Saturday 18 November 2017

Forde drives Tipp from the front to see off Limerick's challenge

Tipperary 2-18, Limerick 2-11

Jackie Cahill

JASON Forde was the star turn at Semple Stadium as Tipperary cruised into the semi-finals.

JASON Forde was the star turn at Semple Stadium as Tipperary cruised into the semi-finals.

Senior panellist Forde, a former premier minor captain, bagged 1-8 as Tipp beat Limerick by seven points in front of 2,519 spectators in Thurles.

Forde's 52nd minute goal, finished into the bottom corner from Liam McGrath's pass, killed a Limerick revival that had brought the visitors to within five points.

Tipp pulled away to lead by 10 approaching the finish, before Shane Kenny drilled home a superb consolation goal in the 58th minute for the Shannonsiders.

Tipperary are now unbeaten against Limerick in their last five Munster U-21 championship clashes, with the Treaty men last recording a victory against their neighbours in 2002.

The Premier County had cruised into a comfortable 1-11 to 0-4 advantage by half-time and had all but ensured a semi-final meeting with Cork, on July 17. Forde contributed 0-6 of that total, including three frees.

FOULED

The same player also drove a penalty over the crossbar after Dan McCormack was fouled by Alan Dempsey.

Tipps first-half goal came four minutes before the break when Aidan McCormack, scorer of 1-2 in the opening period, took a pass from Forde before finishing clinically.

Limerick, with senior stars Declan Hannon and Shane Dowling in attack, offered little in the way of resistance.

Hannon and Dowling bagged a point each as Limerick struggled, but wing-back Kevin O'Donnell, with two, was the leading marksman for the Shannonsiders in the first half.

McCormack opened the second- half scoring for Tipp, before sub Michael Ryan took advantage of a defensive error to net Limerick's opening goal three minutes into the second half.

A run of four unanswered points in as many minutes gave Limerick hope in the final quarter, but Forde's ruthless efficiency ensured that Tipp would not be caught.

Scorers – Tipperary: J Forde 1-8 (4fs, 0-1 pen), A McCormack 1-3, D McCormack, B Stapleton 0-2 each, N O'Meara, B Walsh, L McGrath 0-1 each. Limerick: S Dowling 0-5 (3fs), S Kenny 1-1, M Ryan 1-0, D Hannon 0-2, K O'Donnell 0-2 (1f), D Reidy 0-1.

TIPPERARY – D Mooney; C Barrett, M Breen, A Ryan; J O'Dwyer, T Hamill, S Kennedy; N O'Meara, J Cahill; J Forde, D McCormack, B Stapleton; A McCormack, B Walsh, L McGrath. Subs: C Kenny for Walsh (46), B Maher for O'Dwyer (51), T Heffernan for McCormack (55), J Meagher for Barrett (60+1).

LIMERICK – O Webb-O'Rourke; A Dempsey, M O'Loughlin, M Carmody; D Morrissey, B O'Connell, K O'Donnell; T Ryan, S Kenny; D Hannon, W Hickey, D Reidy; J Fitzgibbon, S Dowling, A Breen. Subs: K O'Brien for Hickey (25), B Lynch for O'Connell (h-t), M Ryan for Fitzgibbon (h-t), R Egan for Reidy (45).

Ref – C Lyons (Cork).

Irish Independent

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