Limerick footballers lose out to Tipp in McGrath Cup clash

By John Redington, Limerick Leader Sport

“A LOT of things to work on,” admitted Jimmy Lee as his Limerick senior footballers’ last outing before opening their National Football League Division Three campaign at home to Antrim on Sunday week ended in defeat to Tipperary in Templetuohy on Sunday afternoon.

Although the McGrath Cup Group A clash was a ‘dead rubber’ game after both sides had already lost heavily to Kerry in their previous outing, the teams were taking this tie more seriously as their starting line-ups featured more of their first choice selections for the season ahead.

“It took us twenty minutes to get going and we just didn’t get the return from possession,” was Limerick manager Lee’s read of a game that stuttered along in typical pre-season fashion before erupting into a flurry of scores in its final moments.

“Between injuries and non-availability, we’ve lost many of last year’s panel and some of the new players we’re introducing are taking time to adjust to the demands of senior inter-county competition.”

Tipp’s dominance for much of the game was built around the outstanding performance of midfielder Steven O’Brien which gave them the platform to mount sustained stretches of pressure in the opening minutes of both halves.

Had they not racked up ten wides to their opponents’ four, they might have built up a bigger margin before their opponents fought back to reply. From a Limerick point of view, the most encouraging note was the speed shown on occasions on the break, as well as tightness at the back that frustrated their hosts’ shots at the posts.

Indeed, had it not been for an unfortunate goal conceded three minutes from time, there could have been a different ending.

Home side Tipperary led the game 0-5 to 0-4 at half-time. Into the last quarter and Diarmaid Kelly’s free was answered by Shane Neville’s point for Limerick.
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However, Kyle Shelly put the Premier five points ahead as he slotted the lay-off to the net after Stephen Grogan forced a turnover off a Limerickclearance. Debutant Jamie Baynham replied immediatelyfor Limerick and Naughton swapped points frees with Shanahan.

SCORERS: TIPPERARY: Seán O’Connor 0-3 (1 free), Kyle Shelly 1-0, Evan Comerford (1 free, 1 ’45’), Steven O’Brien (1 ’45’), Luke Shanahan 0-2 each, Paddy Creedon 0-1; LIMERICK: James Naughton 0-5 (5 frees), Bob Childs, Cillian Fahy, Daniel Daly (mark), Diarmaid Kelly (free), Jamie Baynham (free) 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: Evan Comerford; Emmet Moloney, Jimmy Feehan, James Morris; Luke Boland, Stephen Grogan, Kieran Costello; Teddy Doyle, Steven O’Brien; Shane Neville, Conor Cadell, Cathal Deeley; Conal Kennedy, Paddy Creedon, Seán O’Connor. SUBS: Jack Rodgers for Evan Comerford (injured, 14 minutes), Emmet Moloney for Shane O’Connell (half-time), Rory O’Dowd for Conal Kennedy (45 minutes), Luke Shanahan for Teddy Doyle (45 minutes), Mark Stokes for Paddy Creedon (45 minutes), Kyle Shelly for Conor Cadell (57 minutes), Michael Barlow for Seán O’Connor (57 minutes).

LIMERICK: Jeffrey Alfred; Jim Liston, Seán O’Dea, Colm McSweeney; Bob Childs, Iain Corbett, Paul Maher; Tommy Childs, Tommy Griffin; Andrew Meade, James Naughton, Barry Coleman; Peter Nash, Cillian Fahy, Shane Costello. SUBS: Daniel Daly for Shane Costello (half-time), Darragh O’Hagan for Tommy Griffin (45 minutes), Conor Woulfe for Colm McSweeney (47 minutes), Shane Doherty for Jim Liston (50 minutes), Diarmaid Kelly for Peter Nash (55 minutes), Tony McCarthy for Tommy Childs (58 minutes), Jamie Baynham for Andrew Meade (64 minutes).