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Stunning Limerick display as they recover to win Munster final against Tipperary

Limerick trailed by ten points at half-time but won by five.

Limerick 2-29

Tipperary 3-21

A REMARKABLE REVIVAL by a remarkable team.

Limerick’s latest success in a Munster hurling final was not unexpected, given they wore the tag of favourites beforehand, but it certainly looked precarious at half-time.

seamus-flanagan-with-padraic-maher Seamus Flanagan and Padraic Maher. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

They were forced to give best to a dominant Tipperary in the opening half, trailing by ten points at the break. If the mountain looked unforgiving to climb, John Kiely’s team simply got to work. By the 52nd minute they had drawn level and were two clear by the second-half water break.

A sensational individual goal by Kyle Hayes in the 53rd minute effectively settled the contest. Tipperary cracked home a superb goal from Mark Kehoe late on but they had lost the second-half scoring battle by 2-17 to 1-5.

That illustrated Limerick’s superiority as they clinched a third successive Munster crown, the first time that had been achieved by the county since the 1930s.

They did get a fortunate break of a refereeing decision when Aaron Gillane was shown a yellow card early in the second half, a striking incident that looked like it could have seen a red shown.

Limerick capitalised with Gillane finishing with 0-6, a tally matched by Tom Morrissey. Peter Casey (0-5), Seamus Flanagan (1-3) and Gearoid Hegarty (0-3) were also central to the scoring spree while Cian Lynch orchestrated the play brilliantly from centre-forward.

jake-morris-celebrates-after-scoring-a-goal Jake Morris celebrates after scoring an early goal. Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

Tipperary’s first-half display was superb. They set the tone with the aggression all over the pitch, making life uncomfortable for Limerick as they tried to stitch together their usual passing movements.

There was three key scoring features for Tipperary in that opening period – an early Jake Morris goal, a post water break John O’Dwyer goal and the extraordinary point-taking of Jason Forde.

Morris in the 4th minute and O’Dwyer in the 19th minute benefitted from long missiles that Barry Hogan launched from puckouts. They dropped in the heart of the Limerick rearguard with the Tipperary forwards racing in an alert manner to grab them. Morris hit a tidy shot to the bottom corner as he approached goal, O’Dwyer shot from further out with a bullet that Nickie Quaid had little chance of blocking.

 

Forde lit up the game with his tally of 0-10 central to the 2-16 to 0-12 advantage that Tipperary enjoyed at the interval. The striking aspect was his accuracy from play as he split the posts seven times. In the first quarter alone he converted six shots, evidence that his radar was perfectly tuned.

Limerick tried to react. They responded from the concession to Morris to only trail by two, 1-6 to 0-7, in the 14th minute. But the gap was four at the water break and it increased noticeably soon after. Tom Morrissey and Seamus Flanagan were their best exponents in attack. But there was a lot of uncharacteristic errors in their play, which prompted John Kiely to summon Aaron Gillane and Dan Morrissey from the bench on the half hour mark.

cian-lynch-celebrates-the-mick-mackey-cup Cian Lynch celebrates.

jake-morris-dejected-after-the-game A dejected Jake Morris after the game. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Limerick rattled off 1-4 without reply in the first ten minutes of the second half. That set the tone, the goal bundled in by Flanagan after Barry Hogan had repelled a blistering shot by Gillane. Jake Morris pointed to try to stem the tide but Limerick had posted 1-7 before Tipperary scored again, substitute Willie Connors on target in the 58th minute.

The goal was a sublime effort by Hayes as he accelerated from his left half-back berth, produced a couple of brilliant sidesteps to wrong-foot the Tipperary defence and finished clinically to the net.

There was no comeback from Tipperary, despite substitute Kehoe raising that late green flag. A backdoor in the quarter-finals awaits, Limerick march on to the All-Ireland semi-final stage.

Scorers for Limerick: Aaron Gillane (0-4f), Tom Morrissey (0-1f) 0-6 each, Peter Casey 0-5, Seamus Flanagan 1-3, Kyle Hayes 1-0, Diarmaid Byrnes 0-4 (0-2f, 0-1 ’65), Gearoid Hegarty 0-3, David Reidy, Cian Lynch 0-1 each.

Scorers for Tipperary: Jason Forde 0-11 (0-3f, 0-1 ’65), John O’Dwyer 1-3, Jake Morris 1-2, Mark Kehoe 1-0, Willie Connors, Ronan Maher, Seamus Kennedy, Michael Breen, Dan McCormack 0-1 each.

Limerick

1. Nickie Quaid (Effin)

2. Sean Finn (Bruff), 3. Richie English (Doon), 4. Barry Nash (South Liberties).

5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell), 6. Declan Hannon (Adare – captain), 7. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry).

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

10. Gearoid Hegarty (St Patrick’s), 11. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell), 12. Tom Morrissey (Ahane).

15. Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh), 14. Seamus Flanagan (Feohanagh-Castlemahon), 13. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock),

Subs

21. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell) for Mulcahy (30)

23. Dan Morrissey (Ahane) for English (30)

25. David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacca) for O’Donovan (65)

17. Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh) for Morrissey (66)

26. Pat Ryan (Doon) for Flanagan (70)

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22. Robbie Hanley (Kilmallock) for Lynch (70)

Tipperary

1. Barry Hogan (Kiladangan)

2. Cathal Barrett (Holycross-Ballycahill), 3. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), 7. Barry Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg).

5. Seamus Kennedy (St Mary’s Clonmel), 6. Brendan Maher (Borris-Ileigh), 4. Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields).

12. Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh), 9. Alan Flynn (Kiladangan).

11. Michael Breen (Ballina), 10. Jason Forde (Silvermines), 8. Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney).

15. Jake Morris (Nenagh Éire Óg), 14. Seamus Callanan (Drom & Inch – captain), 13. John O’Dwyer (Killenaule).

Subs

20. Willie Connors (Kiladangan) for Flynn (52)

18. Paddy Cadell (JK Brackens) for McCormack (56)

22. Mark Kehoe (Kilsheelan-Kilcash) for Noel McGrath (56)

25. Niall O’Meara (Kilruane MacDonaghs) for O’Dwyer (56)

23. Brian McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney) for Heffernan (59)

Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from Páirc Uí Chaoimh

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