Munster SHC: Tipp topple All-Ireland champions in final dress rehearsal

June 16, 2019

Tipperary's Seamus Callanan shoots on goal against Limerick. ©INPHO/Ken Sutton.

Tipperary 1-22

Limerick 0-21

Seamus Callanan scored the only goal as Tipperary maintained their 100 per cent record in this year's Munster SHC with victory over a disappointing Limerick side at Semple Stadium.

Fortunately for the All-Ireland champions, they will have an opportunity to redeem themselves in the provincial final against Liam Sheedy's in-form team in a fortnight's time at the LIT Gaelic Grounds after Cork's defeat to Clare in Ennis meant they pipped the Rebels on scoring difference for second place in the round-robin series.

A bumper crowd of 39,115 witnessed a surprisingly tepid spectacle which lacked the intensity of last night's thrilling encounters in Leinster. Despite losing Cathal Barrett (hamstring) and Patrick 'Bonnar' Maher (knee) to first half injuries and racking up 13 wides, Tipp led from the 12th minute onwards and never looked in any danger after Callanan's 38th minute major gave them a five-point cushion.

Limerick led early on thanks to points from Shane Dowling and Aaron Gillane, who they relied heavily on from frees, but they lacked the work-rate to seriously trouble Tipp who reeled off five unanswered points to open up a 0-5 to 0-2 lead midway through the opening half.

John Kiely's men reduced the deficit to the minimum with points from the Patrickswell duo Gillane (free) and Diarmuid Byrnes after 21 minutes, but the Premier County responded with three in as many minutes per Michael Breen, Jake Morris and Jason Forde to reassert their authority.

Tipperary's Sean O'Brien tackles Limerick's Tom Morrissey. ©INPHO/Ken Sutton.

Callanan and Forde, who posted 1-4 and 0-9 respectively, added further scores before Gillane's fifth free left the Treaty County trailing by 0-8 to 0-12 at the interval.

Callanan's goal, after he ran at the Limerick defence, pushed out Tipp's lead to five points for the first time. Tom Morrissey responded with a brace for Limerick, but when Forde sent over his second line ball, the gap was back out to five with 17 minutes to go.

Not even the introduction of Cian Lynch and a third point from Morrissey could spark life into the All-Ireland champions who have a lot of ground to make up on Tipp if they're to reverse this result in two weeks' time.

Tipperary - B Hogan; C Barrett, S Barry, S O Brien; B Maher (0-1), Padraic Maher (0-2), R Maher; M Breen (0-1), N McGrath (0-2, 1f); Patrick Maher, J O Dwyer (0-1), J Morris (0-1); J McGrath (0-2), S Callanan (1-4), J Forde (0-8, 4f, 2sl). Subs: A Flynn for C Barrett, D McCormack for Patrick Maher, R Byrne for M Breen, M Kehoe for J Morris, W Connors for J McGrath.

Limerick - N Quaid; S Finn, M Casey, R English; D Byrnes (0-3, 2f), D Morrissey, P O Loughlin; D O Donovan, W O'Donoghue; S Dowling (0-1), K Hayes, T Morrissey (0-3); A Gillane (0-12, 10f), S Flanagan, P Casey. Subs: G Mulcahy (0-1) for S Flanagan, C Boylan for S Dowling, P Ryan for P Casey, C Lynch (0-1) for W O'Donoghue, D Reidy for K Hayes.

Referee - S Cleere.

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