Late Limerick surge catches Tipperary hurlers on the hop

Eamonn Wynne


Eamonn Wynne

Despite a second half goal from Gearoid Ryan, Tipperary were beaten by Limerick in Sunday's Munster Senior Hurling Semi-Final at Semple Stadium.
Munster Senior Hurling Championship semi-final

Munster Senior Hurling Championship semi-final

Limerick 2-18 Tipperary 2-16

Tipperary’s championship aspirations suffered a severe setback when they were beaten by holders Limerick in Sunday’s Munster Senior Hurling semi-final at Semple Stadium.

Tipp went into the game as favourites but for the second successive year were made to suffer at the hands of a Limerick team that simply refused to accept defeat.

The sides were level at 1-8 each at the end of a poor first half, and Tipp made the first decisive break of the new half when Gearoid Ryan found the net a minute and-a-half after the re-start. However a point from Limerick’s Donal O’Grady had them level by the 43rd minute and it was nip and tuck from there to the finish.

Limerick’s Graeme Mulcahy had a goal disallowed with 7 minutes remaining that, had it stood, would have put them a point ahead.

Instead it was Tipp who gained the initiative when substitute Denis Maher scored to put them 3 points clear with as many minutes left on the clock.

However, just like last year at the Gaelic Grounds when they were similarly well placed, they were unable to push on and close out the victory. Top scorer Shane Dowling lit the fuse for a late Limerick surge that yielded 1-2 without reply when he crashed a shot to the net in the 68th minute.

Tipp couldn’t cope with Limerick’s momentum in the vital closing stages and, roared on by their large band of vociferous supporters, they put the seal on the victory with further points from substitute Thomas Ryan and Seamus Hickey.

Limerick now advance to a Munster Final against either Waterford, Cork or Clare on July 13 while Tipp head to the qualifiers.

Tipperary - Darren Gleeson, Cathal Barrett, Padraic Maher, Michael Cahill, James Barry, Brendan Maher (captain), Conor O’Mahony, Kieran Bergin, Shane McGrath, Gearoid Ryan (1-2), Patrick Maher (1-0), John O’Dwyer (0-5 including 1 free), Noel McGrath (0-1), Seamus Callanan (0-5 including 3 frees) and Niall O’Meara (0-1).

Substitutes - Lar Corbett (0-1) for James Barry (54 minutes), Denis Maher (0-1) for Niall O’Meara (61 minutes), Conor O’Brien for Michael Cahill (65 minutes), Shane Bourke for John O’Dwyer (68 minutes) and Thomas Stapleton for Shane McGrath (71 minutes).

Limerick - Nickie Quaid, Seamus Hickey (0-1), Richie McCarthy, Tom Condon, Paudie O’Brien, Wayne McNamara, Gavin O’Mahony, James Ryan, Paul Browne (0-1), Shane Dowling (2-9 including 1-9 frees), Donal O’Grady (captain, 0-2), Declan Hannon (0-1), Graeme Mulcahy (0-1), Kevin Downes (0-2) and Sean Tobin.

Substitutes - Thomas Ryan (0-1) for Sean Tobin (61 minutes) and Michael Ryan for Graeme Mulcahy (72 minutes).

Referee - Barry Kelly (Westmeath).