Tipperary Supporters Club

Founded 1986

Co. Tipperary

Spoils shared between Limerick and Tipperary at Semple after epic encounter

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Source: Independent.ie

Tipperary 0-25 Limerick 0-25

All-Ireland champions, Limerick, just about avoided a second consecutive Munster championship defeat when settling for an epic draw with resurgent Tipperary before 37,459 breathless witnesses in Thurles.

A 76th minute John McGrath free secured Tipp a share of the spoils, Liam Cahill’s team having led most of the way only to find themselves behind deep in added time after a late surge from a Limerick team reduced to fourteen men by the late dismissal of Barry Nash.

Cahill himself was also shown a late red by Dublin referee, Sean Stack, for furiously remonstrating over a sideline call that seemed to go wrongly in Limerick’s favour.

But it was epic stiff from start to finish at FBD Semple Stadium, Tipp leading by three at the break only for a 75th minute Tom Morrissey point over the town-end goal to leave them trailing with mere seconds on the clock.

It means it is still all to play for in next weekend’s games between Limerick and Cork and Tipp and Waterford, a draw for Cork guaranteed to secure them a place in the All-Ireland series.

Clare’s thrilling one point defeat of Cork in Ennis assured them of a Munster final place and removed the threat of a sensational championship eviction in this game from Limerick’s point of view.

Quite what such a scenario might have imposed on John Kiely’s men in psychological terms will, forever, thus remain a moot point now. Freed of such jeopardy, they were quickly into their stride here, Aaron Gillane with an over the shoulder Killinan-end point inside nine seconds.

But Limerick were then quickly disabused of any notion that this might prove efficient, humdrum business on Tom Semple’s field.

Tipp stormed into the game with fast points from Noel McGrath (a line ‘cut’), Mark Kehoe and a Rhys Shelly free.

With Cathal Barrett marking Seamus Flanagan and Dan McCormack given the task of shadowing Gearoid Hegarty, Tipp’s stick-passing and easy physicality quickly had the All-Ireland champions on the back foot.

Just eight minutes in, Barrett jostled Flanagan over the Kinane Stand sideline to the kind of Thurles roar ordinarily reserved for a Tipperary goal.

It was primal, tumultuous hurling, Limerick struggling palpably to keep pace with the surging home team.

That they would get to the half-time break just three points adrift (0-12 to 0-15) had to be a source of significant frustration to Liam Cahill given Tipp’s broad authority through that half. Their only wides of the half came from two Shelly frees while Jake Morris was giving Diarmuid Byrnes a torrid time down Limerick’s right flank.

The Nenagh man ran at Byrnes at every opportunity and had 0-4 to his name by the mid-point while Kehoe was thriving too with 0-3.

Limerick were relying heavily on Tom Morrissey, Aaron Gillane and late inclusion, Cathal O’Neill, to keep in touch, Gillane getting points off just three touches in the half. O’Neill, a replacement for Peter Casey, had three to his name too, Limerick just about staying in touch with a Tipp team hurling up a storm.

For all that, Cahill had to be mindful of Tipp’s recent record against Kiely’s Limerick, specifically a tendency to blow often far more significant half-time leads.

The Tipp manager made a point of approaching referee, Sean Stack, at the half-time whistle, presumably remonstrating over a poor 25th minute call by the Dublin official declaring a ‘Bonner’ Maher hand-pass a throw when the thriving Morris was all but in on goal.

TV replays showed the pass to have been a good one, the decision thus denying Tipp a real goal opportunity from a furiously contested half in which there had been few.

That trend continued throughout an epic second-half, the sides level on six occasions in total before Stack finally called a halt immediately after John McGrath’s final levelling score.


Tipperary: G O’Connor 0-9 (0-8 frees), J Morris 0-5, M Kehoe and C Bowe 0-3 each, N McGrath 0-2 (0-1 line cut), S Callanan 0-1, R Shelly 0-1 free, J McGrath 0-1 free.

Limerick: A Gillane 0-6 (0-3 frees), C O’neill 0-5, T Morrissey 0-4, D Byrnes 0-4 (0-3 frees), S Flanagan and G Mulcahy 0-2 each, D Hannon and P Casey 0-1 each.


TIPPERARY:R Shelly, C Barrett, M Breen, R Maher, E Connolly, B O’Mara, S Kennedy, A Tynan, D McCormack, C Stakelum, P Maher, N McGrath, J Morris, G O’Connor, M Kehoe.

Subs – S Callanan for Tynan (46 mins), C Bowe for P Maher (52 mins), B McGrath for Barrett (60 mins), J Ryan for Stakelum and S Ryan for O’Connor (70 mins), J McGrath for N McGrath (75 mins).

LIMERICK: N Quaid, M Casey, D Morrissey, B Nash, D Byrnes, D Hannon, K Hayes, D O’Donovan, W O’Donoghue, G Hegarty, C Lynch, T Morrissey, A Gillane, S Flanagan, C O’Neill.

Subs – P Casey for Lynch (50 mins), C Boylan for Hegarty (57 mins), G Mulcahy for Flanagan (60 mins), D Reidy for O’Neill (64 mins), R English for M Casey (65 mins),

Referee –S Stack (Dublin).

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