Tipperary caused a shock last night in the Gaelic Grounds by defeating their highly fancied hosts by a deserving 4 point margin. They now advance to the final against either Clare or Waterford on the 8th of August.
This game really underlined how unpredictable underage hurling can be. Limerick had ambitions to retain their Munster crown and challenge for All Ireland honours, but on the night they were very flat and key men like Declan Hannon and Shane Dowling failed to preform to their usual high standards.
Because of Tipperary’s underage pedigree they don’t fear any team and Ken Hogan has his charges very well prepared. They flew out of the traps and as the result of some accurate free taking from team captain John O’ Dwyer and a brilliant goal from Denis Maher they forged an early lead.
The visitors dominated the first period but were let down by some poor shooting.
Limerick were finding scores more difficult to come by, but still they battled back and two nice points from Kevin Downes and some excellent free taking from Shane Dowling left them only 2 points in arrears at the interval.
With the aid of the elements in the second half the home crowd would have expected a big response from their side, but they were simply outplayed. The Premier men started to find their range up front and landed some excellent scores from John O’ Dywer, Sean Curran and substitute Jason Forde. Shane Dowling did find the net for the home side near the end but it was too little too late.
Limerick will be very disappointed with their performance and they were second best for most of this tie. Tipperary march on to the final three weeks from now and on this form they will fancy their chances whoever they face.
Tipperary: Paul Ryan, S Maher, A Ryan, P Ryan, B Stapleton, W Ryan, J Cahill, D McCormack, N O’ Meara, Liam McGrath (0-01), S Curran (0-01), D Maher (1-03), E Murray, C Hogan (0-01), J O’ Dywer (0-09,8f)
Subs: J Forde (0-01) for E Murray, A McGrath for D McCormack.
Limerick: A Murphy, A Dempsey, D Morrissey, S O’ Reilly, T Ryan, D Hannon, R Egan, S Kenny, S O’ Brien, S Dowling (1-08, 6f, 2 65s), N Kennedy (0-01), M Carmody, M Ryan, K Downes (0-02), W Griffin.
Subs: J Fitzgibbon for W Griffin, R O’ Donnell for S O’ Brien, M O’ Connell for S Kenny, A Breen for M Carmody.