Overall, despite two lulls, it was a master class in hurling from Tipperary this afternoon, as they romped home with a 4-23 (35 pts) to 1-16 (19 pts) victory over Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds, in the 2015 Munster SHC hurling semi-final.
Tipperary’s 2014 ace and ‘Hurler of the Year’ nominee Seamus Callanan hit 2-5 (11 pts) and the uncontainable John O’Dwyer added a further 7 points, as O’Shea’s visitors recorded their biggest championship victory over Limerick since the 2009 All-Ireland semi-final.
The match began with Tipperary playing into the breeze and due to a weak Tipp clearance, Limerick’s Declan Hannon stroked over the first point of the game. This was repeated by Limerick’s Hannon and Shane Dowling again in the seventh and eighth minute. However in the ninth minute Seamus Callanan rifled the ball past the Limerick goal keeper to level the scores. Just two minutes later again Callanan, from a well taken 65, put Tipperary into the lead and which, despite Limerick’s best efforts, for the remainder of the game, Tipperary fully retained.
Further points from Tipperary would follow, right throughout the first half, emanating from the sticks of again Seamus Callanan, Bonnar Maher, Shane McGrath, Niall O’Meara, Gavin O’Mahony, Jason Forde and John O’Dwyer.
Then in the 23th minute yet another goal for Seamus Callanan ensured that Tipperary were right on top.
Points from Shane Dowling, David Breen, Graham Mulcahy, Seanie O’Brien, Declan Hannon and Donal O’Grady did keep Limerick ticking over, however at half-time as players left the field the score board read: Limerick 0-12 (12 pts) Tipperary 2-12 (18 pts).
Second Half Summary Tipperary V Limerick June 21st 2015 at the Gaelic Grounds.
The second half began with Tipperary playing with the wind. The conversation earlier in Limerick’s dressing room appeared to have worked with Limerick greatly upping their pace. Shane Dowling goals a penalty and follows same with two points, one from a 65 against the wind and all unanswered by Tipperary. By the 49th minute the scoreboard read Limerick 1-15 (18 pts) – Tipperary 2-13 (19 pts).
However this was as close as Limerick would get to closing the gap and by the 50th minute Seamus Callanan had answered with a further 2 points to his ever increasing game tally. Tipperary followed with a further 4 points from John O’Dwyer and a goal from Jason Forde, leaving the score Limerick 1-15 (18 pts) to Tipperary’s 3-18 (27 pts) by the 58th minute.
Further points from Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer, Seamus Callanan, Shane Bourke and Jason Forde and then another goal from substitute Michael Breen; answered only by a point from Limerick’s Graham Mulcahy, saw the full time scoreboard reading Limerick 1-16 (19 pts) Tipperary 4-23 (35 pts).
Tipperary Scorers: Callanan (2-5), J. O’Dwyer (0-7), J. Forde (1-3), P. Maher (0-3), M. Breen (1-0) S. McGrath (0-2), N. O’Meara (0-1), J. Woodlock (0-1), S. Bourke (0-1)
Tipperary Team: D. Gleeson, P. Stapleton, J. Barry, C. O’Brien, K. Bergin, P. Maher, R. Maher, J. Woodlock, S. McGrath, J. Forde, B. Maher, P. Maher, J. O’Dwyer, S. Callanan and N. O’Meara.
Subs: M. Cahill for P. Stapleton, M. Breen for S. Callanan and S. Bourke for N. O’Meara.
Referee: B. Gavin (Co. Offaly).