Moran and Kelly back in action

TIPPERARY and Limerick received massive pre-championship boosts last night as cousins Eoin Kelly and Ollie Moran made their first appearances of the 2009 season for their respective counties in a senior hurling challenge.

Tipperary’s five-time All-Star Kelly appeared as a 48th-minute substitute, while Limerick ace Moran started in a game which marked the official opening of Hannon GAA Park in Lattin-Cullen.

Around 1,000 spectators saw Tipperary take a two-point victory, but the big talking point was Kelly’s second-half introduction.

The Mullinahone ace laid on a goal for Darragh Egan with his first touch but older brother Paul did not feature, despite being down to start.

Tipperary boss Liam Sheedy decided not to risk Paul Kelly as he recovers from a hamstring problem which has kept him sidelined for over six weeks.

There was more good news for Tipp as Conor O’Mahony returned to action as a half-time substitute following a bout of mumps while Limerick stalwart Mark Foley made his first start this season.

Moran’s return, meanwhile, is huge news for Limerick as they prepare for the Waterford championship clash on June 14. The Ahane star has not figured since last year but is now fully recovered from knee surgery.

Former minor star Pa Bourke helped himself to nine points for Tipp in front of onlooking GAA president Christy Cooney, with Andrew O’Shaughnessy finishing as Limerick’s leading scorer with 1-8.

Justin McCarthy’s men trailed by 1-12 to 1-8 at half-time in breezy conditions as John Devane and O’Shaughnessy traded first-half goals.

Scorers for Tipperary: P Bourke 0-9 (4f), J Devane 1-2, D Egan 1-1 (0-1f), B Dunne & P Maher 0-2 each, P Shortt, E Kelly, S Hennessy, T Hammersley & D Fanning 0-1 each.

Scorers for Limerick: A O’Shaughnessy 1-8 (0-6f, 0-1 65), M Fitzgerald 0-3, O Moran, P Tobin & J O’Brien 0-2 each, D Ryan, S Walsh, W McNamara, M O’Brien & B Geary (f) 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: D Gleeson; E Buckley, Pádraic Maher, M Cahill; D Fanning, C O’Brien, D Fitzgerald; B Dunne, S Hennessy; P Kerwick, J Devane, Patrick Maher; P Bourke, D Egan, T Scroope.

Subs: C O’Mahony for O’Brien (h/t), E Kelly for Scroope (48), P Shortt for Kerwick (53), T Hammersley for Bourke (59), J O’Neill for Patrick Maher (62), M Webster for Devane (70).

LIMERICK: D Bulfin; D Reale, S Lucey, T Condon; M O’Riordan, B Geary, M Foley; M O’Brien, P Browne; P Tobin, M Fitzgerald, O Moran; A O’Shaughnessy, D Cosgrave, D Ryan.

Subs: D Moloney for Reale (45), W McNamara for Browne (48), J O’Brien for Tobin (49), P McNamara for Cosgrave (53), S Walsh for O’Riordan (60).

Referee: A Kelly (Galway).

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