Saturday 16 December 2017

Tipperary cruise past Limerick for first Munster win in over a decade

Philip Austin, Tipperary, shoots to score his side's second goal
Philip Austin, Tipperary, shoots to score his side's second goal
Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly

Tipperary shocked pre-game favourites Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds to win a Munster Senior football championship match for the first time since 2003.

The victory gives Tipperary a semi-final clash with Cork, but Peter Creedon's team won't be concerned with that for a week or two as they bask in this deserved victory.

Tipperary started well, and led 0-2 to 0-1 when they suffered mixed fortunes in the 9th minute.

A trip by corner back Ciaran McDonald on Limerick corner forward Ian Ryan led to a black card for the Tipp defender, and Ryan duly scored from the resulting free to level the scores.

But from the next play Tipp swept downfield and Conor Sweeney knocked the ball into the path of the inrushing Barry Grogan who struck the ball into the net.

Limerick manager John Brudair made two significant substitutions after 28 minutes when he replaced debutants Cian Sheehan and Micheal Brosnan with stalwarts John Riordan and the legendary John Galvin after 28 minutes.

Tipperary were full value for their half time lead of 1-7 to 0-6, and within 20 seconds of the restart midfielder George Hannigan extended their lead to 1-8.

Philip Austin added to Limerick's misery when he sailed through the home team's defence to smash home Tipp's second goal.

Barry Grogan missed a great chance to extend his team's lead when Limerick keeper Donal O'Sullivan saved a penalty in the 40th minute.

O'Sullivan received a yellow card for his foul on Tipp's Ian Fahey. One wondered should it have been a black card, but ref Anthony Nolan from Wicklow deemed otherwise.

The setback didn't hurt Tipperary, as they further stretched their lead to 2-12 before a goal from a penalty by Eoin Hanrahan brought Limerick to 1-9 after 61 minutes.

Hanrahan added a point from a free a minute later and the stage was set for a dramatic finish.

Limerick hopes were raised by a 65th point from Iain Corbett, but a Barry Grogan response with two points, one from a free gave the visitors the breathing space they needed.


Scorers: Tipperary: B Grogan 1-4 (3f); P Austin 1-2; P Acheson 0-2; M Quinlivan 0-1; C Sweeney 0-1 (f); C O'Riordan 0-1;  G Hannigan 0-1; B Fox 0-1; R Kiely 0-1.

Limerick: E Hanrahan 1-4 (pen, 3f); I Ryan 0-4 (3f); D Tracey 0-1; G Collins 0-1; I Corbett 0-1.

Tipperary: P Fitzgerald; G Mulhair;  P Codd, C McDonald; C O'Riordan, R Kiely, P Acheson; S O'Brien, G Hannigan; P Austin, I Fahey, B Fox; C Sweeney, M Quinlivan, B Grogan.

Subs: J Coghlan for C McDonald (b/card 9); B Mulvihill for I Fahey (56); S Grogan for S O'Brien (56); C Dillon for P Austin (68)

Limerick: D O'Sullivan; C Moran, J McCarthy, Sean O'Dea; I Corbett, S Lucey, P Browne; T Lee, D Tracey; M Brosnan, C Sheehan, S Buckley; E Hanrahan, G Collins, I Ryan.

Subs: J Riordan for C Sheehan (28); J Galvin for M Brosnan (28); P Ranahan for P Browne (39); G Hegarty for D Tracey (53)

Referee: A Nolan (Wicklow)

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