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Tipperary strike late for victory over Limerick in 6-goal Munster minor hurling thriller

Niall Hoctor was Tipperary’s hero.

Tipperary 4-15
Limerick 2-18

Jackie Cahill reports from Semple Stadium, Thurles

SUPERSUB NIALL HOCTOR netted in the second minute of stoppage time as Liam Cahill’s Tipperary snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Limerick in this evening’s Electric Ireland Munster minor hurling quarter-final at Semple Stadium.

Tipp were two points down against Paul O’Brien-inspired Limerick but they came with a stunning late burst to win by three – hitting 1-2 in stoppage time.

Anthony McKelvey’s free kept Tipp in touch and they were level through Jake Morris – one of five starting survivors from last year’s provincial and All-Ireland winning squads.

Jake Morris celebrates scoring a goal Jake Morris helped Tipperary triumph today. Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

And there was still time for Hoctor to strike as he latched onto Conor Bowe’s pass before finishing to the net.

It was tough luck on Limerick, who had an 11-point haul from O’Brien, but there’s a fair chance these sides could meet again before the end of the season, based on this evidence.

Paul O’Brien and Jerome Cahill Paul O'Brien (right) in action for Limerick minor hurlers last year. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Limerick go through the back door but Tipperary must now wait until the end of June for their Munster semi-final.

Tipperary led by 2-10 to 1-8 at the break, a five-point lead after the sides had been level at 1-8 apiece in the 27th minute.

Tipp finished the half with a run of 1-2 to put some daylight between themselves and the visitors, Anthony McKelvey putting over a free before Conor McCarthy, hugely impressive in the first half, took his tally to 1-3.

Deep in stoppage time, Tipp notched their second goal when Andrew Ormond, a recent All-Ireland winner with Our Lady’s Templemore, netted at the second attempt, his lobbed effort finding the net after his initial shot was blocked.

Andrew Ormond Our Lady's Templemore player Andrew Ormond Source: Ken Sutton/INPHO

Tipp could consider themselves slightly fortunate to have that interval advantage, as Limerick had battled back from six points down to draw level. By the 16th minute, Tipp were 1-7 to 0-4 clear, and boosted by McCarthy’s goal as early as the sixth minute.

The Nenagh Éire Óg player, a late call-up in place of Ray McCormack, burst through after Jake Morris broke a long ball and he flicked the ball past Bryan Curtin after racing through to see the whites of the goalkeeper’s eyes.

Limerick were well served by O’Brien, scorer of four points in the first half, while Dylan O’Shea’s goal three minutes before the break was an equalising score for the Shannonsiders.

Ronan Connolly was the creator with a terrific, slaloming run along the right touchline before his pass was finished on the double by the in-rushing O’Shea at the Town End. Willie Barry came off the bench to net for Tipp just 16 seconds after the restart and that score established an eight-point lead for the hosts, in front of 2,567 spectators.

But Limerick, carrying 11 survivors from last year’s squad, were excellent in the second half and O’Shea’s second goal, in the 34th minute, rekindled their challenge. Limerick kept chipping away at Tipp’s lead and drew level at 2-16 to 3-13 with time running out.

With O’Brien landing four points in a row, John Mulqueen’s charges hit the front for the first time in the game but Tipp came with that late surge to claim the win.

Scorers for Tipperary: Conor McCarthy 1-3, Anthony McKelvey 0-5 (4f), Andrew Ormond 1-1, Willie Barry & Niall Hoctor 1-0 each, Conor Bowe & Jake Morris 0-2 each, Kieran Breen & Cathal Bourke 0-1 each.

Scorers for Limerick: Paul O’Brien 0-11 (7f, 1 65), Dylan O’Shea 2-2, David Woulfe 0-3, Dan Minehan & Ronan Connolly 0-1 each.

Tipperary

1. Eoin Collins – Drom & Inch

2. Michael Purcell – Thurles Sarsfields
3. Michael Feehan – Sean Treacys
4. Jerome Cahill – Kilruane MacDonaghs

9. Craig Morgan – Kilruane MacDonaghs
6. Paddy Cadell (Capt.) – JK Brackens
5. Joe Gunne – St. Marys

7. Kieran Breen – Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams
8. Bryan O’Mara – Holycross-Ballycahill

10. Conor Bowe – Moyne-Templetuohy
11. Jake Morris – Nenagh Éire Óg
23. Conor McCarthy – Nenagh Éire Óg

15. Darragh Woods – Holycross-Ballycahill
14. Anthony McKelvey – Moycarkey-Borris
13. Andrew Ormond – JK Brackens

Subs

22. Willie Barry (Cappawhite) for Woods (h.t.),
20. Cathal Bourke (Clonoulty-Rossmore) for McCarthy (inj., 40)
17. Brendan Murphy (Cappawhite) for Gunne (46)
23. Niall Hoctor (St Marys) for Ormond (57)

Limerick

1. Bryan Curtin – Adare

2. Conor Flahive – Mungret St. Pauls
3. Conor McNicholas – Monaleen
4. Ciaran Barry – Ahane

5. Mikey O’Brien – Doon
6. Jerome Boylan – Na Piarsaigh
7. Dan Minehan – Ahane

8. Michael O’Grady – Knockainey
9. Rory Duff – Mungret St. Pauls

10. Paul O’Riordan – Bruff
11. Paul O’Brien – Mungret St Pauls
12. David Woulfe – Kilmallock

15. Ryan Tobin – Garryspillane
14. Ronan Connolly – Adare
13. Dylan O’Shea – Garryspillane

Subs

19. Ken Byrnes (Old Christians) for Tobin (46)
22. Paudie Maher (Patrickswell) for Minehan (56)
24. Brian O’Grady (Kilteely/Dromkeen) for O’Riordan (60+2)

Referee: Nathan Wall (Cork)

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Jackie Cahill

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