Tipperary U21 on course to complete county treble after powering past Limerick
Tipperary 2-12 Limerick 1-13
Hot on the heels of Sunday’s Munster minor and senior double, Tipperary’s U-21s advanced to a Bord Gáis Energy provincial decider against Waterford on July 27 to complete one of the most memorable weeks in Premier hurling’s recent history.
Their vanquished opponents Limerick – last year’s Munster and All-Ireland champions – had been red-hot favourites.
The Shannonsiders travelled with ten of last year’s All-Ireland final starters but Tipp had the greater hunger on the night and William Maher’s substitutions worked a treat.
He brought Ronan Teehan off the bench and he scored 1-1, as Jason Ryan added 0-2 following his introduction.
There was late drama as Teehan netted with two minutes left for Tipp to open up a five-point lead – 2-11 to 0-12.
That looked like game, set and match.
But Darragh O’Donovan set up a frantic finish as the Limerick skipper slammed home a goal in the final minute.
Teehan put three between them before Ronan Lynch collected his ninth free of the night for the Shannonsiders.
But the clock ran out on Limerick, who relinquish their titles, as Tipp march on to a first Munster U-21 final since 2013.
In front of 4,020 spectators, Limerick held a one-point lead at the end of a dogged first half, played in difficult underfoot conditions.
The lead changed hands six times in the opening half, as Lynch’s fifth free put Limerick 0-8 to 1-4 clear at the midway point.
The sides were level three times before Tipp struck the first goal for the game in the 28th minute, Andrew Coffey ramming a low drive past Eoghan McNamara, to reward good work by Conor Lanigan and Stephen Quirke.
But Limerick’s response was impressive as Tom Morrissey took advantage of a Ronan Maher error to slot over an equalising point, before Lynch struck again.
It was very much game on at that stage but Tipp would go on to cap a dream five days for the county.
SCORERS - Tipperary: A Coffey 1-2, R Teehan 1-1, J Keane 0-4 (3fs), C Lanigan, J Ryan 0-2 each, M Russell 0-1. Limerick: R Lynch 0-9fs, D O’Donovan 1-0, P Ryan, B Nash, T Morrissey, Seamus Flanagan 0-1 each.
TIPPERARY – B Hogan; P Maher, T Fox, D Sweeney; J Shelly, R Maher, S Ryan; B McCarthy, W Connors; S Quirke, B Heffernan, A Coffey; J Keane, C Lanigan, M Russell. Subs: J Ryan for Connors (47), P Ryan for Lanigan (48), R Teehan for Keane (55), T Nolan for McCarthy (59).
LIMERICK – E McNamara; M Casey, R English, Sean Flanagan; C Ryan, C Lynch, A La-Touche Cosgrave; D O’Donovan, P Ryan; R Lynch, B Nash, D Dempsey; P Casey, T Morrissey, Seamus Flanagan. Subs: B Murphy for Nash (temp 25-h.t.), O O’Reilly for Casey (43), L Lyons for Morrissey (43), B Murphy for Seamus Flanagan (45), J Quaid for La Touche Cosgrave (58).
REF – C McAllister (Cork).