Munster SFC: Limerick stun Tipperary
Munster SFC quarter-final
LIMERICK 3-11 TIPPERARY 1-10
By Daragh Small
Second half substitute Peter Nash found the net in the closing stages to wrap up a surprise win for Limerick against Tipperary at Semple Stadium.
Liam Kearns’ men had already suffered the disappointment of relegation from Division 2 of the NFL this season and were looking for a bright start to the championship.
But they were knocked out of the Munster SFC as Limerick ended their winless streak in the province as they scored a first victory since 2012.
It was 0-8 to 0-8 at half-time in front of 2,165 in the evening sun. Limerick were far more efficient in that first half while Tipperary were far too wasteful.
Iain Corbett scored the first goal with further strikes from Cillian Fahy and Nash cancelling out Michael Quinlivan’s goal.
It was the Division 4 outfit who made the confident and assured start and Adrian Enright followed up Jamie Lee’s opening free with a second point in the eighth minute.
Moments later former All-Star Quinlivan ghosted in behind the cover and fisted over Tipperary’s first score when he could have shot for goal. Shane O’Connell found himself in a similar position, however, his low drive nestled in the side-netting.
The teams were level for the first time after Conor Sweeney tapped over a free and referee James Molloy opted for Hawk-Eye before Steven O’Brien’s point was awarded and Tipperary held their first lead.
Captains Iain Corbett and Sweeney traded scores before Enright doubled his tally and Lee popped over a rallying point. Tipperary wasted their chances and Limerick made them pay.
McSweeney scored to put Limerick 0-6 to 0-4 in front before he registered their first wide in the 24th minute. Liam Casey and Lee kicked a point each and then Tipperary got back level.
Frees from Sweeney and Liam McGrath meant the sides were tied for the third time, until Cillian Fahy fisted another Limerick effort.
Quinlivan was as dangerous as ever and he scored again but blasted another shot wide to sum up the first half from Tipperary’s point of view. Iain Corbett scored on the resumption.
It took 11 minutes before either team would score again but when Darragh Treacy looked to running out of room Corbett appeared on his shoulder and finished to the top corner.
Limerick were 1-9 to 0-8 and in dreamland and it got even better when Lee’s shot dropped in the danger zone and Fahy claimed the possession before he rifled the ball to the roof of the Tipperary net.
It was shock and awe and Tipperary didn’t score their first point of the second half until the 59th minute when Sweeney finally slotted a free. But Lee’s reply was another stunning score.
Fahy could have scored another goal when he instead opted for a point and Quinlivan’s persistence paid off with a brilliant placed finish for a Tipperary goal in the 64th minute.
A Liam McGrath pointed free came at the right time to leave just four between the sides. But Nash’s strike ended the comeback.
Scorers for Limerick: Iain Corbett 1-2, Cillian Fahy 1-2, Jamie Lee 0-4 (1f), Peter Nash 1-0, Adrian Enright 0-2, Sean McSweeney 0-1 (1f),
Scorers for Tipperary: Michael Quinlivan 1-2, Conor Sweeney 0-4 (3f), Liam McGrath 0-2 (2f), Steven O’Brien 0-1, Liam Casey 0-1.
LIMERICK: Donal O’Sullivan; Brian Fanning, Sean O’Dea, Paul Maher; Colm McSweeney, Iain Corbett, Gordon Brown; Darragh Treacy, Tommie Childs; Adrian Enright, Cillian Fahy, Michael Fitzgibbon; Sean McSweeney, Seamus O’Carroll, Jamie Lee. Subs:Subs: Peter Nash for Lee (62), Stephen Keeley for Enright (70), Pádraig De Brún for Fitzgibbon (70).
TIPPERARY: Evan Comerford; Alan Campbell, John Meagher, Shane O’Connell; Kevin Fahey, Robbie Kiely, Emmet Moloney; Steven O’Brien, Liam Casey; Josh Keane, Paul Maher, Brian Fox; Conor Sweeney, Michael Quinlivan, Liam McGrath. Subs: Bill Maher for Kiely (half-time), Liam Boland for Maher (half-time), Jack Kennedy for Keane (49), Daire Brennan for Fahey (58), Dan O’Meara for Fox (66), Jimmy Feehan for Meagher (72).
Referee: James Molloy (Galway).