Tipp dispatch Limerick with ease despite black card

Tipperary made easy work of Limerick to line up a Munster football semi-final against Cork in three weeks' time, but the refereeing of the black card rules still remains a major talking point.

Tipp dispatch Limerick with ease despite black card

Tipperary 2-14 Limerick 1-11

Tipperary made easy work of Limerick to line up a Munster football semi-final against Cork in three weeks' time, but the refereeing of the black card rules still remains a major talking point.

Referee Anthony Nolan flashed black to Ciaran McDonald early on when he pulled down Ian Ryan as he shot for goal, but in the third quarter he failed to show anything sterner than a yellow card to Limerick goalkeeper Donal O'Sullivan when he conceded a penalty and appeared to pull down Ian Fahey.

O'Sullivan saved Barry Grogan's spot kick to add insult to injury, and despite a late penalty from Eoin Hanrahan, Tipp had no trouble in securing their first victory in ten championship games.

After the sides split four points in the early stages, McDonald's black card looked to have been a big turning point. But instead the game hinged on Tipperary first goal, which arrived two minutes later when Grogan benefited from O'Sullivan's mistake.

That goal helped Tipperary to a 1-7 to 0-6 lead at the break, but their dominance and tight defence was underlined by Ryan's last point of the half which was Limerick's first from play.

The Tipp dominance continued after the restart when George Hannigan pointed and Austin put any doubts about the result to one side when he finished splendidly in the 38th minute to give Tipperary a 2-8 to 0-6 advantage.

Grogan's penalty miss in the 41st minute came in the heart of utter Tipperary dominance and they deserved more reward for the superiority.

Instead it was Limerick that finished strongly and when Hanrahan blasted past Paul Fitzgerald and added a quick free and another from Iain Corbett just four points separated the teams.

However, anything but a big Tipp win would have been a travesty and Grogan's late brace of points gave Peter Creedon's side the win they deserved.

Scorers – Tipperary: B Grogan 1-4 (3f), P Austin 1-2, P Acheson 0-2, C O'Riordan, C Sweeney (1f), M Quinlivan, R Kiely, G Hannigan, B Fox 0-1 each

Limerick: E Hanrahan 1-4 (1-0 pen, 3f), I Ryan 0-4 (3f), G Collins, D Tracey, I Corbett 0-1 each.

Tipperary: P Fitzgerald; G Mulhair, P Codd, C McDonald; C O'Riordan, R Kiley, P Acheson; S O'Brien, G Hannigan; P Austin, I Fahey, B Fox; C Sweeney, M Quinlivan, B Grogan.

Subs: J Coghlan for McDonald (BC 9), A Campbell for Mulhair (30-33 blood), S Grogan for B Grogan (48-50 blood), B Mulvhill for Fahey (57), S Grogan for O'Brien (57), C Dillon for Austin (68).

Limerick: D O'Sullivan; S O'Dea, C Moran, J McCarthy; I Corbett, S Lucey, P Browne; T Lee, D Tracey; M Brosnan, C Sheehan, S Buckley; E Hanrahan, G Collins, I Ryan.

Subs: J Riordan for Sheehan (28), J Galvin for Brosnan (28), P Ranahan for Browne (40), G Hegarty for Tracey (53),

Referee: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow).

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