Limerick footballers beat Tipp and reach first Munster final since 2010

Brian Donovan’s goal after 55 minutes proved decisive in semi-final in Thurles

Limerick’s Cillian Fahy scores the first point of the game in Thurles. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

Limerick’s Cillian Fahy scores the first point of the game in Thurles. Photograph: Ken Sutton/Inpho

 

Limerick 2-10 Tipperary 0-10

Limerick are into a first Munster senior football final since 2010 after overcoming Tipperary in Saturday’s semi-final at Semple Stadium.

Cillian Fahy got Limerick on the scoreboard from the throw-in but an open contest did not follow and the rest of the first half was a very cagey affair. Jack Kennedy levelled with a 45 before Sean O’Connor landed a long rage free.

Limerick hit back with a goal on 12 minutes with Josh Ryan on hand to send the rebound to the net after Brian Donovan was denied by a Michael O’Reilly save.

Fahy followed it with a point, but Limerick failed to kick on and it was Tipp who gained the upper hand with Kennedy landing a long range free before championship debutant Sean O’Connell added another long distance point.

That was Tipp’s first from play and was added to by the almost obligatory Mark Russell point to bring the home side level.

Hugh Bourke nudged Limerick back in front but on the stroke of half time, Tipp corner back Shane O’Connell was allowed to carry the ball forward and with no options he landed a long-range point and so the sides went in deadlocked at half time - 0-6 to 1-3.

Points from Josh Ryan and Adrian Enright restored Limerick’s advantage as they slowly turned the screw, upping the physicality and intensity, and attacking the Tipperary kickout. Bourke almost scored a goal but by the 51st minute Tipp hit back to level via O’Connell and Kennedy.

However, Limerick’s greater energy was evident in the second period and after influential substitute Robbie Bourke nudged them in front, a Donovan goal on 55 minutes proved decisive. Tipp didn’t look like they had the answers as their only response in the late stages were two Jack Kennedy 45s, while O’Connell was black-carded for a trip.

Limerick kept the scoreboard ticking over at the other end with Fahy fisting his third while Hugh and Robbie Bourke added three points between them to see Limerick into the provincial decider against Kerry in Killarney in two weeks.

LIMERICK: D O’Sullivan; S O’Dea, B Fanning, M Donovan; C Sheehan, I Corbett, P Maher; D Treacy, C Fahy (0-3); A Enright (0-1), B Donovan (1-0), J Naughton; P Nash, J Ryan (1-1, one free), H Bourke (0-2, one free). Subs: R Bourke (0-3, one free) for Nash (54 mins), T Griffin for Ryan (60), K Ryan for Enright (71), P De Brun for H Bourke (74).

TIPPERARY: M O’Reilly; Shane O’Connell (0-1), J Feehan, W Eviston; Sean O’Connell (0-2), C O’Shaughnessy, J Harney; C Kennedy, M Russell (0-1); L Boland, J Kennedy (0-5, three 45s, two frees), T Doyle; M O’Shea, C Sweeney, S O’Connor (0-1 free). Subs: S O’Brien for Boland (half-time), L McGrath for O’Connor (45 mins), D Carew for Eviston (53), M Kehoe for O’Shaughnessy (53), S Quirke for O’Shea (63).

Referee: P Neilan (Roscommon)

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