Limerick made it three Munster titles in a row with a 2-29 to 3-21 win over rivals Tipperary despite trailing ten points at the break. It was as second half tour de force from Kiely, Kinnerk and co who swept aside Tipp’s challenge.
The opening 5 minutes of the game saw 5 wides, 3 for Limerick and two for Tipperary before the opening score of the game fell to Tom Morrissey. The response from Tipp was emphatic and immediate with Jake Morris latching on to a breaking ball to fire past Nickie Quaid for superb goal.
Jason Forde added his first of the afternoon from the next attack. Seamus Flanagan opened his account with a point but in keeping with the early momentum of the game, Tipp responded with two from Jason Forde and Dan McCormack.
Cian Lynch and Peter Casey landed the next two points for Limerick as they looked to have finally settled. Sheedy’s charges had no intention of letting them settle as Forde who was now well on top of his marker hit two from play in consecutive attacks.
Hegarty and Flanagan made it 0-6 to 1-5 but you could see Tipp were by far the most composed of the two sides in the opening stages, the scores coming easier and the ball stricking crisper.
Forde and Tom Morrissey swapped points to make just a two point game 1-6 to 0-7. Tipp really stamped their authority on the first half either side of the water break.
The Silvermines man with another point quickly followed by Seamus Callanan from the tightest of angles. The hammer blow came right after the water break as John O’Dwyer was on to a breaking ball in a flash to give Nickie Quaid no chance.
You could have been forgiven for thinking it was the Jake Morris goal on replay such was the similarities in the score. 2-8 to 0-7 and the challengers firmly in control. Morrissey and Byrnes landed frees to make it 0-9 to 2-8 but Limerick were struggling across the park.
Seamus Kennedy and John O’Dwyer extended Tipp’s lead again. Morrissey landed a score from play. It was followed up by a blown goal opportunity as Gearoid Hegarty’s touch let him down. With space ahead of him, Peter Casey looked in space but Hegarty’s point attempt was short and wide. It was emblematic of Limerick’s opening half.
Points from Ford (2), Morris, O’Dwyer 2-14 to 0-10 before the freshly introduced Aaron Gillane got his first point of the day. Two more points from Jason Forde either side of a Diarmaid Byrnes free made it 2-16 to 0-12 at the break. A ten point lead and fully deserved for Tipperary.
The half time response from Limerick was just what Kiely would have wanted points from Byrnes, Morrisey and Gillane made it 7 points but the real confidence booster came when a Gillane free was saved by Barry Hogan only to fall to Seamus Flanagan who buried the rebound to the back of the net.
Another Gillane free on 45 minutes made it a one score game 2-16 to 1-16. Jake Morris point settles Tipp nerves to make it 2-17 to 1-16. Gillane landed another free to make it a one goal game once again 1-17 to 2-17.
Tom Morrissey and Gillane points to make it a one point game 1-19 to 2-17. A foul on Gearoid Hegarty gave Gillane a chance to level the scores, something most Limerick fans would have found hard to countenance at the half time whistle. The Patrickswell man didn’t disappoint 1-20 to 2-17.
Seamus Flanagan with the lead score 1-21 to 2-17. Peter Casey follows up with another point. If Tipp took the momentum after the first water break then it was a man from Kildimo Pallaskenry. Gathering the ball below the main stand his run went on and on and on. The final shot past Barry Hogan sent the Limerick crowd wild. 2-22 to 2-17.
Peter Casey made it 2-23 for Limerick as Willie Connors kept Tipp in touch at 2-18. Diarmaid Byrnes 65 makes it a six point game once again. Gearoid Hegarty followed up with a nonchalant point over 2-25 to 2-18. Ronan Maher, Michael Breen and Json Forde all landed points for Tipp in side the next five minutes.
The only issue is that David Reidy and Gearoid Hegarty also registered white flags for Limerick in the same timeframe. 2-27 to 2-21 as the clock ticked into the 70th minute.
Peter Casey points either side of a last gasp Mark Kehoe goal made it 2-29 to 3-21 at the full time whistle. What a game, what a team, what a comeback.