Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship

Tipperary 1-22 0-21 Limerick

Round 5
FBD Semple Stadium, Thurles
Sean Cleere
Munster SHC: Tipperary maintain impressive form
Paddy O'Loughlin, Limerick, and John McGrath, Tipperary, during the Munster Senior Hurling Championship clash at Semple Stadium.

Munster SHC: Tipperary maintain impressive form

Munster Senior Hurling Championship


By Shane Brophy at Semple Stadium, Thurles

Tipperary completed a perfect Munster Championship round-robin campaign by defeating All Ireland champions Limerick in front of a bumper crowd of 39,115.

However, the sides will have to do it all over again in two weeks time in the Munster Final at the LIT Gaelic Grounds as despite the defeat, the Shannonsiders progress to the decider in two weeks time with Tipperary having pipped both Cork and Clare on score difference for second place.

It proved to be a costly victory for Tipperary with Cathal Barrett (hamstring) and Patrick Maher (knee) forced off before half time with major concern over the latter who was in severe pain and had to be stretchered from the pitch. Limerick’s Sean Finn also limped from the field late in the game in what proved to be an attritional game.

Tipperary were full value for their victory having hit thirteen wides to Limerick’s nine, laying the platform for the win in the first half where they led 0-12 to 0-8, despite having played against the breeze.

This was despite having been held scoreless for the first nine minutes as Shane Dowling and Aaron Gillane had Limerick into an early lead but Tipp hit back with the next five with Brendan Maher and Seamus Callanan on target from play.

Limerick relied heavily on Aaron Gillane for scores in the opening half, mainly from free, as Cathal Barrett was doing well on the Limerick star until he was forced off before half time. Seamus Flanagan was also denied a goal by a fine Brian Hogan save.

The introduction of Graeme Mulcahy at half time paid immediate dividends for Limerick as he set up Gillane for a point before scoring one himself as the All Ireland champions cut the margin to two, this in the same move that saw Nickie Quaid make a fine save to deny John O’Dwyer.

However, a minute later Tipp did get the goal they had been threatening as John McGrath’s handpass took out two Limerick defenders as Seamus Callanan ran on before side-stepping two more defenders and firing to the net.

From there, Limerick could never get any closer than three points with Tom Morrissey and Gillane their main threats up front, however, with Padraic Maher to the fore at centre back, Tipperary were always able to keep them at arms length, helped by two sublime sideline cuts by Jason Forde who top-scored with eight points with nine different scorers contributing.

Scorers for Tipperary: Jason Forde 0-8 (4fs, 2 sideline cuts), Seamus Callanan 1-4, Padraic Maher, John McGrath, Noel McGrath (1 free) 0-2 each, Brendan Maher, Michael Breen, Jake Morris, John O’Dwyer 0-1 each.

Scorers for Limerick: Aaron Gillane 0-12 (10fs); Tom Morrissey, Diarmuid Byrnes (2 65s) 0-3 each, Shane Dowling, Graeme Mulachy, Cian Lynch 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: Brian Hogan; Sean O’Brien, James Barry, Cathal Barrett; Brendan Maher, Padraic Maher, Ronan Maher; Michael Breen, Noel McGrath; Jason Forde, John O’Dwyer, Patrick Maher; John McGrath, Seamus Callanan, Jake Morris.

Subs: Alan Flynn for Barrett (33 inj), Dan McCormack for Patrick Maher (35 inj), Robert Byrne for Breen (47), Mark Kehoe for Morris (63), Willie Connors for J McGrath (68).

LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Sean Finn, Mike Casey, Riche English; Diarmuid Byrnes, Dan Morrissey, Paddy O’Loughlin; Darragh O’Donovan, William O’Donoghue; Shane Dowling, Kyle Hayes, Tom Morrissey; Peter Casey, Seamus Flanagan, Aaron Gillane.

Subs: Graeme Mulcahy for Flanagan (HT), Conor Boylan for Dowling (43), Pat Ryan for Casey (51), Cian Lynch for O’Donoghue (55), David Reidy for Hayes (64).

REFEREE: Sean Cleere (Kilkenny).