Limerick 1-21 Dublin 1-19

The scoreline flattered hosts Dublin as underdogs Limerick claimed a place in the Allianz Hurling League Division 1 semi-finals.

The visitors lost their previous game to Clare, thus missing out on promotion from Division 1B, so they came to Parnell Park with a point to prove.

With a league title still on the line TJ Ryan's side put in a great display and looked to their returning Na Piarsaigh players for inspiration.

Kevin Downes and Shane Dowling were key for their club as they won the All-Ireland title on St Patrick’s Day and between them they scored 1-08 against the Dubs, Downes' 1-02 including the all-important goal 15 minutes from time.

Limerick led by five at the death, although David Treacy flicked in a late goal for Dublin to put some gloss on the scoreline for the 2011 champions.

The win means Limerick are through to a first semi-final in ten years and will face Waterford or Wexford on 17 April.

Promotion was clearly gone for Limerick who finished second in Division 1B behind Clare, but revenge remained a motivation after losing last year's quarter-final to Dublin by a dozen points.

Aside from Dowling and Downes, Ryan also included Na Piarsaigh's Ronan Lynch in the line-up for his debut and he operated as a sweeper, scoring his first point for Limerick from a free late in the first-half.

That score put the Shannonsiders 0-13 to 0-09 up at the break and it was a lead they deserved as they moved ahead in the 15th minute and remained there with a controlled display.

Dowling scored five first-half points, all but one from frees, and showed flashes of excellence in general play, while Diarmuid Byrnes nailed two long-range points from play.

Former underage star Barry Nash was also on the mark along with Paul Browne, Tom Morrissey and Gavin O'Mahony.

Dublin had made Parnell Park their fortress, beating Galway twice there already this year, but played second fiddle to Limerick for long spells.

Forwards Eamon Dillon, Niall McMorrow and Fionntan MacGib buzzed with intent when on the ball for Dublin but opportunities were limited as Limerick won more possession in the middle third.

Dublin fought back to level terms in the third quarter with David O'Callaghan firing the point that left them level at 0-15 apiece.

Ger Cunningham's side had an opportunity to move ahead but Treacy hit a weak 53rd-minute penalty straight at Nickie Quaid.

Downes sniped Limerick's goal 90 seconds later after good work by James Ryan who intercepted in the Dublin defence and the visitors didn't look back.

Subs John Fitzgibbon and Paudie O'Brien stretched their lead to five late on, while Gavin O'Mahony was also on the mark before Treacy flicked in that consolation Dubs goal, taking his own personal tally to 1-08 for the evening.

Limerick: N Quaid; S O'Brien, R McCarthy, R English; D Byrnes (0-03), W McNamara, G O'Mahony (0-02); P Browne (0-01), J Ryan; S Dowling (0-06, 0-04f, 0-01 65), B Nash (0-02), T Morrissey (0-02); G Mulcahy, K Downes (1-02), R Lynch (0-01, 0-01f).
Subs: P O'Brien (0-01) for McNamara, G Hegarty for Mulcahy, J Fitzgibbon (0-01) for Dowling, C Lynch for Morrissey.

Dublin: C Dooley; E O'Donnell, C O'Callaghan, O Gough; J Madden, L Rushe, C Crummey; D O'Connell (0-02), J McCaffrey; S McGrath, N McMorrow (0-04), D Treacy (1-08, 0-07f); D O'Callaghan (0-01), F MacGib (0-01), E Dillon (0-03).
Subs: D Plunkett for McGrath, M Schutte for MacGib, S Barrett for Madden, B Quinn for McCaffrey, O O'Rorke for O'Callaghan.

Referee: B Gavin (Offaly).