All-Ireland champs Limerick power their way to first Munster title in six years

All-Ireland champs Limerick power their way to first Munster title in six years
Kyle Hayes celebrates. Picture: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Limerick 2-26 - 2-14 Tipperary

In emphatic style, All-Ireland champions Limerick claimed a first Munster title in six years in front of a packed LIT Gaelic Grounds.

Their annexing of provincial honours completes the set for John Kiely’s men and it was done with aplomb, Brian Hogan literally saving Tipperary from a massacre.

The margin was considerable in the end and Peter Casey was to the fore, posting 1-5 before being helped from the field after a late, dangerous tackle by Ronan Maher.

Casey was heavily involved in Limerick resuming dominance from the 45th minute, which ended the game as a contest after a John McGrath goal against the run of play had brought Tipperary level a minute earlier.

It was Casey's steal on James Barry that put Kyle Hayes in for a 55th minute goal, Hayes batting to the net to put the home team six points up. Hayes had earlier been thwarted twice by Hogan.

Hayes was only second to Casey in influence and his crunching shoulder on Jake Morris to set up Cian Lynch in the 59th minute summed up the magnitude of Limerick’s performance.

The first half was a game of two quarters, Tipperary, with Ronan Maher and Dan McCormack starring, lording the opening only for Limerick to roar back into the game in the second to deservedly lead at the break, 1-11 to 1-9.

Midfield was theirs where Lynch and William O’Donoghue were proving so potent.

Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo
Picture: INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

The intensity shown in hounding the Limerick half-back line earlier in the game was demonstrated against the Tipperary’s backs by half-time.

Goal chances were plenty and five came the way of Limerick in opening period.

In the fourth minute, Hogan made an initial save from Lynch before denying Hayes a follow-up. Later in the half, Hogan pulled off a fine save to prevent Gearóid Hegarty.

Aided by the wind, Tipperary led by two points coming up to the 18th minute when Seamus Callanan received a quick free in space and continue to solo before unloading low past Nickie Quaid.

Aaron Gillane came close to cancelling it out but his shot was too high but Limerick had undone the damage of that three-pointer by the 25th minute.

However, Callanan could have touched to the net from a long puck-out a minute later only for his connecting strike to fly over the bar.

Limerick’s first goal followed, Gillane working the ball in well from the wing to tee up an incoming Casey.

Although Tipperary responded quickly with a Jason Forde point, Limerick outscored them for the remainder 0-4 to 0-1, Diarmaid Byrnes landing two frees from distance into the breeze.

Scorers for Limerick: P. Casey (1-5); K. Hayes (1-2); A. Gillane (3 frees), T Morrissey (0-4 each); D. Byrnes (frees), G. Hegarty (0-3 each); C. Lynch, G. Mulcahy (0-2 each); B. Nash (0-1).

Scorers for Tipperary: J. Forde (0-6, 3 frees); S. Callanan (1-1); J. McGrath (1-0); R. Maher (0-2); J. O’Dwyer, N. McGrath (free), D. McCormack, J. Morris, J. Cahill (0-1 each).

LIMERICK: N. Quaid; R. English, S. Finn, M. Casey; D. Byrnes, D. Hannon (c), D. Morrissey; C. Lynch, W. O’Donoghue; G. Hegarty, K. Hayes, T. Morrissey; A. Gillane, P. Casey, G. Mulcahy.

Subs for Limerick: S. Dowling for T. Morrissey, D. O’Donovan for W. O’Donoghue (both 63); S. Flanagan for P. Casey (inj 66); B. Nash for D. Hannon (70); D. Reidy for T. Morrissey (70+1).

TIPPERARY: B. Hogan; S. O’Brien, J. Barry; B. Maher; S. Kennedy, P. Maher, R. Maher; N. McGrath, M. Breen; J. Forde, J. O’Dwyer, D. McCormack; J. Morris, S. Callanan, J. McGrath.

Subs for Tipperary: N. O’Meara for M. Breen (h-t); R. Byrne for N. McGrath (54); J. Cahill for J. O’Dwyer (61); B. Heffernan for J. Barry (63); M. Kehoe for J. McGrath (65).

Referee: P. O’Dwyer (Carlow).

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