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Dublin: 11°C Friday 16 April 2021


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Good Evening!

Howdy, folks. It’s back!

Competitive, in-season inter-county hurling returns this evening in a slightly new guise, as 2019 All-Ireland champions Tipperary square off with 2019 league and Munster champions Limerick in Group A of Allianz Hurling League Division 1.

Semple Stadium is a fitting location for the new campaign to begin in earnest, with throw-in scheduled in Thurles for 17:15.

Gavan Casey here, and I’ll be bringing you live updates of the action which you can watch on eir Sport 1 if you have it (coverage from 17:00).

Team news and all that jazz on the way — I’m just trying to wolf down a sandwich here in preparation for what’s set to be a torturous couple of hours for me.

Hurling liveblogs aren’t exactly perceived as being the pinnacle of sports journalism but, to my mind, they should be considered one of the pinnacles of human achievement. You don’t know pain until you’re trying to describe a point only to watch another 1-3 unfold in front of you before you can publish an update.

That’s why it’s the best game in the world.

Catch ye in a few!

Tipperary team news

Liam Sheedy has selected 2019 All-Ireland U20 winner Paddy Caddell in his midfield alongside Michael Breen while Bryan O’Mara, who also starred in The Premier’s U20s last year, starts in the half-forward line.

Mark Kehoe makes his league bow at corner-forward. The Kilsheelan-Kilcash man featured for Tipp during last year’s championship having won an All-Ireland U21 medal a year prior.

Tipp are shorn of panel members who were involved in last weekend’s All-Ireland club final, while 2019 Hurler of the Year Seamus Callanan will begin his Saturday evening on the bench and John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer misses out altogether.


1. Brian Hogan (Lorrha-Dorrha)

2. Cathal Barrett (Holycross-Ballycahill)
3. Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
4. Seán O’Brien (Newport)

5. Alan Flynn (Kiladangan)
6. Séamus Kennedy (St. Mary’s)
7. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)

8. Michael Breen (Ballina)
9. Paddy Cadell (JK Brackens)

10. Willie Connors (Kiladangan)
11. John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
12. Bryan O’Mara (Holycross-Ballycahill)

13. Mark Kehoe (Kilsheelan-Kilcash)
14. Jason Forde (Silvermines)
15. Jake Morris (Nenagh Éire Óg)


16. Barry Hogan (Kiladangan)
17. Jerome Cahill (Kilruane MacDonaghs)
18. Séamus Callanan (Drom-Inch)
19. Cian Darcy (Kilruane MacDonaghs)
20. Paul Flynn (Kiladangan)
21. Brian McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
22. Jamie Moloney (Drom-Inch)
23. Craig Morgan (Kilruane MacDonaghs)
24. Joe O’Dwyer (Killenaule)
25. Dillon Quirke (Clonoulty-Rossmore)
26. Jason Ryan (Toomevara)

mark-kehoe-with-seadna-morey Tipp are expecting big things of Mark Kehoe. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Limerick team news

John Kiely has named eight of the Limerick players who lost to Kilkenny in last year’s All-Ireland semi.

There are no league debuts for the Treaty but Darren O’Connell and Ronan Connolly could make their debuts in the competition off the bench.

Declan Hannon and William O’Donoghue are on the bench as they work their way back to full fitness. Neither man featured during Limerick’s three-game pre-season, which saw them win the Munster Hurling League.

It’s the first time Limerick have played Tipp in a league group game in Thurles since 2009.


1. Barry Hennessy (Kilmallock)

2. Tom Condon (Knockaderry)
3. Mike Casey (Na Piarsaigh)
4. Richie English (Doon)

5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell)
6. Dan Morrissey (Ahane)
7. Barry Nash (South Liberties)

8. Robbie Hanley (Kilmallock)
9. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell)

10. Darragh O’Donovan (Doon)
11. Tom Morrissey (Ahane)
12. David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacca)

13. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell)
14. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock)
15. David Dempsey (Na Piarsaigh)


16. Nickie Quaid (Effin)
17. Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh)
18. Ronan Connolly (Adare)
19. Aaron Costello (Kilmallock)
20. Sean Finn (Bruff)
21. Seamus Flanagan (Feohanagh-Castlemahon)
22. Declan Hannon (Adare)
23. Gearoid Hegarty (St Patricks)
24. Darren O’Connell (Kildimo-Pallaskenry)
25. William O’Donoghue (Na Piarsiagh)
26. Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock)

As one person has pointed out in the comments section, traffic is mad heading into Thurles.

Apparently, there’s a very bad hold-up on the Horse and Jockey Road.

If I hear of any throw-in delays or anything along those lines, I’ll let you know.

Hope people heading towards Semple can get there soon and not miss anything.

As of now, it looks like we’re going to start on time, or at least close enough to it.

Before the anthem, a minute’s silence for Michael O’Flaherty, captain of the Limerick minors in 1965 who passed away during the week. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.



We’re under way in Thurles. Carlow man Patrick Murphy is your referee.


Aaron Gillane’s is the first shot of the evening, but his attempt at an impossible score drops into the hands of Brian Hogan. It was both wide and short of the mark.

Down the other end, Limerick win a free out.


Cian Lynch launches one in towards Gillane but he’s well shepherded. Scrappy start, both teams battling on the ground and looking for a sustained period of possession to settle things.


Darragh O’Donovan is pinged for over-carrying and Jason Forde opens the scoring from inside the Limerick half. The first score of the 2020 Allianz Hurling League goes to the All-Ireland champions.

Jake Morris adds the first score from play seconds later, a tidy finish after some nice build-up play by Sheedy’s men.


Tipp man penalised for over-carrying after O’Donovan’s earlier infraction but Aaron Gillane puts the free wide from the left wing.

Limerick win the puck-out but Graeme Mulcahy, off his favoured left side, drags one wide left — a rare miss by the full-forward.

Tipp, then, add to their tally through Forde who grabs his second — this one from play.


Gillane bags a free for Limerick, into the Town End, and the visitors are off the mark.


Brilliant score by Tom Morrissey from the left-hand sideline. Wriggled free of Diarmuid Morris and fired it over with minimal fuss.


Forde sends a sideline ball clean over the bar. Lovely score.


Limerick in trouble with their puck-out. Jake Morris capitalises and scoops one over the bar.


Goal chance!

Nenagh man Jake Morris fires low and hard but Barry Hennessy makes a brilliant save down to his right! Tipp pointed moments beforehand, too, but I missed the scorer — apologies.

The hosts lead by five.


Again, nice link-up play by Tipp and Willie Connors fires over from close-enough range. Alan Flynn popped a lovely pass to him just as he took a hefty challenge.


A turnover in midfield results in a nice score for David Dempsey from the right-hand side. John Kiely will like that one.


Morris points with another free.


Forde again from a free. Tipp by seven.


Forde wins a free himself and sends it between the uprights — his sixth point.

Tipp 0-11 Limerick 0-3.


League debutant Paddy Caddell lashes one over from midfield. An All-Ireland U20 winner last year, Caddell is making his league debut for Tipp this evening.

This has been a fairly clinical display by Tipp so far, but Limerick look completely out of sorts.

William O’Donoghue has just replaced Robbie Hanley in midfield — might add a bit of height.


Tipp have four wides along with Limerick’s four, so the nine-point difference in scores is a fairly Ronseal representation of the gulf between the two teams so far.


Mulcahy registers Limerick’s sixth wide — I missed the fifth while writing about their four previous wides in the last update!

Poor one, that, by Mulcahy, who had time about 40 yards out.

Tom Morrissey, though, fires over shortly afterwards after Limerick won a breaking ball in midfield.


aaron-gillane-and-sean-obrien Aaron Gillane and Sean O’Brien go to battle in the air. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO


Forde again. Free again. Lead back out to nine for Tipp.

Two minutes of added time to end the first half.

Yellow cards for Limerick’s Diarmuid Byrnes and Tipp’s Willie Connors for unrelated challenges.

Flag 39Mins

Half-time: Tipperary 0-13 Limerick 0-4

It’s been a bit of a masterclass by Tipp and Jason Forde in particular, but Limerick look like they need someone to light a fire under them ahead of the second half.

John Kiely is doubtless dousing the dressing room in petrol as we speak.

Catch ye in a bit.

cathal-barrett-with-david-reidy-and-darragh-odonovan Cathal Barrett with David Reidy and Darragh O’Donovan of Limerick. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO


Second half

Limerick out of the dressing rooms first — I’d say they couldn’t wait to get the hell out of there!

Tipp out about a minute later.

Doesn’t look like there have been any changes made to either side at the break.


Jake Morris pops one over — his third — after Tipp tried to carve a goal opportunity down the left. Nice pass back to him by John McGrath.

Just the start Liam Sheedy and his men would have wanted. Tipp 0-14 Limerick 0-4.


Limerick are, at least, flying into challenges here in the second half.

Barry Hennessey picks a lovely pass out towards one of the Limerick half-forwards who is fouled, and Gillane has a chance from a free.

It’s a way out on the left, and to be honest it looks like it’s gone wide but the umpire raises the white flag.

Tipp’s lead back down to nine.


Darragh O’Donovan fires well wide from range, Limerick’s first of the second half and their eighth overall.


A great score by Limerick. O’Donovan makes amends for his wide with a wonderful ball in on top of David Dempsey who plucks it from the air and lashes over in one movement.

Tipp 0-14 Limerick 0-6.


Whoomf — Aaron Gillane lands a free from Clonmel. 0-14 to 0-7.

Limerick are coming!


Wow, another superb Limerick point. Darragh O’Donovan with a nice ball infield to Diarmuid Byrnes, and he drives over from halfway.

The travelling support can be heard now.

0-14 to 0-8.


John McGrath steadies the ship for Tipp, and it’s a glorious point. He beats three defenders on a slalom infield and pops it over. Tipp’s lead back out to seven.


Hmmm, Gillane takes a short free to Byrnes who fires over, but the play is brought back because Gillane’s free is adjudged not to have travelled the required distance. No score, and Tipp get the ball. Letter-of-the-law stuff, but fair enough if you’re a fan of what they call ‘rules’.


Gillane with a free from the halfway line, blows it wide. It was a soft-enough free, anyway. Byrnes had one wide from the right a moment beforehand. 10 wides now for Limerick.

Flag 48Mins

Goal for Limerick!


A marvellous finish by Gillane who rattles the net after being fed by William O’Donoghue. Like an arrow into the corner past Hogan.

Limerick are right back in this!

Gearóid Hegarty is on for David Reidy, also.


David Dempsey with another Limerick score and the deficit is down to three! Limerick have outscored Tipp 1-5 to 0-2 in the second half so far.

Yellow card for Cathal Barrett who fouls that man again, Dempsey, and Gillane has a chance to cut the gap to two.

He does!

Tipp 0-15 Limerick 1-10.


Oof, Tom Condon protests the free but he seemed to take John McGrath out as the Tipp forward entered dangerous territory from a Limerick perspective. Condon in the book. It was a fairly reckless flick of the hurley.

Forde settles Tipp with another free. 0-16 to 1-10.

Flag 57Mins

Goal for Limerick!

Goodness gracious me! Limerick find the net again! The teams are level!

Gearóid Hegarty with a neat finish, O’Donoghue again the provider, and we have some finish on our hands here at Semple.

Before that, two changes for Tipp: Paul Flynn on for Willie Connors, Dillon Quirke on for Mark Kehoe.


Forde nudges Tipp back in front with a ninth score, another free.

Here are the Limerick goals, meanwhile:


Gillane mishits a free but it sneaks over. Level again!


John Kiely definitely fired a few rockets up a few arses at the break.

tempers-flare-between-the-sides-during-the-game Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO


A man who hasn’t gotten much of a mention in liveblog terms, but has been a standout performer for Limerick, is Barry Nash. Bringing serious fire to proceedings.


Crikey, Cathal Barrett is penalised for picking the ball off the ground and gets bulldozed no sooner than the whistle blows. Limerick keep the free, though, and Aaron Gillane pops The Treaty into their first lead!

2-12 to 0-17 in favour of the visitors with seven minutes’ normal time remaining.

Bare in mind they trailed by 10 at the start of the second half!


Wow, Diarmuid Byrnes from way downtown. A free from all of 378 yards at first glance. Limerick lead by two!


Nash with another brilliant intervention, flicking a ball away just as Tipp seemed certain to point.

This is the antithesis of the first half. Four minutes to go plus added time. Limerick by two points, still.


There was a smashing block, there, by either Ronan Maher or Sean O’Brien on Aaron Gillane, who went for goal when he probably should have looked inside.

Tipp escape and stay alive.


Paddy Caddell drops an attempt at a point short but Patrick Murphy brings it back for a foul by Tom Morrissey on Seamus Kennedy.

Forde, from the right-hand sideline, squeezes his free inside the post. Deficit halved.

One point in it. Limerick in the lead. Here we go.


Added time: three minutes


Ball goes up to Seamus Flanagan and he stretches Limerick’s lead back out to two from close range!


HUGE challenge by Tom Condon to stop a Tipp move in midfield as the hosts go in search of a goal. A scramble on the ground leads to a hot ball, and Limerick come away with it only for Gillane to fire their 14th wide.

Jake Morris charges into Limerick territory and is about 21 yards out when he’s hauled down by William O’Donoghue, who receives a second yellow. O’Donoghue is off.

20 seconds to go. Tipp free. Jason Forde. This is it!


Forde shoots for goal!

It takes a nick!




What a game. What a finish. What a turnaround.

The quintessential game of two halves, and not just because Limerick turned it on its head. The first half was muck in entertainment terms. The second was compelling.

Questions for Tipp. Answers from Limerick.

Great to have it back, isn’t it?


Man of the match: Barry Nash.

barry-nash-and-alan-flynn Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

That’s it from me — cheers for joining us.

Keep an eye on The42 for a full report, which will be published shortly.

Enjoy the rest of the GAA action over the weekend and have a good one generally.

Take it easy!

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