Thursday 17 January 2019

Callanan on song as Sheedy's Premier give All-Ireland champions an early reality check

Tipperary 4-14 Limerick 2-17

Limerick’s Sean Finn has his eyes firmly on the ball as Dan McCormack comes in to challenge him at the Gaelic Grounds. Photo: Sportsfile
Limerick’s Sean Finn has his eyes firmly on the ball as Dan McCormack comes in to challenge him at the Gaelic Grounds. Photo: Sportsfile

Tipperary, under returning manager Liam Sheedy, were worthy winners over All-Ireland champions Limerick in a hard-fought Munster League game at the Gaelic Grounds last night.

Seamus Callanan, troubled with a back injury for much of the year, bounced back in style for Tipperary, scoring 2-7 and off-loading for a goal for Mark Kehoe.

Tipperary's Jake Morris and Limerick's Sean Finn in action. Photo: Sportsfile
Tipperary's Jake Morris and Limerick's Sean Finn in action. Photo: Sportsfile

Sheedy used a blend of youth and experience and would have been happy with the outcome.

Mexico-bound Limerick battled bravely and indeed might have had a late goal but for a superb save by Brian Hogan in the Tipperary goal.

James Barry, Seamus Kennedy and Ronan Maher gave the best assistance to Callanan, while Limerick had good performances from Sean Finn, Paddy O'Loughlin, Barry O'Connell and Aaron Gillane, who once again top-scored for the Treaty.

Tipperary afforded the champions the traditional guard of honour but within 50 seconds of the throw-in the visitors went in front through a penalty, a superb low strike by Callanan.

Limerick and Tipperary players tussle. Photo: Sportsfile
Limerick and Tipperary players tussle. Photo: Sportsfile

Starting with eight of the side who bridged the 45-year barren spell in August, Limerick hit back through points from O'Connell, David Reidy and Colin Ryan to level.

Two frees by Callanan were then matched by points from Gillane (free) and Reidy.

Jason Forde had Tipperary back in front again but a superb point by Colin Ryan tied it up once again.

They were level twice more before Callanan struck a magnificent goal and then created the chance for newcomer Kehoe to blast past Quaid.

Limerick manager John Kiely (left) and Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy. Photo: Sportsfile
Limerick manager John Kiely (left) and Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy. Photo: Sportsfile

Midway in the first half manager Sheedy made his first switch when he moved Ronan Maher to midfield with Michael Breen going to centre-forward.

Seamus Flanagan was then sent in by Limerick boss John Kiely to replace Graeme Mulcahy after 29 minutes.

Andrew La Touche Cosgrave registered the last score of a half which produced many quality moments as Tipperary led by 3-6 to 0-11.

Limerick badly needed to get a good second-half start but within four minutes of the resumption a Callanan pointed free and a goal by Patrick 'Bonner' Maher had Tipperary back in control.

Tipperary led 4-9 to 0-12 when Reidy scored a splendid goal for the home side who raised another green flag through Gillane near the end, but it was too little too late.

Scorers - Tipperary: S Callanan 2-7 (1-0pen, 0-6f); M Kehoe, Patrick Maher 1-1 each; J Forde 0-2; R Maher, C English, D McCormack 0-1 each. Limerick: A Gillane 1-7 (0-6f); D Reidy 1-3; B O'Connell, C Ryan 0-3 each; A La Touche Cosgrave 0-1.

Limerick - N Quaid; W O'Meara, S Finn, D Morrissey; P O'Loughlin, D Hannon, A La Touche Cosgrave; C Lynch, C Ryan; G Hegarty, B O'Connell, D Reidy; A Gillane, G Mulcahy, P Ryan. Subs: S Flanagan for Mulcahy (29), C Boylan for O'Connell (55), D Byrnes for Hannon (59), O O'Reilly for P Ryan (58).

Tipperary - B Hogan; S O'Brien, J Barry, D Maher; B Heffernan, S Kennedy, T Fox; M O'Brien, W Connors; C English, R Maher, D McCormack; J Forde, S Callanan, M Kehoe. Subs: Patrick Maher for Kehoe (h-t), J O'Dwyer for O'Brien (48), Morris for Breen (49), J Cahill for Connors (63), M McCarthy for Forde (65).

Ref - R McGann (Clare).

Irish Independent

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