Limerick and Tipperary play out thrilling Munster Championship draw:

By John Keogh Limerick Leader Sports

LIMERICK remain in with a chance of reaching the Munster SHC final following a thrilling 0-25 to 0-25 draw with Tipperary at Semple Stadium, Thurles.

John Kiely’s side led deep into added time but a free from John McGrath saw Tipperary earn a stunning draw, having led for most of the game.

Limerick must beat Cork next week to have any hope of getting to the Munster decider against Clare and hope Waterford beat Tipperary. A win will guarantee a top three finish and progression to the All-Ireland series.

Limerick got the scoring underway after just 10 seconds through Aaron Gillane but Tipperary were soon back on level terms after a sublime Noel McGrath sideline cut.

A Mark Kehoe point from play then put them in front, before a long range effort by Tipperary goalkeeper had the Premier 0-3 to 0-1 up with four minutes played.

That lead was soon at three points for Liam Cahill’s side with Jake Morris landing the first of four first half points. However, Limerick soon hit a bit of form with two Cathal O’Neill efforts and one from Diarmaid Byrnes seeing the game level at 0-6 each after 17 minutes.

Tipperary continued to come by their scores easier in the first half and punished Limerick mistakes with two points from Morris inside 30 seconds restoring their advantage.

Tom Morrissey arrested the Limerick slide with a well-taken point from play but Kehoe and Morris soon had Tipperary back to a three point lead.

Two Gillane efforts, either side of a Gearóid O’Connor free, brought Limerick to within two points in the run up to the half time mark.O’Connor and Morrissey then traded points before another from the free taker saw his side into a 0-15 to 0-12 lead at the break.

Limerick started the second half superbly with Gillane and two from O’Neill levelling the game for a third time inside two and a half minuets.

Flangan’s second of the afternoon then put Limerick in front for the second time in the game but O’Connor and McGrath soon had Tipperary back into the ascendancy only for a sublime Declan Hannon score to square the game up once again.

Limerick then had poor misses from Hannon and Gearóid Hegarty, before O’Connor’s first point from play saw the home side 0-18 to 0-17 clear with 50 minutes on the clock.

A fifth Morris point then had Tipp two to the good but that was immediately cancelled out by Byrnes but two from substitute Conor Bowe saw them two to the good.

However, a free from Gillane and a third of the day from Morrissey saw the game level for a seventh time with seven minutes of normal time remaining.

It was nip and tuck from there in the closing stages with both sides in with a chance of winning the game. Tipperary went two clear but Graeme Mulcahy and Byrnes saw Limerick level the game again.

Seamus Callanan looked to have won it for the Premier but Mulcahy and Morrissey had Limerick stunningly in front deep into added time.

However, a free from John McGrath with the last puck of the game saw an absorbing contest finish level at 0-25 to 0-25.

SCORERS – LIMERICK: Aaron Gillane 0-5 (2 frees), Cathal O’Neill and Tom Morrissey 0-5 each, Diarmaid Byrnes 0-4 (3 frees), Seamus Flanagan and Graeme Mulcahy 0-2 each, Declan Hannon and Peter Casey 0-1 each.

SCORERS – TIPPERARY: Gearóid O’Connor 0-9 (8 frees),Jake Morris 0-5, Conor Bowe 0-3 and Mark Kehoe 0-3 each, Noel McGrath 0-2 (1 s/l), Rhys Shelly (1 free), Seamus Callanan and John McGrath (1 free) 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Mike Casey, Dan Morrissey, Barry Nash; Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Kyle Hayes; Darragh O’Donovan, William O’Donoghue; Gearóid Hegarty, Cian Lynch, Tom Morrissey; Aaron Gillane, Seamus Flanagan, Cathal O’Neill.

SUBS: Peter Casey for Lynch (50 mins), Conor Boylan for Hegarty (57 mins), Graeme Mulcahy for Flanagan (61 mins), David Reidy for O’Neill (64 mins), Richie English for M Casey (66 mins).

TIPPERARY: Rhys Shelly; Cathal Barrett, Michael Breen, Ronan Maher; Eoghan Connolly, Bryan O’Mara, Seamus Kennedy; Alan Tynan, Dan McCormack; Conor Stakelum, Patrick Maher, Noel McGrath; Jake Morris, Gearoid O’Connor, Mark Kehoe.

SUBS: Seamus Callanan for Tynan (46 mins), Conor Bowe for P Maher (52 mins), Brian McGrath for Barrett (59 mins), Johnny Ryan for Stakelum (69 mins), Sean Ryan for O’Connor (69 mins), John McGrath for N McGrath (75 mins).

REFEREE: Sean Stack (Dublin)