Limerick 1-23 Tipperary 2-14
A Barry Murphy 67th minute goal gave Limerick the perfect start to their Munster SHC campaign in the Gaelic Grounds.
In front of a 20,423 crowd, Tipperary hung on by their fingernails before Limerick sped away from them in the closing stages, substitute Murphy’s score sealing the deal.
A Jason Forde goal in the 51st minute cancelled out Limerick’s three-point lead but John Kiely’s side weren’t in the mood to be upset and drove back with a barrage of unanswered scores before Murphy’s three-pointer.
The first half improved after a dreadful opening 17 minutes where both had accrued most of their half-time wide counts of six.
Tipperary were lucky to have their full complement on the field after John McGrath struck out at Seán Finn, James McGrath choosing to yellow card him after consulting with his umpires.
There was another let-off for Tipperary when Brian Hogan spectacularly denied Gearóid Hegarty in the 16th minute.
The game opened up between the 18th and 22nd minutes where four scores were converted, the third of them an Aaron Gillane free after Donagh Maher had again found the Patrickswell man too hot to handle.
There was soon a switch but not before Maher had again fouled and booked for persistent fouling.
The first example of cut and thrust came in the 20th minute when Billy McCarthy emerged from a succession of tackles to send a diagonal ball into John McGrath. His one-handed strike hit the post but Dan McCormack followed up with a sweet ground stroke.
That two-point advantage for Tipp had a short life as Limerick were soon back on level terms and the sides were equal another six times in the half prior to Jason Forde’s free with the last action to make it 1-10 to 0-12 in the visitors’ favour.
Scorers for Limerick: A. Gillane (0-8, 6 frees); G. Mulcahy (0-4); B. Murphy (1-0); D. Byrnes (0-3, all 65s); T. Morrissey, C. Lynch, G. Hegarty (0-2 each); S. Flanagan, D. O’Donovan (0-1 each).
Scorers for Tipperary: J. Forde (1-9, 0-9 frees); D. McCormack (1-0); J. McGrath, N. McGrath (0-2 each); J. O’Dwyer (0-1).
LIMERICK: N. Quaid; R. English, S. Hickey, S. Finn; D. Byrnes, D. Hannon (c), D. Morrissey; D. O’Donovan, C. Lynch; T. Morrissey, K. Hayes, G. Hegarty; A. Gillane, S. Flanagan, G. Mulcahy.
Subs for Limerick: B Murphy for G. Mulcahy, D. Dempsey for T. Morrissey (both 55); M. Casey for S. Callanan (56); P. Ryan for S. Flanagan (62); P. Browne for C. Lynch (blood, 62-64); P. Browne for D. O’
TIPPERARY: B. Hogan; A. Flynn, S. Kennedy, D. Maher; B. Heffernan, Pádraic Maher (c), R. Maher; W. Connors, B. McCarthy; D. McCormack, N. McGrath, S. Curran; J. McGrath, J. Forde, J. O’Dwyer.
Subs for Tipperary: S. O’Brien for D. Maher (43); B. Maher for W. Connors (50); S. Callanan for S. Curran (53); Patrick Maher for B. McCarthy (66).
Referee: J. McGrath (Westmeath).