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Limerick's late scoring power secures win over Tipperary in Munster hurling race

Seven points separated the teams in this round-robin game.

Limerick 3-21

Tipperary 0-23

IT WAS AN afternoon that proved uncomfortable viewing for Limerick’s home support for long stages, yet by the finish they were invading the pitch in celebration to acclaim the latest show of strength in Munster hurling by their team.

nickie-quaid-and-mark-kehoe Limerick's Nickie Quaid and Tipperary's Mark Kehoe. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The champions were off-colour for an hour of this game as Tipperary tested them fiercely, Noel McGrath’s marksmanship inspiring them as they went ahead 0-20 to 1-15 heading down the stretch.

But Limerick timed their kick for the finish line to perfection. They outscored Tipperary 2-6 to 0-3 after the 60th minute, substitute Conor Boylan raising one green flag and Aaron Gillane bagging his second goal of the game.

Limerick had gathered momentum with five points on the spin between the 60th and 67th minutes courtesy of Diarmaid Byrnes (2), David Reidy, Declan Hannon and Gillane.

Then a splendid passing move involving Gearoid Hegarty and Seamus Flanagan paved the way for Conor Boylan to reach with a one-handed swipe to the net past Barry Hogan as he rushed out to avert the danger. Gillane plucked a ball from the air to drill home Limerick’s third goal in the 70th minute.

They leaked two late points to McGrath and substitute Robert Byrne but Limerick’s goalmouth was protected sufficiently with Mark Kehoe denied by a smart block from Nickie Quaid as he pursued a consolation goal.

aaron-gillane-celebrates-scoring-his-sides-third-goal Aaron Gillane celebrates scoring his side's third goal. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The win confirms Limerick will advance from the Munster round-robin series as 27,111 watched on in attendance. It leaves Tipperary on the brink of elimination – they will require a series of results to work in their favour from the remaining games. Limerick’s showing at the end was clinical with substitutes Boylan and David Reidy impressing, but they seemed fortunate to still have Gillane on the pitch, he was shown a yellow card in the 57th minute after a pull across Ronan Maher.

Limerick’s expected dominance looked to be expressed early on in the form of the only goal of the first half, Gillane out-fielding the defence from a Byrnes delivery and planting his shot to the net.

tom-morrissey-battles-for-the-ball Limerick and Tipperary players battling for possession. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Yet that strike in the 8th minute failed to provided a springboard for their dominance. Instead Tipperary produced a gutsy and aggressive showing, disrupting Limerick’s attempts to hit full speed. Noel McGrath took over the free-taking duties instead of the absent Jason Forde and they were the centrepiece of his 0-8 tally in the opening half.

Ger Browne also chipped in with three points from play and they almost grabbed a goal from Michael Breen’s snapshot in the 28th minute, Quaid blocking an effort that was unleashed under pressure from Barry Nash.

Tipperary had cause to be pleased with their third quarter showing, they continued to take the fight to Limerick and when Jake Morris snapped over a 50th minute point, profiting from a wayward pass by Byrnes, they were three to the good, 0-19 to 1-13.

But Limerick gradually overtook them and applied the gloss to the scoreboard with those late goals.

Scorers for Limerick: Aaron Gillane 2-5 (0-4f), Conor Boylan 1-0, Diarmaid Byrnes 0-3 (0-2f), Tom Morrissey 0-3, Darragh O’Donovan 0-2, Cathal O’Neill 0-2, Barry Nash 0-1, Declan Hannon 0-1, Gearoid Hegarty 0-1, Graeme Mulcahy 0-1, Seamus Flanagan 0-1, David Reidy 0-1.

Scorers for Tipperary: Noel McGrath 0-13 (0-9f, 0-2 ’65, 0-1 sideline), Ger Browne 0-3, Jake Morris 0-3, Barry Heffernan 0-1, Mark Kehoe 0-1, Robert Byrne 0-1.

Limerick

1. Nickie Quaid (Effin)

2. Sean Finn (Bruff), 3. Mike Casey (Na Piarsaigh), 4. Barry Nash (South Liberties)

5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell), 6. Declan Hannon (Adare – captain), 7. Dan Morrissey (Ahane)

8. William O’Donoghue (Na Piarsaigh), 9. Darragh O’Donovan (Doon)

10. Gearoid Hegarty (St Patrick’s), 11. Cathal O’Neill (Crecora-Manister), 12. Tom Morrissey (Ahane)

13. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell), 14. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), 15. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock)

Subs

22. Seamus Flanagan (Feohanagh) for O’Neill (inj) (40)

25. David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacca) for O’Donoghue (55)

18. Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh) for Mulcahy (59)

21. Richie English (Doon) for Morrissey (67)

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24. Oisin O’Reilly (Kilmallock) for Hayes (69)

Tipperary

1. Barry Hogan (Kiladangan)

4. Craig Morgan (Kilruane MacDonaghs), 6. Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields – captain), 2. Cathal Barrett (Holycross-Ballycahill)

8. Paddy Cadell (JK Brackens), 7. Seamus Kennedy (St Mary’s), 3. Barry Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg)

 5. Dillon Quirke (Clonoulty-Rossmore),  10. Conor Stakelum (Thurles Sarsfields),

13. Jake Morris (Nenagh Éire Óg), 11. Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), 9. Michael Breen (Ballina)

12. Ger Browne (Cashel King Cormacs), 14. Mark Kehoe (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), 15. Paul Flynn (Kiladangan)

Subs

18. Robert Byrne (Portroe) for Cadell (34)

17. Conor Bowe (Moyne-Templetuohy) for Flynn (48)

23. Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh) for Browne (64)

20. Alan Flynn (Kiladangan) for Stakelum (68)

Referee: Liam Gordon (Galway)

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from TUS Gaelic Grounds

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