Seamus Callanan savouring winning feeling over Limerick

Seamus Callanan of Tipperary after scoring his side's first goal during the Munster GAA Hurling Senior Championship Round 5 match between Tipperary and Limerick in Semple Stadium in Thurles, Co. Tipperary. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

Seamus Callanan will have the chance to lift his first silverware as Tipperary captain in a fortnight’s time after Sunday’s four-point win over Limerick. It’s a game he’s relishing after a man-of-the-match performance against John Kiely’s side saw him take his 2019 Championship total to 4-11, all from play, including a goal in all four games.

His 38th-minute goal, just as against Clare, was the crucial strike coming after Limerick began the second-half by narrowing the deficit to two points.

“A chance to win a medal, that’s what it’s all about. It’s great. We’ll drive on now, get back Tuesday night and focus again. It’s fantastic. We’ve earned the right to be there now and it’ll be Limerick again in two weeks’ time so it’s something to look forward to.”

Callanan said Tipp’s fourth win on the trot, coming against the All-Ireland champions, was key in building momentum as they head towards the business end of the Championship.

“They’re all tough tests so we’re just trying to build for the next match and the next match. Hopefully, we can stay winning and keep the momentum going.

Every time you get a chance to wear the jersey, you want to win. We’ve respect for the jersey so we want to try to get a performance every day. The win is the most important thing and all you can do is keep trying to win and build momentum.

The mood after the game was dampened, however, by injuries to Cathal Barrett, who walked off with a hamstring issue, and Patrick Maher, who was stretchered off with a painful-looking knee injury. Tipperary will likely have to do without that duo for the Munster final.

“We wish them well. I don’t know the extent of the injuries but they’ve been serious warriors and still are for Tipperary hurling. We wish them the best and hopefully they recover soon,” said Callanan after the game.

The fact Tipperary will face the same opponents, and at their ground, will have no impact on Tipp, Callanan insisted.

“It doesn’t matter where we play, we’re just delighted to be in it.”

Tipperary manager Liam Sheedy agreed, saying: “The top teams, with the way this Championship is set up… you see Kilkenny and Wexford, they meet again in two weeks’ time and it’s a really competitive Championship. We’ll do what we always do: Focus on our preparation.

“This was all about focusing on the league stages before the winner-takes-all in the Munster final. For where we’re coming from, it’s a great place to be.”

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