Munster SFC: Sweeney’s sensational score helps Tipp avoid Treaty upset

November 07, 2020

Limerick’s Tommy Griffin with Jack Kennedy of Tipperary. ©INPHO/Bryan Keane.

Tipperary 1-15
Limerick 2-11

(After extra time)

Tipperary required extra time to bring an end to Limerick winning run and move into the Munster senior football championship final.

In the end, Brian Fox’s point in the dying stages at the LIT Gaelic Grounds proved the difference for the Premier men as they booked their first Munster final slot since 2016.

First-half goals from Sean McSweeney and Cillian Fahy looked like having the Treaty men on their way towards an upset in this one, but Tipp flew out of the traps for the second-half and Liam Casey’s goal saw them erase a seven-point half-time deficit to move in front.

Limerick battled back and led again in injury-time before Conor Sweeney forced extra time with a superbly converted free along the sideline in the 74th minute and from there Tipp edged a late victory.

Sweeney had Tipperary’s account opened after four minutes of this contest with a well stroked free but it was Limerick that would out score them 0-4 to 0-2 to carry in the lead at the water break.

Tipp got level by the 21st minute through Sweeney (free) and Michael Quinlivan but couldn’t push on as the hosts went on to hammer their first hammer blow six minutes later.

Sean McSweeney finished off a superb move to the Premier men’s net, making it 1-4 to 0-4, and it got worse for the visitors from there in the run up to half-time.

Sweeney erased another Limerick point prior to the Treaty men hitting the jackpot again – this time Fahy provided the finish that left Evan Comerford with no chance as the Division 4 champions took a 2-6 to 0-5 interval lead.

Fox and Liam Boland were introduced for by Tipp boss David Power at the start of the second-half and they’d land the first seven scores of the restart to storm in front.

Jack Kennedy, Sweeney (3, 2 frees), Kevin Fahey and Boland all raised white flags for the visitors before Casey hammered in a goal from point blank range to make it 1-11 to 2-6.

Darragh Treacy ended a 20-minute scoring drought for Limerick prior to Hugh Bourke levelling matters with eight minutes remaining.

Cian Sheehan sailed over a superb point right on the 70-minute mark to put Billy Lee’s charges back in front as they’d look to hang on in five minutes of injury-time.

Tipp hunted for an equaliser and they’d have an outside chance when Quinlivan earned a free along the sideline in the 74th minute and it was captain Sweeney that came up with the sensation conversion off the upright to force extra time, leaving the full-time score at 2-9 to 1-12.

Boland grabbed the opening point in extra time for Tipp and it would prove to be the only score during a tense first-half.

McSweeney levelled for Limerick before Bourke saw a goal effort brilliantly saved by Comerford.

The Shannonsiders would get back in front when goalkeeper Donal O’Sullivan sailed a ‘45’ over Comerford’s crossbar, but their opponents managed to finish things in style again.

This time Robbie Kiely’s long range point would be backed up by substitute Fox coolly slotting over the winner in the dying stages, ensuring the Premier County a date with either Cork or Kerry next Sunday week.

Tipperary – Evan Comerford; Alan Campbell, Jimmy Feehan, Colm O’Shaughnessy; Bill Maher, Kevin Fahey (0-1), Robbie Kiely (0-1); Conal Kennedy, Liam Casey (1-0); Jack Kennedy (0-2, 0-2f), Michael Quinlivan (0-1), Emmet Moloney; Jason Lonergan, Conor Sweeney (0-7, 5f) Colman Kennedy. Subs: Liam Boland (0-2) for Colman Kennedy (HT), Brian Fox (0-1) for Jason Lonergan (HT), Riain Quigley for Jack Kennedy (59mins), Kevin O’Halloran for Emmet Moloney (67), Tadhg Fitzgerald for Colm O’Shaughnessy (70), Colman Kennedy for Riain Quigley (7, ET), Paudie Feehan for Kevin Fahey (12, ET).

Limerick – Donal O’Sullivan (0-2, 1f, 1 ‘45); Sean O’Dea, Brian Fanning, Paul Maher; Tony McCarthy, Iain Corbett, Gordon Brown; Darragh Treacy (0-1), Tommie Childs; Killian Ryan (0-1), Cillian Fahy (1-1), Adrian Enright; Hugh Bourke (0-2, 1f), Tommy Griffin (0-1), Sean McSweeney (1-2). Subs: Padraig De Brun for Adrian Enright (HT), Danny Neville for Sean McSweeney (52mins), Cian Sheehan (0-1) for Tommy Griffin (52), Robbie Childs for Gordon Brown (55), Seamus O’Carroll for Killian Ryan (67), Michael Donovan for Tony McCarthy (7, ET), Davy Lyons for Cillian Fahy (12, ET), Sean McSweeney for Paul Maher (HT, ET).

Ref: Maurice Deegan (Laois).