middle third.

"We left a few little bits after us which we wouldn't be happy with. We've a lot to work on in the training field in the next two weeks. But listen, it's good to be there."

Limerick got off to a sluggish start, trailing by five points at one stage prior to the first water-break and Kiely said it was a matter of calming themselves and finding their touch. 

"We composed ourselves a little bit. In the first 15 minutes, we were working very hard. There was just a few handling errors, few misplaced passes, few touches that didn't come to hand, small little things like that. We didn't get into our rhythm.

"Whereas in the last quarter of an hour in the first half, we got way more into our rhythm and that was down to taking care of the ball really."

Limerick's aura in 2020 has occasionally been compared to golden era Kilkenny. Brian Cody always instanced 'spirit' as the key component of that team. And that quality was uppermost in Kiely's mind as he reflected on his own team's win. 

"I think it was the spirit we showed. We found it difficult at times but we kept our composure. And I think the unity and character that's in the group shone out in the last 15 minutes and I think that's what got us across the line."