Forde turns on style for Tipp

Tipperary 2-18 Limerick 2-11

Forde, a former Tipp minor captain, is not only blessed with a scoring touch, but strength of character too.

He sent a 17th minute penalty over the crossbar but instead of dwelling on that missed goal opportunity, Forde provided the pass that set up Aidan McCormack for a 26th-minute goal.

And it was Forde himself who struck Tipp’s second major in the 52nd minute, just as Limerick were back to within five points.

The hosts went on to lead by 10 points again — as they had done at half-time — before Limerick midfielder Shane Kenny drilled home a fine goal two minutes from time to bring a degree of respectability to the scoreboard.

But Limerick have not beaten Tipp in the U21 championship since 2002 — with five defeats suffered since then.

TJ Ryan had assembled a highly-rated side, containing senior stars Declan Hannon and Shane Dowling, but Tipp were far too good.

Despite playing against the breeze in the first half, Tipp were 1-11 to 0-4 clear by half-time. Michael Ryan revived Limerick hopes when the sub netted in the 33rd minute but Tipp, who will play Cork in the semi-final on July 17, were always in control.

Scorers for Limerick: S Dowling 0-5 (3f), S Kenny 1-1, M Ryan 1-0, D Hannon 0-2, K O’Donnell 0-2 (1f), D Reidy 0-1.

Scorers for Tipperary: J Forde 1-8 (0-4f, 0-1 pen), A McCormack 1-3, D McCormack & B Stapleton 0-2 each, N O’Meara, B Walsh & L McGrath 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: O Webb-O’Rourke; A Dempsey, M O’Loughlin, M Carmody; D Morrissey, B O’Connell, K O’Donnell; T Ryan, S Kenny; D Hannon, W Hickey, D Reidy; J Fitzgibbon, S Dowling, A Breen.

Subs: K O’Brien for Hickey (25), B Lynch for O’Connell (h.t.), M Ryan for Fitzgibbon (h.t.), R Egan for Reidy (45).

TIPPERARY: D Mooney; C Barrett, M Breen, A Ryan; J O’Dwyer, T Hamill, S Kennedy; N O’Meara, J Cahill; J Forde, D McCormack, B Stapleton; A McCormack, B Walsh, L McGrath.

Subs: C Kenny for Walsh (46), B Maher for O’Dwyer (51), T Heffernan for McCormack (55), J Meagher for Barrett (60+1).

Referee: C Lyons (Cork).

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