Limerick 2-26 Tipperary 2-14
Limerick produced a massive Munster Final performance on Sunday hammering Tipperary by 12 points in a devastating display at the Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. It was Limerick’s first Munster title since 2013. They now hold the League title, Munster title and All-Ireland title something that hasn’t been done in quite a while down on Shannonside. Limerick will now go into an All-Ireland semi-final and are firmly the bookie’s favourites to retain Liam McCarthy, while for Tipperary a quarter-final meeting with Dublin or Laois awaits them.
The first half was relatively 50:50 in terms of the scoreboard, but Limerick always looked like they were going to win, they were far too powerful for their opponents. The work rate of the Limerick players really impressed me and they out-worked Tipperary which ultimately proved the difference in the second half.
The sides were level 0-03 each after 7 minutes of play. Tipperary, coming into the game unbeaten then kept Limerick scoreless for 12 minutes. Seamus Callanan got a goal on 18 minutes to give Tipperary a 1-06 0-04 advantage the Premier County fans surely thought it was going to be their day. However, things actually got worse for Liam Sheedy’s men rather than better. Limerick upped the pace, their work rate, and intensity. Tipperary had no answer to it. Indeed the Treaty County outscored Tipperary 1-05 to 0-03 for the remainder of the half. Peter Casey knocked over three points, with Gillane firing over two. Seamus Callanan stopped the rot with a point for Tipperary. Limerick had their first goal of the game on 26 minutes as Gillane showed power and pace and then accuracy to find Casey who finished from close range to the net. Gearoid Hegarty had a shot well saved by Brian Hogan on 28 minutes. Ronan Maher landed a sublime point from distance, but Tom Morrissey and Diarmuid Byrnes insured the 2018 All-Ireland Champions went in at the break 1-11 to 1-09 ahead.
On the resumption, Diarmuid Byrnes and Gearoid Hegarty had the gap out to 4 points. Tipperary were back on level terms though on 43 minutes. Jason Forde pointed a free, before Loughmore-Castleiney man John McGrath got a goal. Limerick responded as champions should do. Casey knocked over two points, while Gillane nailed a free. Kyle Hayes then registered a second Limerick goal and they were pushing clear 2-18 to 2-12 with 55 minutes played. Cian Lynch, Peter Casey and Gearoid Hegarty all rattled off points as Limerick eased to a 12 point win and are now 11/10 favourites to retain Liam McCarthy.
Limerick – N Quaid; S Finn, M Casey, R English; D Byrnes (0-3f), D Hannon, D Morrissey; C Lynch (0-2), W O’Donoghue; G Hegarty (0-3), K Hayes (1-2), T Morrissey (0-4); A Gillane (0-4, 3f), G Mulcahy (0-2), P Casey (1-5). Subs: S Dowling for G Hegarty, D O’Donovan for W O’Donoghue, S Flanagan for P Casey, B Nash (0-1) for D Hannon, D Reidy for T Morrissey.
Tipperary – B Hogan; S Kennedy, J Barry, S O’Brien; B Maher, P Maher, R Maher (0-2); M Breen, N McGrath (0-1f); J Forde (0-6, 3f), J O’Dwyer (0-1), D McCormack (0-1); J McGrath (1-0), S Callanan (1-1), J Morris (0-1). Subs: N O’Meara for M Breen, R Byrne for N McGrath, J Cahill (0-1) for J O’Dwyer, B Heffernan for J Barry, M Kehoe for J McGrath.