By John Fogarty
Tipperary 3-12 Limerick 1-16
The loss of John O’Dwyer to an early red card didn’t deter Tipperary from confirming a second successive Munster final date with Waterford.
Limerick never looked like making the most of their numerical advantage and it was Tipperary, led by Cathal Barrett in defence, who looked like they had the extra man for large swathes of the game.
O’Dwyer will miss the July 10 final through suspension but this latest victory in front of 25,531 supporters in difficult playing and numerical conditions will give Tipperary plenty of encouragement.
Tom Morrissey’s injury-time goal after Darren Gleeson had saved from another substitute Kevin Downes gave Limerick supporters a small hope but Tipperary saw out the remaining action with little fuss.
Michael Breen, who found the net against Limerick in last year’s corresponding fixture, was given the chance to make amends when after running through he gave a poor hand-pass into Callanan.
Dan Morrissey slipped up trying to gather possession and the midfielder’s ground stroke beat Nickie Quaid.
The Limerick goalkeeper was picking the sliotar from behind him again in the ninth minute.
After Callanan was set up by Patrick Maher, Breen was quick to react to Quaid’s save and Tipperary were 2-0 to 0-1 up.
The game took a different complexion in the 14th minute when O’Dwyer deservedly saw the line for a strike on Richie English and the next three points came from Limerick.
The margin was cut to one but then Callanan followed up with 1-1 in the space of a minute, his goal assisted by Noel McGrath as Limerick were cut open again.
Limerick once more reduced the difference to a solitary point but a brace of scores from Callanan ended the half to leave it 3-5 to 0-11 in Tipperary’s favour.
Scorers for Tipperary: S. Callanan (1-6, 0-3 frees, 0-2 65s); M. Breen (2-1); N. McGrath (0-3); J. McGrath, Pádraic Maher (0-1 each).
Scorers for Limerick: S. Dowling (0-9, 8 frees); T. Morrissey (1-0); D. Hannon (0-2); B. Nash, C. Lynch, G. Hegarty, J. Ryan, J. Fitzgibbon (0-1 each).
TIPPERARY: D. Gleeson; C. Barrett, J. Barry, M. Cahill; S. Kennedy, R. Maher, Pádraic Maher; B. Maher (c), M. Breen; N. McGrath, Patrick Maher, D. McCormack; J. O’Dwyer, S. Callanan, J. McGrath.
Subs for Tipperary: N. O’Meara for D. McCormack (60); D. Maher for R. Maher (inj 64); J. Forde for Patrick Maher (69); K. Bergin for B. Maher, D. Quinn for M. Breen (both 70+1).
Sent off: J. O’Dwyer (straight, 14).
LIMERICK: N. Quaid (c); S. Hickey, D. Morrissey, R. English; D. Byrnes, G. O’Mahony, S. Hickey; J. Ryan, P. Browne; G. Hegarty, S. Dowling, C. Lynch; B. Nash, D. Hannon, G. Mulcahy.
Subs for Limerick: T. Morrissey for J. Ryan (inj 48); K. Downes for B. Nash (55); J. Fitzgibbon for G. Hegarty (58).
Referee: J. McGrath (Westmeath)