John Kiely’s Limerick got off the mark in the Munster hurling championship with a convincing 6 point over Tipperary on Sunday.
Limerick 1-23 Tipperary 2-14
They were much the better team for large patches of the game in the Gaelic Grounds and fully deserving of their victory before a crowd of just over 20,000.
Limerick had the edge in the opening half, but they coughed up silly frees which Silvermines club man Jason Forde punished. The Tipperary defence looked shaken and vulnerable at times especially the full back line when the Limerick young guns ran at them. The sides were all square at the end of the opening quarter, however Gillane who was given Donagh Maher a torrid time put Limerick in front. Gearoid Hegarty had a goal bound shot very saved by Tipperary net minder Brian Hogan. Dan McCormack and Tipperary responded in typical fashion, as he pounced for the opening goal in the Munster championship. He got on the end of a shot from John McGrath which hit the post to fire past Nickie Quaid. Gillane and Mulcahy responded to level the match again though, points were continuing to be exchanged before Forde sent Tipperary in the break a point ahead thanks to a free.
The sides traded scores in the opening 10 minutes of the second half once again as matters remained level. Limerick though looked to be getting on top and they started to get scores easier with Gillane, Hegarty and Byrnes all raising white flags to stretch the lead to 0-18 to 1-12 with 20 minutes to go. Tipperary did respond though as Jason Forde made a goal out of nothing and Noel McGrath tapped over, and the scores were all level again on 59 minutes The final 10 minutes is where Tipperary lost the game though, they only managed to score 1 point as Limerick pushed on to claim a superb win. Gillane, Cian Lynch and Byrnes all registering points. Many of who may thought Tipperary were going to come back to make a dramatic few minutes ending were left with no hope then as the game was wrapped up with substitute Barry Murphy netting in added time to seal the win. Next up for Tipperary is a must win game in Thurles against Cork, while Limerick have a weekend off.
Limerick: Nicky Quaid; Sean Finn, Seamus Hickey, Richie English; Diarmuid Byrnes (0-03, 0-02 65s, 0-01f), Declan Hannon, Dan Morrissey; Darragh O’Donovan (0-01), Cian Lynch (0-02); Gearoid Hegarty (0-02), Kyle Hayes, Tom Morrissey (0-02); Aaron Gillane (0-08, 0-06f), Seamus Flanagan (0-01); Graeme Mulcahy (0-04).
Subs used: David Dempsey for Morrissey (54 mins), Barry Murphy (1-00) for Mulcahy (54 mins), Pat Ryan for Flanagan (62 mins), Paul Browne for O’Donovan (67 mins).
Tipperary: Brian Hogan; Alan Flynn, Séamus Kennedy, Donagh Maher; Barry Heffernan, Padraic Maher, Ronan Maher; Willie Connors, Billy McCarthy; Dan McCormack (1-00), Noel McGrath (0-02), Seán Curran; John O’Dwyer (0-01), Jason Forde (1-09, 0-9f), John McGrath (0-02).
Subs used: Sean O’Brien for D Maher (43 mins), Brendan Maher for Connors (50 mins), Seamus Callanan for Curran (53 mins), Michael Breen for Kennedy (55 mins), Patrick Maher for McCarthy (65 mins).