Galway inflicted a first defeat on Limerick since the 2019 All-Ireland semi-final to Kilkenny as they carved out a deserved victory to maintain their perfect start to the Allianz League.

The Tribesmen never trailed as Shane O'Neill guided them to his first victory over his native county.

The Tribesmen led by 0-14 to 1-08 at the interval after an opening half which struggled to come to life.

Galway led by 0-07 to 0-04 by the first water break. The sides were level twice in that period, with David Reidy and Evan Niland exchanging frees and then when Brian Concannon and Niall Burke pointed for Galway, Reidy and Peter Casey responded for the All-Ireland champions.

Another free from Niland and efforts from Conor Whelan and David Burke pushed Gakway 0-06 to 0-03 after 17 minutes before Reidy and Niland again swapped frees.

The sides twice swapped points after that before efforts from Ja Mannion and Whelan opened up a 0-10 to 0-05 lead. Flanagan the nfound the net with 27 minutes on the clock after the superb Gearoid Hegarty soloed through to set him up and his low shot beat Eanna Murphy.

Niland and Reidy again exchanged frees but then Galway pushed on to land three points in succession, two of them from Niland and a second of the game from midfielder David Burke. The final two scores of half went to the visitors, through Reidy, to cut the gap to a goal.

Galway also lost 2017 All-Ireland winning captain David Burke to a possible hamstring injury just before the break with Johnny Coen replacing him.

There was little between the sides in the third quarter, with Galway, having introduced Joe Canning off the bench, leading by 0-19 to 1-14 at the second water break, while Aaron Gillane hit a couple of superb points after coming on.

Canning was introduced and hit two scores for Galway

Whelan and Reidy exchanged points and then Galway pulled away with a couple of more frees from Niland, a long range effort from Canning and one from Cathal Mannion to lead by 0-24 to 1-15 with five minutes remaining.

Limerick never looked like manufacturing the goal they required to get back in contention. Gillane added a free but Niland again cancelled it and then Canning landed a trademark point as Galway chalked up a deserved victory.

Galway: Eanna Murphy; Sean Loftus, Gearoid McInerney, Jack Fitzpatrick; Adrian Tuohey, Padraic Mannion, Fintan Burke; David Burke (0-02), Cathal Mannion (0-02); Joseph Cooney, Evan Niland (0-14, all frees), Brian Concannon (0-1); Conor Whelan (0-3), Niall Burke (0-1), Jarlath Mannion (0-1).

Substitutes: Johnny Coen for D Burke (35), Darren Morrissey for Loftus (48), Joe Canning (0-02, 0-01 free) for Cooney (50), Shane Cooney for Tuohey (50), Jason Flynn for J Mannion (55).

Limerick: Nickie Quaid; Aaron Costello, Dan Morrissey, Richie English; Diarmaid Byrnes (0-01, free), Kyle Hayes, Barry Nash; William O'Donoghue, Brian O’Grady; Gearoid Hegarty (0-02), Cian Lynch, David Reidy (0-08, 0-07 frees); Cathal O’Neill, Seamus Flanagan (1-00), Peter Casey (0-02).

Substitutes: Aaron Gillane (0-04, 0-02 frees) for O’Neill (half-time), Darragh O’Donovan for O’Grady (half-time), Bryan Ryan for English (55), Tom Morrissey for Reidy (63)

Referee: James Owens (Wexford).