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Dublin: 13 °C Wednesday 14 November, 2018
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14-man Tipperary too strong for Limerick and advance to Munster final

Waterford await in the final on 10 July.

Tipperary's James Barry grabs the sliothar under pressure from Limerick's Cian Lynch.
Tipperary's James Barry grabs the sliothar under pressure from Limerick's Cian Lynch.
Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

Tipperary 3-12
Limerick 1-16

Fintan O’Toole reports from Semple Stadium

TIPPERARY OVERCAME THE loss of John O’Dwyer to a red card after only 14 minutes to see off Limerick in today’s Munster senior hurling semi-final and set up a date in the decider with Waterford next month.

Substitute Tom Morrissey lashed home an injury-time goal to give Limerick some hope but the final whistle sounded soon after and Tipperary were full value for this victory.

Michael Ryan’s team produced a superb defensive performance despite the personnel disadvantage they faced against a Limerick team who fell particularly flat in the second-half.

Tipperary received the sizeable boost of two goals in the opening eight minutes of the game but they came from an unlikely source in midfielder Michael Breen. He whipped a shot to the net in the 6th minute after indecision in the Limerick defence proved fatal.

Two minutes later the Ballina man had raised another green flag when Nicky Quaid failed to properly control a Seamus Callanan goalbound drive, allowing Breen the opportunity to steal in to flick the ball to the net.

Callanan, Tipperary’s go-to man in attack, did not stay out of the spotlight in the first-half as he struck 1-4. His goal arrived in the 28th minute, a sweetly struck shot after Tipperary prised apart the Limerick defence and Noel McGrath supplied the pass to Callanan.

The Premier needed those goals after O’Dwyer was shown a red card by referee James McGrath when he struck defender Richie English off the ball in the first quarter.

After shipping those early strikes to trail 2-0 to 0-1, Limerick gained a foothold in the game. They strung together four points without reply between the 13th and 21st minutes with Shane Dowling bagging three of those to leave them 2-1 to 0-6 adrift.

Callanan pounced for the third goal to leave Tipperary in front 3-3 to 0-7 yet Limerick bounced back with four points courtesy of Dowling (2), Gearoid Hegarty and James Ryan.

They trailed by the minimum before a pair of converted frees by Callanan edged Tipperary into a 3-5 to 0-11 advantage at the interval.

Limerick’s challenge never ignited in the second-half as Declan Hannon’s 50th minute point was their solitary score from play until injury time.

Tipperary kept them at bay with Noel McGrath impressing as he raised off white flags and Limerick too reliant on Dowling’s frees.

The Tipperary defence was outstanding with Padraic Maher surging forward for the insurance point in the 68th minute.

Limerick finally mounted a scoring rally late on with substitutes John Fitzgibbon and Morrissey scoring a point and a goal respectively. However Tipperary held on to qualify for a battle with the Deise next month.

Scorers for Tipperary: Seamus Callanan 1-6 (0-3f, 0-2 ’65), Michael Breen 2-1, Noel McGrath 0-3, John McGrath, Padraic Maher 0-1 each.

Scorers for Limerick: Shane Dowling 0-9 (0-8f), Tom Morrissey 1-0, Declan Hannon 0-2, James Ryan, Gearoid Hegarty, Barry Nash, John Fitzgibbon, Cian Lynch 0-1 each.

Tipperary

1. Darren Gleeson (Portroe)

2. Cathal Barrett (Holycross-Ballycahill)
3. James Barry (Upperchurch-Drombane)
4. Michael Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields)

7. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
6. Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
5. Seamus Kennedy (St Mary’s)

8. Brendan Maher (capt, Borris-Ileigh)
9. Michael Breen (Ballina)

10. Sean Curran (Mullinahone)
11. Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh)
12. Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)

13. John O’Dwyer (Killenaule)
14. Seamus Callanan (Drom & Inch)
15. John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)

Subs

23. Niall O’Meara (Kilruane McDonaghs) for McCormack (60)
22. Donagh Maher (Burgess) for Ronan Maher (63)
20. Jason Forde (Silvermines) for Patrick Maher (69)
17. Kieran Bergin (Killenaule) for Brendan Maher (71)
24. Daire Quinn (Nenagh Éire Óg) for Breen (71)

Limerick

1. Nickie Quaid (Effin –  captain)

7. Seamus Hickey (Murroe/Boher)
3. Dan Morrissey (Ahane)
4. Richie English (Doon)

5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell)
6. Gavin O’Mahony (Kilmallock)
2. Tom Condon (Knockaderry)

8. James Ryan (Garryspillane)
9. Paul Browne (Bruff)

10. Gearoid Hegarty (St Patrick’s)
11. Shane Dowling (Na Piarsaigh)
15. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell)

12. Barry Nash (South Liberties)
14. Declan Hannon (Adare)
13. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock)

Subs

26. Tom Morrissey (Ahane) for Ryan (48)
25. Kevin Downes (Na Piarsaigh) for Nash (55)
23. John Fitzgibbon (Adare) for Hegarty (58)

Referee: James McGrath (Westmeath)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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