More glory for Limerick as they lift Munster crown with 12-point win over Tipperary
Fintan O’Toole reports from Gaelic Grounds
FOR THE THIRD time in 10 months Declan Hannon was grasping silverware and the Limerick hurling fraternity were rejoicing in the knowledge that they were on top.
They achieved this Munster win in some style too in their home patch with 44,052 present to see them blow Tipperary away with a powerful second-half display.
12 points was the cushion they could rely on at the final whistle, sufficient evidence of their superiority in this provincial decider as they added to the All-Ireland triumph last August and the league final victory in March. Peter Casey struck 1-5 from play in a super showing with Gearoid Hegarty also outstanding and an array of other scoring sources in attack.
The pre-match discussion honed in on the teams renewing acquaintances a fortnight on from their Semple Stadium meeting. That match proved costly for Tipperary with Patrick Maher a major casualty with the word of Cathal Barrett’s unavailablity filtering through before throw-in as Seamus Kennedy was pitched in. Limerick welcomed back a bunch of big guns, primed to shine in front of the home crowd.
The first half threw up a plethora of goalscoring chances. Tipperary pounced in the 18th minute with Noel McGrath’s alertness releasing Seamus Callanan and the team captain galloped down the central corridor of the Limerick defence, relishing the space afforded to him and drilling a shot into the corner past Nickie Quaid.
Yet Limerick had no shortage of opportunities to hit back. They found Brian Hogan in outstanding form, repelling Cian Lynch and Kyle Hayes in quick succession while also producing a staggering stop from a close-range effort by Hegarty.
Limerick did force a breakthrough in the 26th minute, the green flag raised by Casey but the score was a product of the superb creativity of Aaron Gillane. A point attempt looked the favourable option from the left wing but the Patrickswell man opted to work an opening and his courage was rewarded when he scooped the sliotar across for Casey to dive in for a deft finish.
The home side had nudged ahead 1-11 to 1-9 at the midway mark, that state of play a reflection of their storming finish to the opening half.
Seamus Callanan celebrates his first-half goal.
Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO
Tipperary were hanging in there, Hogan coming to their rescue with another superb save to deny Kyle Hayes early in the second half. John McGrath got clear for a 44th minute goal that raised Tipperary hopes, drawing them level at 2-10 to 1-13.
But when Hayes finished tidily to the net after Casey’s superb dispossession of James Barry in the 55th minute, it had the look of a game defining score. It sent Limerick clear by six and they stormed to the finish line from there to spark more celebrations for the home outfit.
Scorers for Limerick: Peter Casey 1-5, Kyle Hayes 1-2, Tom Morrissey, Aaron Gillane (0-3f) 0-4 each, Gearoid Hegarty, Diarmaid Byrnes (0-3f) 0-3 each, Graeme Mulcahy 0-2, Barry Nash 0-1.
Scorers for Tipperary: Jason Forde 0-6 (0-3f), Séamus Callanan 1-1, John McGrath 1-0, Ronan Maher 0-2, Noel McGrath (0-1f), Dan McCormack, John O’Dwyer, Jake Morris, Jerome Cahill 0-1 each.
1. Nickie Quaid (Effin)
2. Sean Finn (Bruff)
3. Mike Casey (Na Piarsaigh)
4. Richie English (Doon)
5. Diarmaid Byrnes (Patrickswell)
6. Declan Hannon (Adare – captain)
7. Dan Morrissey (Ahane)
8. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell)
9. William O’Donoghue (Na Piarsaigh)
of the team
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10. Gearoid Hegarty (St Patrick’s)
11. Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry)
12. Tom Morrissey (Ahane)
13. Aaron Gillane (Patrickswell)
14. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock)
15. Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh)
19. Shane Dowling (Na Piarsaigh) for Hegarty (66)
20. Seamus Flanagan (Feohanagh-Castlemahon) for Peter Casey (inj) (66)
21. Barry Nash (South Liberties) for Hannon (70)
23. David Reidy (Dromin-Athlacca) for Tom Morrissey (71)
1. Brian Hogan (Lorrha-Dorrha)
24. Seamus Kennedy (St Mary’s Clonmel)
3. James Barry (Upperchurch-Drombane)
4. Seán O’Brien (Newport)
5. Brendan Maher (Borris-Ileigh)
6. Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
7. Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields)
8. Michael Breen (Ballina)
9. Noel McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
10. Jason Forde (Silvermines)
11. John O’Dwyer (Killenaule)
12. Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh)
13. John McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney)
14. Séamus Callanan (Drom-Inch – captain)
15. Jake Morris (Nenagh Éire Óg)
26. Niall O’Meara (Kilruane McDonaghs) for Breen (half-time)
18. Robert Byrne (Portroe) for Noel McGrath (54)
19. Jerome Cahill (Kilruane McDonaghs) for O’Dwyer (61)
22. Barry Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg) for Barry (62)
23. Mark Kehoe (Kilsheelan-Kilcash) for John McGrath (65)
Referee: Paud O’Dwyer (Carlow)
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