Limerick U-21 hurling title defence ended by loss to Tipperary

Jerome O’Connell Limerick Leader Sport

LIMERICK’s title defence came to a tame end in Munster U-21 hurling championship this Thursday evening.

In Thurles, Tipperary ran out easy 1-22 to 1-13 winners to book a July 4 Munster final against Cork.

Pat Donnelly’s Limerick were never at the pitch of this semi final, beaten in all positions across Semple Stadium.

Tipperary, who beat Limerick in the Munster minor final three years ago, brought all the spark to this contest.

Tipperary hit the ground running and were 0-13 to 0-5 ahead by half time with six different scorers.

Tipperary had four points scores before Brian Ryan opened the Limerick account after six minutes.

Conor Boylan added another Limerick score but two each for Colin English and Mark Kehoe moved the Premier men 0-8 to 0-2 ahead just after the mid-point of the first half.

Barry Murphy had points from a free and from play but it was only a temporary reprieve with Kehoe bringing his tally to four in the half and Morris reaching three as to the lead went out to nine points.

Willie O’Meara had had the final score of the half from distance in a 30-minute period that saw the teams evenly share eight wides.

Before the half time whistle, Limerick were awarded a penalty when Barry Murphy had his helmet pulled off in the goalmouth. The Doon man stepped up to the penalty but crashed his shot off the crossbar.

Watched by an attendance of 3,460 Tipperary eased over the winning line in the second half.

Paddy O’Loughlin scored from play and O’Loughlin and Murphy had frees in the first seven minutes of the second half but each time Tipperary replied to leave it 0-16 to 0-8.

Then Tipperary goaled – David Gleeson finding the net.

The lead was soon out to 12-points, 1-19 to 0-9 with the game about to enter the final quarter.

Sub Oisin O’Reilly and Peter Casey (free) found the range for Limerick but there was no fightback.

Micheal Houlilhan added another two pointed frees, but Limerick were to finish with 14-men when captain Kyle Hayes was shown a second yellow card in the first of four minutes of injury time.

That injury time did see Limerick find a goal – sub Kevin Howard doing well to find space and crash to the net.

SCORERS: Limerick: Barry Murphy 0-4 (3frees), Kevin Howard 1-0, Paddy O’Loughlin (1free) and Michael Houlihan (2frees) 0-2 each, Brian Ryan, Conor Boylan, Willie O’Meara, Oisin O’Reilly, Peter Casey (free) 0-1 each. Tipperary: Mark Kehoe 0-5, David Gleeson 1-0, Brian McGrath (3frees), Jake Morris, Lyndon Fairbrother (3frees) and Colin English 0-3 each, Ger Browne 0-2, Jerome Cahill and Cian Darcy 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Jamie Power (Monaleen); Brian Timmons (Murroe-Boher), Josh Adams (Ballybrown), John Flynn (Patrickswell); Willie O’Meara (Askeaton), Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Thomas Grimes (Na Piarsaigh); Paddy O’Loughlin (Kilmallock), Mike Mackey (Adare); Brian Ryan (South Liberties), Barry Murphy (Doon), Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh); Peter Casey (Na Piarsaigh), Seamus Flanagan (Feohanagh), Mark O’Dwyer (Monaleen). Subs: Darren O’Connell (Kildimo-Pallaskenry) for Mark O’Dwyer (h-t), Oisin O’Reilly (Kilmallock) for Seamus Flanagan (41mins), Micheal Houlihan (Kilmallock) for Brian Ryan (42mins), Kevin Howard (Old Christians) for Mike Mackey (47mins), Brian O’Grady (Kilteely-Dromkeen) for Barry Murphy (51mins).

TIPPERARY: Ciaran Barrett (Clonmel Og); Podge Campion (Drom-Inch), Brian McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), Killian O’Dwyer (Killenaule); Cian Flanagan (Newport), Paddy Cadell (JK Brackens), Dillon Quirke (Clonoulty-Rossmore); Ger Browne (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams), Colin English (Fr Sheehys); Jerome Cahill (Kilruane MacDonaghs), Paudie Feehan (Killenaule), Jake Morris (Nenagh Eire Og); David Gleeson (Ballinahinch), Mark Kehoe (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), Lyndon Fairbrother (JK Brackens). Subs: Cian Darcy (Kilruane McDonaghs) for Lyndon Fairbrother (50mins), Craig Morgan (Kilruane McDonaghs) for Dillon Quirke, inj (52mins), Conor Stakelum (Thurles Sarsfields) for Jerome Cahill (58mins), Michael Purcell (Thurles Sarsfields) for Cian Flanagan (60mins).

REFEREE: Rory McGann (Clare).

Peter Casey attempts to advance past this Tipperary challenge in Thurles

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