Second-half dominance sends Limerick into league final:
By John Keogh Limerick Leader Sport
LIMERICK’S senior hurlers are into the Allianz Hurling League Final following a 1-28 to 0-25 victory in the semi-final at the TUS Gaelic Grounds this evening.
Peter Casey’s goal in the 56th minute helped Limerick to a six-point winning margin and will now Cork or Kilkenny in the final in two week’s time.
Limerick made the faster start with scores from Cathal O’Neill and Barry Murphy but two Jason Forde frees had Tipperary level with five minutes played.
O’Neill and Forde then traded scores before an excellent Declan Hannon point from play had Limerick in front once more. Alan Tynan levelled the game for a third time and then a Forde effort from play put Tipperary ahead for the first time, 0-5 to 0-4.
The teams were level twice more at the 15 minute mark but three in a row from Noel McGrath, Forde and Tynan saw Tipperary 0-9 to 0-6 ahead.
Liam Cahill’s side controlled things for most of the first half and at one stage led by five but Limerick stayed in the game with Byrnes, Peter Casey and Gillane all hitting the target.
However, with Forde and Tynan to the fore, Tipperary went in at the break leading 0-16 to 0-12.
Points from Gillane, Lynch and Tom Morrissey brought Limerick to within two but Tynan’s fourth of the game restored a three-point lead for Tipperary.
Gillane then slotted three frees in a row to level before a point from play put Limerick into the lead for the first time since the seventh minute.
A Byrnes free then put Limerick two to the good and they never looked back from that moment. Kiely’s men turned on the style with Colin Coughlan, Hannon, and Byrnes seeing them 0-23 to 0-19 up after 56 minutes.
Limerick dominated the final quarter with a Peter Casey goal after Coughlan’s long delivery seeing them to a six-point win.
Scorers – Limerick: Aaron Gillane 0-7 (6 frees), Diarmaid Byrnes 0-6 (5 frees),Peter Casey 1-1, Cathal O’Neill, Barry Murphy, Declan Hannon, Tom Morrissey and Cian Lynch 0-2 each, Donnacha Ó Dálaigh, Colin Coughlan, William O’Donoghue and Barry Nash 0-1 each.
Scorers – Tipperary: Jason Forde 0-14 (11 frees), Alan Tynan 0-4, Gearoid O’Connor 0-3, Seamus Kennedy 0-2, Jake Morris and Noel McGrath 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Nickie Quaid; Sean Finn, Mike Casey, Barry Nash; Diarmaid Byrnes, Declan Hannon, Colin Coughlan; Barry Murphy 0-2, William O’Donoghue; Cathal O’Neill, Cian Lynch, Tom Morrissey; Aaron Gillane, Peter Casey, Donnacha Ó Dalaigh.
Subs: Gearoid Hegarty for O’Neill (59 mins), Conor Boylan for Morrissey (62 mins), Richie English for Finn (64 mins), Seamus Flanagan for Gillane (71 mins), Micheál Houlihan for O’Donoghue (73 mins, inj).
TIPPERARY: Barry Hogan; Eoghan Connolly, Michael Breen, Johnny Ryan; Dan McCormack, Bryan O’Mara, Ronan Maher; Conor Stakelum, Alan Tynan; Seamus Kennedy, Noel McGrath, Gearoid O’Connor; Jason Forde, Patrick Maher, Jake Morris.
Subs: Enda Heffernan for Stakelum (51 mins), Mark Kehoe for P Maher (51 mins), John McGrath for Morris (56 mins), Conor Bowe for Kennedy (64 mins).
REFEREE: Liam Gordon (Galway)