Limerick put in impressive display to see off Tipperary in Munster Championship opener

Limerick began their Munster championship with a well deserved win over Tipperary in the Gaelic Grounds this afternoon, winning out on a scoreline of 1-23 to 2-14. Limerick left it late to secure their win with Barry Murphy sealing the victory with a goal late on. In truth the game could have been over much earlier had it not been for wayward shooting from Limerick.

Both sides started evenly trading scores in the opening minutes, with Aaron Gillane and Jason Forde exchanging frees to leave the sides level at 0-3 a piece after 15 minutes. Limerick’s erratic shooting allowed Tipperary to remain in touch with the hosts accounting for five wides within the opening quarter of an hour. They were made to pay for this in the 20th minute with Dan McCormack firing to the back of the net after John McGrath hit the post .

Limerick replied to their credit and levelled the game within two minutes with Graeme Mulcahy notching his third of the half to see the sides level at 1-3 to 0-6. John McGrath poked Tipperary ahead before Cian Lynch pegged the sides level in the 27th minute. Jason Forde began to assert his dominance over Seamus Hickey in the final ten minutes of the half ending the half with a grand total of seven points in the first half from placed balls.

Despite the concession of a number of frees, Limerick only found themselves trailing by a solitary point  with Forde notching his seventh on the stroke of half time. In total the sides were level on ten occasions in a contest that lacked the intensity normally associated with the Munster championship.

Tipperary opened the second with a poor wide courtesy of Dan McCormack which seemed to spur Limerick into life who went into the lead after a brace of Aaron Gillane frees. John O’Dwyer would level up the sides once more on 44 minutes. Limerick would go on to score the next three points courtesy of a Aaron Gillane, Gearoid Hegarty and Diarmaid Byrnes to give them the largest lead of the day with 25 minutes to play.

However, right on cue, Jason Forde popped up with a goal in the next phase of play to draw the game again. Noel McGrath would push Tipp into the lead with the next score of the game, nine minutes later. Yet again though, Limerick showed their nerve and would tag on the next four scores to open up a three point advantage again. Jason Forde had another to momentarily reduce the deficit before substitute Barry Murphy stole in for a well taken goal to put Limerick firmly in the driving seat with four minutes of normal time remaining.

Despite the addition of five minutes of extra time, Limerick eased to a deserved 1-23 to 2-14 victory to open up their Munster account in impressive style. Limerick now have a week off before they face Cork in Pairc Ui Chaoimh.

Limerick

Nickie Quaid, Sean Finn, Seamus Hickey (Mike Casey 55′), Richie English, Diarmaid Byrnes (0-3f), Declan Hannon, Dan Morrissey, Darragh O’Donovan (0-1), Cian Lynch (0-2) (Paul Browne 64′), Gearoid Hegarty (0-2), Kyle Hayes, Tom Morrissey (0-2) (David Dempsey 53′), Aaron Gillane (0-8, 6f), Seamus Flanagan (0-1), Graeme Mulcahy (0-4) (Barry Murphy 53′ (1-0))

Tipperary

Brian Hogan, Alan Flynn, Seamus Kennedy, Donagh Maher (Sean O’Brien 43′), Barry Heffernan, Padraic Maher, Ronan Maher, Willie Connors (Brendan Maher 50′), Billy McCarthy (Patrick Maher 65′), Dan McCormack (1-0), Noel McGrath (0-2), Sean Curran (Seamus Callanan 53′), John O’Dwyer (0-1), Jason Forde (1-9, 0-9f), John McGrath (0-2).