Tipperary defeated Limerick by 4-23 to 1-16 in the Munster Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final on Sunday June 21st at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick.
Munster SHC: Tipperary finally shake off Limerick
Munster Senior Hurling Championship Semi-Final: Limerick 1-16 Tipperary 4-23
By Brian Murphy at the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick
For two years under Eamon O’Shea, Tipperary couldn’t buy a win in the Munster Championship. At the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday, they made it look easy, picking Limerick apart with a measured and classy performance to claim their place in the Munster final against Waterford on July 12, the venue for which will be decided on Tuesday.
Two years in-a-row, Tipperary have lost Munster semi-finals to Limerick – games they should have seen out before collapsing in the closing stages. Here, they didn’t make the same mistake the third time around, with Séamus Callanan and John O’Dwyer hitting 2-5 and 0-7 respectively in a very impressive win.
Limerick enjoyed little spells of dominance either side of the break – they led by 0-3 to 0-0 after eight minutes and then pegged Tipp back to within a point in the 45th minute – but Tipperary’s class was there for all to see, while Limerick had little to offer when their opponents had absorbed all their blood and thunder and still came at them relentlessly.
Callanan came out on top in his battle with Limerick full-back Richie McCarthy and hit quality goals on nine and 22 minutes to give the Premier County a 2-12 to 0-12 half-time lead, O’Shea’s side having played against the wind in the first half. Limerick rallied and had the gap back to two points when Shane Dowling smashed home a 40th minute penalty. However, Tipp counter-punched brilliantly, and a Jason Forde goal put them back in the ascendancy before Michael Breen rounded off the win with a fourth in added time.
It was all the more impressive because Tipperary started without Cathal Barrett, Noel McGrath and Lar Corbett, three key players last year, while Michael Cahill and Gearóid Ryan were named on the bench. Limerick made just one change from their quarter-final win over Clare, with the fit-again David Breen starting at wing-forward ahead of Paul Browne.
Tipperary won the toss and opted to play into the wind. Limerick started with real purpose and were three points up by the eighth minute, Declan Hannon (2) and Shane Dowling nailing superb points from play. Cian Lynch, the star of the Shannonsiders’ quarter-final win over Clare, was being closely tracked by Paddy Stapleton, but the Tipperary defender was yellow carded early on for taking his man-marking role a little too literally.
All eyes were on the heavyweight battle between McCarthy and Callanan from the off, and it was the Limerick full-back who had the better start, beating his man to the first few balls and doing his job of protecting the ‘D’ expertly. Callanan, however, proved why he is the deadliest finisher in the game when, nine minutes in, he took a pass from O’Dwyer, sold McCarthy a dummy, and drove a shot past Limerick goalkeeper Barry Hennessy.
Tipperary had been sent out with clear instructions to go for goals, and to go for them early and often. Forde hit the side netting with another very good chance, before Callanan sent over the resultant 65, the first of a sequence of four Tipp points without reply, O’Dwyer, Shane McGrath and Patrick Maher all adding to Tipp’s lead.
By now, Tipp were utterly dominant. Captain Brendan Maher dropped back as an extra layer of cover in midfield, which gave Tipp another option from Darren Gleeson’s tasty puck-outs and also allowed Pádraic Maher to sit back and dominate Limerick’s puck-outs with another of his typically Hollywood performances.
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) June 21, 2015
While Shane Dowling (free) and Breen kept Limerick in the game with scores, it was only a matter of time before the hosts’ defence was breached again. The second goal came on 22 minutes, and McCarthy might decide to hide behind the couch for tonight’s highlights on The Sunday Game – he played his man from the front and was first to the ball, but allowed the sliothar to slip through his grasp and Callanan was on hand to deliver the ultimate punishment.
Callanan could and probably should have ended the game as a contest in the 25th minute, but when he was played through on goal, he uncharacteristically snatched at his shot and hit the side netting. Forde and the buzzing O’Dwyer flung over further scores to leave Tipp eight ahead, before Limerick hit back with a rally, Hannon and captain Donal O’Grady firing over much-needed scores in added time.
Facing into the wind and a six-point deficit, Limerick needed some magic, and they looked to 19-year-old Lynch to provide it. With Stapleton now gone off with an injury, Lynch made it his business to spook Michael Cahill. He was central to Limerick’s goal, forcing a great save from the excellent Gleeson – one of three successive stops in an amazing sequence – before he was chopped down and referee Brian Gavin awarded a penalty, which Dowling nailed.
Limerick had their tails up, but they failed to take advantage, firing a succession of wides before Dowling landed a 65 and a huge free to leave one in it, 1-14 to 2-12. Conor O’Brien was also brought across to curb the renascent Lynch. Strangely, Tipp were struggling with the wind at their backs, their passing having failed them when the easy option was to drive it long into the forwards. Then, around the 50th minute, they regained their composure and hit four points in a row to settle things. They lost Callanan to a blood injury and in the shake-up, Patrick Maher moved to full-forward, and his presence finally forced Limerick to capitulate.
‘Bonner’ Maher set up Forde for the killer goal on 55 minutes, while James Woodlock and the brilliant O’Dwyer chipped in with further scores to leave nine points in it. At that point, the game was up and the Limerick supporters started drifting out of the ground, resigned to their place in Monday morning’s Qualifier draw. All that was left was for Tipp to further enhance their reputation before the Munster final with some superb scores. By the time Breen landed their fourth goal in added time, they had delivered a clear warning message to their rivals this year.
Limerick Scorers: Shane Dowling 1-7 (1-0 pen, 0-4f, 0-2 65), Declan Hannon 0-3, Graeme Mulcahy 0-2, David Breen 0-1, Gavin O’Mahony 0-1, Seánie O’Brien 0-1, Donal O’Grady 0-1.
Tipperary Scorers: Séamus Callanan 2-5 (0-3f, 0-1 65), John O’Dwyer 0-7 (0-1f), Jason Forde 1-3, Michael Breen 1-0, Patrick Maher 0-3, Shane McGrath 0-2, Niall O’Meara 0-1, James Woodlock 0-1, Shane Bourke 0-1.
LIMERICK: Barry Hennessy; Stephen Walsh; Richie McCarthy, Seamus Hickey; Seanie O’Brien, Gavin O’ Mahony, Tom Condon; James Ryan, Paudie O’Brien; Donal O’Grady, Declan Hannon, David Breen; Graeme Mulcahy, Shane Dowling, Cian Lynch. Subs: Paul Browne for Davd Breen (HT), Kevin Downes for Donal O’Grady (50), John Fitzgibbon for Paudie O’Brien, Wayne McNamara for Richie McCarthy (both 60), David Reidy for James Ryan (68).
TIPPERARY: Darren Gleeson; Paddy Stapleton, James Barry, Conor O’Brien; Kieran Bergin, Pádraic Maher, Ronan Maher; James Woodlock, Shane McGrath; Jason Forde, Brendan Maher, Patrick Maher; John O’Dwyer, Seamus Callanan, Niall O’Meara. Subs: Michael Cahill for Paddy Stapleton (36, inj.), Michael Breen for Seamus Callanan (54-61), Bill Maher for Shane McGrath, Shane Bourke for Niall O’Meara (both 69), Michael Breen for Seamus Callanan (70).
Referee: Brian Gavin (Offaly)
Attendance: 31, 418
Star Man: John O’Dwyer (Tipperary)
— Irish Times Sport (@IrishTimesSport) June 21, 2015
Tipperary Senior Hurling manager Eamon O’Shea has announced his side ahead of their Munster Hurling Championship Semi-final fixture against Limerick in the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick, on Sunday next June 21st, at 4pm.
There is welcome news for Tipperary supporters with the inclusion of John O’Dwyer at top of the right following a recent injury scare. James Barry also makes his return to the heart of the defence following his own injury battle.
In all eleven of the side that started last year’s All Ireland Final replay return to championship action as Tipperary, last into Munster Hurling Championship action, commence their campaign.
The team then lines out as follows;
Darren Gleeson (Portroe), Paddy Stapleton (Borris Ileigh), James Barry (Upperchurch Drombane), Conor O’Brien (Éire Óg Annacarty), Kieran Bergin (Killenaule), Padraic Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), James Woodlock, (Drom & Inch), Shane McGrath, (Ballinahinch), Jason Forde (Silvermines), Brendan Maher Capt. (Borris Ileigh), Patrick Maher, (Lorrha Dorrha), John O’Dwyer (Killenaule), Seamus Callanan (Drom & Inch), Niall O’Meara (Kilruane McDonaghs).
Limerick Senior Hurling Team Announced: http://t.co/DJOrUns0pT
— Limerick GAA (@LimerickCLG) June 19, 2015
TJ Ryan and his selectors has released their starting fifteen for their opening Munster senior hurling championship Semi Final game against Tipperary this Sunday evening in Gaelic Grounds. The starting team led by captain Donal O Grady will line out as follows:
1. Barry Hennessy (Kilmallock), 2. Stephen Walsh (Glenroe), 3. Richie McCarthy (Blackrock), 4. Seamus Hickey (Murroe Boher), 5. Seanie O Brien (Patrickswell), 6. Gavin O Mahony (Kilmallock), 7. Tom Condon (Knockaderry), 8. James Ryan (Garryspillane), 9. Paudie O Brien (Kilmallock), 10. Donal O Grady (Granagh Ballingarry)(Captain), 11. Declan Hannon (Adare), 12. David Been (Na Piarsaigh), 13. Graeme Mulcahy (Kilmallock), 14. Shane Dowling (Na Piarsaigh) 15. Cian Lynch (Patrickswell).
— The GAA (@officialgaa) June 19, 2015
Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Semi Final
Gaelic Grounds, Limerick 16:00
Luimneach v Tiobraid Árann
Referee: Brian Gavin (Uíbh Fhailí)
Munster Council Confirms that only Terrace Tickets remain for Limerick v Tipperary
The Munster Council has confirmed that all 20,000 stand seats for Sundays Munster Senior Hurling Championship Semi Final between Limerick and Tipperary in the Gaelic Grounds, Limerick have sold out. Terrace tickets are still available for both the City End and the Clare End. Supporters intending to purchase a terrace ticket are asked to do so through www.tickets.ie or from participating SuperValu and Centra Stores in order to avoid delays at the venue on Sunday.
Adult Covered Stand: €30
Adult Uncovered Stand: €25
Adult Terrace: €20 (Limerick will be allocated the City End Terrace, Tipperary the Clare End Terrace)
Juveniles are €5 in all locations of the stadium.
Students & OAP’s can buy full price Adult tickets and receive concession at designated turnstiles on the day.
This is a reserved seating fixture.
Tickets can be purchased in Centra and Supervalu stores in Tipperary, Limerick and across Ireland – visit the Munster GAA Ticketing Locator to see participating stores in Munster.