Michael Ryan’s Tipperary squad were simply ‘red hot’ in their meet this afternoon with Limerick on a rain soaked Semple Stadium pitch, here in Thurles. Limerick truly failed to realise any pressure on a 14-man only Tipperary team, during this the 2016 Munster Senior Hurling Championship match.
Scoring began with a point from Limerick’s Shane Dowling, but this would be the first time and the only time that Limerick would take the lead. By the 9th minute Tipperary’s Michael Breen had rifled two goals past Limerick’s Nickie Quaid, aided and abetted by Tipperary’s unselfish Seamus Callinan.
Limerick responded with 2 points from Barry Nash and Shane Dowling, while Tipperary’s Seamus Callinan pointed from a 65.
Then disaster in the 14th minute; With a red card being waved by referee James McGrath, Tipperary’s John O’Dwyer is sent off after an undisciplined lashing out on Limerick’s Richie English. This together with another free from Limerick’s Shane Dowling, saw a score in the 16th minute reading; Tipperary 2-01 (7pts) to Limerick 0-04.
Points from Limerick’s Declan Hannon, Shane Dowling & Cian Lynch together with Tipperary’s Seamus Callanan & Michael Breen, leaves the scoreboard reading – Tipperary 2-03 (9pts) – Limerick 0-07.
Tipperary now appear to be playing with 16 men instead of 14 and in the 26 minute greatly aided by the McGrath brothers, a truly lethal Seamus Callanan rifles low past Limerick’s Nickie Quaid, leaving the score Tipperary 3-03 (12pts) to Limerick 0-07.
James Ryan and Shane Dowling bring the Limerick score back to within a mere 1pt lead, but Callanan with three further points, keeps the Premier County ahead at the half time mark, with Tipperary leading by 3-05 (14pts) to Limerick’s 0-11.
Despite only 14 men it became clear from the start of the second half that Tipperary were taking no prisoners, with a point from Noel McGrath in the first 30 seconds. This score however is quickly cancelled out by Shane Dowling.
Hawk Eye is called upon to adjudicate twice during this match, confirming 1pt which had previously been denied to a Seamus Callanan ’65. John McGrath adds to this, leaving a score in the 43 minute registering; Tipperary 3-08 (17pts) to Limerick 0-12, or a five point lead.
By the 69 minute, points had been further added by Limerick’s Declan Hannon, Shane Dowling and substitute John Fitzgibbon, but same had been adequately already answered by the unstoppable Seamus Callanan, Paudie Maher and Noel McGrath, with the scoreboard reading comfortably Tipperary 3-12 (21pts) – Limerick 0-16.
However ‘the fat lady had not yet sung’ and with three minutes, which included extra time, Limerick’s Dan Morrissey got on the end of a Darren Gleeson save, to rebound it back into the back of the Tipperary net.
But with 73 min on the clock and with the full time whistle blown, the scoreboard read; Tipperary 3-12 (21pts) Limerick 1-16 (19pts).
A superb afternoon’s work from Tipperary, who played an absolute blinder and gave a most exciting and a truly unsurpassed and skilled performance, despite just 14 men.
Tipperary Team: Darren Gleeson, Cathal Barrett, James Bar, Seamus Callinan, Michael Cahill, Seamus Kennedy, Ronan Maher, Padraic Maher, Brendan Maher, Michael Breen, Dan McCormack, Patrick Maher, Noel McGrath, John O’Dwyer, Seamus Callanan & John McGrath.
Limerick Team: Nickie Quaid, Tom Condon, Dan Morrissey, Richie English, Diarmaid Byrnes, Gavin O’Mahony, Seamus Hickey, James Ryan, Paul Browne, Gearoid Hegarty, Shane Dowling, Barry Nash, Graeme Mulcahy, Declan Hannon and Cian Lynch.