Limerick defeat Tipperary to reach the Munster minor football championship semi final
Limerick TipperaryLimerick goal scorer Marc Nolan celebrates with captain Darragh Murray. PIC: Keith WisemanJerome O’Connell in LIT Gaelic Grounds21 Jul 2021Email:

A goal in either half was the foundation for a Limerick victory in the opening round of the Munster minor football championship this Wednesday evening.

The Munster MFC quarter final in the LIT Gaelic Grounds finished Limerick 2-9 Tipperary 1-9.

The Kevin Denihan managed Limerick now advance to play Clare in Ennis in the semi final on Friday July 30. Cork play Kerry in the other semi final.

Goals from Marc Nolan and Ruairi Cronin were crucial scores in what was a hard-working display from the Limerick U17 side.

It was 1-6 to 1-3 to Limerick at half time.

An open game of pacy football but both sides struggled with their accuracy in the final third of the field – Limerick with four first half wides and Tipperary seven.

Limerick could very well have had a first minute goal but nonetheless were 0-2 to no score clear after three minutes with Monaleen duo Darragh Murray (free) and Conall O’Duinn on the scoresheet.

Limerick were then rocked back on their heels with a Tipperary goal – Diarmuid O’Riordan finishing to an empty net after winning possession ahead of the advancing Limerick goalkeeper and the covering defender.

That had the visitors ahead but within a minute the game was level with a point from play by captain Murray.

Limerick hit the front on 14-minutes and were never in arrears after that.

While both sides had their share of possession, Limerick made it tell slightly more on the scoreboard to lead 1-4 to 1-1 by the first half water break.

The Limerick goal came in the 14th minute – Marc Nolan finishing to the net after Ruairi Cronin had done well to block down a clearance from the goalkeeper.

It was now 1-4 to 1-0 but Niall O’Connor had a first point of the game for Tipperary in the 15th minute just on the water break.

On the resumption Limerick went close to another goal but Emmet Rigter saw his shot blocked after Jack Somers had carried possession through from midfield.

Scores dried up in this quarter – a Conall O’Duinn free the only Limerick point (24th minute) until Somers added another in injury time.

So a three point interval advantage for Limerick.

By the second half water break, the lead was out to five points.

The all important second goal came just before the break in the 44th minute from Ruairi Cronin.

A Murray free had opened the half well for Limerick but Tipperary hit back with successive points to reduce the lead.

Somers had his second point to end a barren spell for Limerick and then somewhat against the run of play, Cronin popped up with the second goal just before the water break.

The final quarter was nervy for Limerick with Tipperary scores leaving just a goal between the teams until a 59th minute free from captain Murray.

SCORERS: Limerick: Darragh Murray 0-4 (3frees), Conall O’Duinn 0-3 (1free), Marc Nolan and Ruairi Cronin 1-0 each, Jack Somers 0-2.

Tipperary: Darragh McVicker 0-3 (2frees), Diarmuid O’Riordan 1-0, Niall O’Connor, Charlie King, Tadhg Sheehan, Fionn Fitzgerald, Eoin Craddock and Cian Smith 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Craig MacInnes (St Kierans); Michael Kilbridge (Fr Caseys), Jamie Behan (Ballybrown), Darragh Clifford (Monaleen); Lorcan Murphy (St Kierans), Aaron Neville (Newcastle West), Stephen Kiely (Monaleen); Jack Somers (Mungret St Pauls), Darragh Murray (Monaleen); Marc Nolan (Fr Caseys), Emmet Rigter (Newcastle West), Oisín O’Farrell (St Senans); Conall O’Duinn (Monaleen), Ruairi Cronin (Ahane), Ronan Quirke (Fr Caseys). Subs: Culann Quigley (Fr Caseys) for Darragh Clifford (h-t), Owen O’Sullivan (Galbally) for Ronan Quirke (39mins), Calum Boyle (Fr Caseys) for Stephen Kiely, inj (46mins), Sean Geraghty (Newcastle West) for Conall O’Duinn (52mins), Dylan O’Connor (Fr Caseys) for Marc Nolan (60mins).

TIPPERARY: Tom Bourke (JK Brackens); Michael Ryan (Ballingarry), Sean O’Meara (Grangemockler-Ballyneale), Charlie King (Ballina); Senan Butler (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), Jack O’Neill (Ardfinnan), Charlie English (Ballyporeen); Tadhg Sheehan (Clonmel Commercials), Zac O’Loughlin (Kilsheelan-Kilcash); Eoin Craddock (Holycross-Ballycahill), Niall O’Connor (Clonmel Og), Kian O’Reilly (Clonmel Commercials); Darragh McVicker (Clonmel Og), Paul Mullen (Drom & Inch), Diarmuid O’Riordan (Newport). Subs: Cian Smith (Clonmel Commercials) for Niall O’Connor (36mins), Fionn Fitzgerald (Killenaule) for Paul Mullen (36mins), Daragh Spillane (Fethard) for Kian O’Reilly (42mins), Jake Canny (Boherlahan-Dualla) for Diarmuid O’Riordan (50mins), Joe Higgins (Clonmel Commercials) for Senan Butler (54mins).

REFEREE: Eamon Moran (Kerry).