Limerick boss John Kiely attributed his side's All-Ireland SHC semi-final victory over Galway to gritty determination and a panel packed with strength in depth, on an afternoon when the Liam MacCarthy Cup holders struggled at times to perform at their brilliant best.

The quest for three-in-a-row remains alive, but the outcome remained in the balance until super sub David Reidy registered a third score in injury time at Croke Park.

"Sheer resilience," was the hallmark of the Green Machine's win, Kiely told RTÉ Sport after the 0-27 to 1-21 win.

"There is great determination in the group to find a way when it's difficult.

"Galway brought a phenomenal challenge today.

"We were struggling at times during the second half and our lads coming off the bench made a huge impact again today."

Kiely, who hinted that Reidy could force his way to a starting spot when the championship reaches its denouement against Kilkenny, clearly believes there is plenty left to work on, while praising his side's response.

"Some of the errors were our own errors as well – ball-handling errors, misplaced passes, hand passes, stick passes," he added.

"The rhythm wasn't quite 110% today. That's going to happen and you still need to find a way to win matches.

"Our lads at the back really shored up well for each other. They got back in numbers, turned over ball and used it to go forward and trusted themselves to get across the line."

Limerick were buoyed by the return of talismanic midfield magician Cian Lynch, who suffered a hamstring injury in the win over Waterford in the second round of the Munster Championship.

"The last 10 weeks, I've just been trying to do the rehab right," he said.

'The work the boys have been doing – the 36 lads – it's just phenomenal.

"It was a massive game against Galway and it was neck and neck for the whole game.

"Luckily enough, we tore away in the last minutes with three points. It's unreal. We're absolutely delighted."

Man of the match Kyle Hayes revealed that his said never panicked or felt the need to deviate from a game plan that has served the side so well for so long.

"Stick to the process, same as usual," was the advice the Kildimo-Pallaskenry clubman and his colleagues received at the interval.

"Nothing changes, whether we're behind or ahead. It's always the same process – keep working hard.

"They got the goal at a great time for themselves, but we responded straight away and that really helped us."