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  • GAA

Qualifiers for Tipp footballers following abject display

Sunday, 12th May, 2019 11:50am
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Qualifiers for Tipp footballers following abject display

Disappointed Tipperary Footballers at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

Qualifiers for Tipp footballers following abject display

Disappointed Tipperary Footballers at Semple Stadium. Photograph: Bridget Delaney

GAA: Munster Senior Football Championship Quarter Final

 

 

 

Tipperary     1-10

Limerick       3-11

 

By Michael Dundon at Semple Stadium

 

Hotly fancied Tipperary slumped to a soul-destroying seven point defeat at the hands of Limerick in the Munster Senior Football Championship quarter-final on Saturday evening and will now have to rely on the qualifiers to keep their season going.

Limerick came into this contest on the back of a dismal campaign in division four of the National Football League where they won only two games, and while Tipperary had themselves been relegated from division two, the expectation was that with the return of the absentees Tipperary would prove too hot a handful for their neighbours.

However, it was Limerick who called the shots throughout. The seven points winning margin did not flatter them and for Tipperary manager Liam Kearns this was a performance which will prompt some serious soul-searching as he tries to rekindle the spark which saw Tipp challenging the country’s football elite three years ago.

With Robbie Kiely, Shane O’Connell, Josh Keane who missed the league campaign, and Michael Quinlivan who came into it at the finish, all back in harness, Tipp fans in the 2,165 attendance were optimistic about the prospects of a joust with Cork in the championship semi-final but on the evening this was a flat performance, well below championship intensity.

This was clearly the case in the first half as Tipperary struggled to contain an energetic Limerick side and only once in the period, when Conor Sweeney pointed in the 16th minute did they lead, 0-4 to 0-3. Instead they were playing catch-up for the most part and when they reached the break level at 0-8 each, one felt they were in with a great chance as they would surely improve on the changeover.

Limerick deployed an extra defender in front of their inside backs to counter the threat of Conor Sweeney and Michael Quinlivan but the lack of quality of the ball going into the strikers made Limerick’s task easier. On top of that, the Tipperary defence looked extremely porous and Limerick twice settled for points when goals were available as the backline was opened up.

The improvement expected in the second half did not come for Tipperary despite a double substitution at the interval, an indication of the management’s concern. In fact they went 24 minutes without raising a flag by which time Limerick had their tails up and were coasting at 2-9 to 0-8. Their first goal came after 46 minutes when, reflecting the looseness in the Tipp marking, Limerick centre halfback Ian Corbett raced right through to blast home.

Tipperary’s cause was not helped by wasted chances from play and frees, six point opportunities going abegging, and when in the 56th minute Cillian Fahey hit Limerick’s second goal for a 2-9 to 0-8 lead, Tipperary’s goose was cooked.

Michael Quinlivan did give them a lifeline with his goal in the 63rd minute, followed by a Liam McGrath pointed free but Limerick stayed in control, sub Peter Nash sending their fans home happy with their third goal in the 68th minute.

In Ian Corbett Limerick had the man of the match with Jamie Lee, Sean O’Dea, Darragh Treacy, Tommie Childs and Adrian Enright not far behind. No Tipp reputations ere enhanced onthe night but Michael Quinlivan, Conor Sweeney, Steven O’Brien and Alan Campbell worked very hard throughout.

 

MATCH DIGEST

Man of the Match: Iain Corbett (Limerick)

SCORERS – Tipperary: Michael Quinlivan 1-2; Conor Sweeney 0-4 (3 frees); Liam McGrath 0-2 frees; Steven O’Brien, Liam Casey 0-1 each.

Limerick: Cillian Fahey, Iain Corbett 1-2 each; Jamie Lee 0-4 (1 free); Peter Nash 1-0; Adrian Enright, Sean McSweeney 0-1 free.

 

TEAMS – Tipperary: Evan Comerford; Alan Campbell, John Meagher, Shane O’Connell; Kevin Fahey, Robbie Kiely, Emmet Moloney; Steven O’Brien, Liam Casey; Josh Keane, Paul Maher, Brian Fox; Conor Sweeney, Michael Quinlivan, Liam McGrath.

Subs: Liam Boland for Maher (HT); Bill Maher for Kiely (HT), Jack Kennedy for Keane (49), Daire Brennan for Fahey (57), Dan O’Meara for Fox (66), Jimmy Feehan for Meagher (70+1).

Limerick: Donal O’Sullivan; Brian Fanning, Sean O’Dea, Paul Maher; Colm McSweeney, Ian Corbett, Gordon Brown; Darragh Treacy, Tommie Childs; Adrian Enright, Cillian Fahey, Michael Fitzgibbon; Sean McSweeney, Seamus O’Carroll, Jamie Lee.

Subs: Peter Nash for Lee (62); Stephen Keeley for Enright (70); Padraig de Brun for Fitzgibbon (70).

Referee: James Molloy (Galway)

 

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