Tipp exit Tailteann Cup with defeat to Limerick

Tipperary’s Tailteann Cup ambitions and Paul Kelly’s tenure as manager were ended with an eight-point defeat to Limerick on Saturday.

GAA: Tailteann Cup Preliminary Quarter-Final

Limerick 1-18

Tipperary 1-10

Report: Stephen Barry at Mick Neville Park, Rathkeale


Player of the Match: Danny Neville (Limerick).

SCORERS – Limerick: Emmet Rigter 1-3; Danny Neville 0-4; Josh Ryan 0-3 (2 45s, 1 free); James Naughton, Peter Nash (frees) 0-2 each; Cillian Fahy, Tony McCarthy, Tommy Childs, Iain Corbett 0-1 each.

Tipperary: Seán O’Connor 0-5 (3 frees); Paudie Feehan 1-1; Peter McGarry 0-2; Stephen Quirke, Teddy Doyle 0-1 each.

Paudie Feehan’s second sensational goal in as many games kept Tipp in touch with a superior Treaty outfit but their bid hinged on another Feehan strike which smashed off the crossbar with a dozen minutes remaining. That would’ve brought them level. Instead, Limerick kicked on and clinched their quarter-final berth with a late Emmet Rigter goal.

Despite being named to start, captain Steven O’Brien wasn’t fit enough to tog out as he joined Conor Sweeney and Colm O’Shaughnessy on the sidelines. In attack, Kelly rewarded O’Brien’s Ballina clubmate Eoghan Power with a full debut.

They had a strong cross-field breeze backing them in the first half but it was Limerick who dominated from the off; Cillian Fahy, Peter Nash (free), Iain Corbett, and Danny Neville with the first four points.

During that spell, Tipp suffered the first of a series of injury blows as James Morris limped off with a knee injury. Shane O’Connell came on and was switched straight onto the troublesome Nash.

Tipp got up and running with a Peter McGarry brace helping to cut the deficit to two. All the while, Limerick were creating chances but couldn’t connect the final pass for a couple of goals and dropped five shots short into the wind.

Tipp took their goal chance when it arrived in the 33rd minute to equalise. After a Seán O’Connor free, they pushed up on the Limerick kick-out and Feehan pinched the ball on the 45. He took off to the 21 and unleashed a bullet to the top corner.

Evan Comerford produced a brilliant double save to deny Paul Maher and Neville although a second inspirational 45 into the wind from opposition keeper Josh Ryan sent Limerick in ahead, 0-8 to 1-4.

Tipp lost Mark Stokes and Jack Kennedy either side of the break as the hosts pressed further in front with three points within three minutes from James Naughton, Rigter, and Ryan’s third.

Stephen Quirke fisted over a point after good work from the Feehan brothers although Limerick added the next pair. Tipp battled back with scores from Paudie Feehan and an O’Connor brace to make it 0-13 to 1-8.

O’Connell and Conall Kennedy came up with last-gasp blocks to deny Nash and Corbett before a Rigter mark put three between them.

Tipp’s big chance came and went when Paudie Feehan hammered a shot off the crossbar from close range. The rebounded cannoned away to create a counter-attack, finished by Emmet Rigter for a two-score game.

The Premier’s shooting had been accurate into the wind to give them a chance, but they kicked three quickfire wides before Limerick applied the killer touch. Firstly, Neville and O’Connor swapped fine points. Then, Brian Ahern had a goal chance foiled by a combination of O’Connell and Comerford.

But having spurned green-flag opportunities all day, Emmet Rigter took his in the 68th minute after a passing move involving Ahern and Neville. Danny Neville could’ve added more but chose to chip over two close-range chances in stoppage time either side of a Teddy Doyle consolation.

Tipp finished with fourteen men after a late black card for captain Feehan.

TEAMS – Limerick: Josh Ryan (8); Paul Maher (7), Seán O’Dea (7), Cormac Woulfe (7); Barry Coleman (7), Cillian Fahy (7), Tony McCarthy (7); Tommy Childs (7), Iain Corbett (Capt 7); Emmet Rigter (8), Cathal Downes (6), James Naughton (7); Danny Neville (8), Robbie Childs (6), Peter Nash (8).

Subs: Brian Ahern (6) for Nash (54), Jim Liston (6) for Woulfe (62), Colm McSweeney (6) for T Childs (65), Bryan Nix (6) for Naughton (68), Darren O’Doherty (NR) for Maher (70+1).

Tipperary: Evan Comerford (Kilsheelan/Kilcash 7); Emmet Moloney (Portlaoise 6), Paudie Feehan (Killenaule, Capt 7), Jimmy Feehan (Killenaule 6); Stephen Grogan (Cahir 6), Mark Stokes (Kilsheelan/Kilcash 6), Luke Boland (Moyle Rovers 7); Jack Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials 6), Conall Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials 6); Peter McGarry (Clonmel Commercials 7), James Morris (Clonmel Commercials 6), Kieran Costello (Thurles Sarsfields 6); Seán O’Connor (Clonmel Commercials 7), Stephen Quirke (Moyle Rovers 6), Eoghan Power (Ballina 6).

Subs: Shane O’Connell (Golden Kilfeacle 7) for Morris (10 inj), Conor Cadell (JK Brackens 6) for Stokes (31 inj), Teddy Doyle (Ballina 7) for J Kennedy (40 inj), Rory O’Dowd (Clonmel Commercials 6) for Boland (53 inj), Mark Russell (Aherlow 6) for McGarry (59 inj).

Referee: Séamus Mulhare (Laois).