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Published: 18:03 | 19/6/16

Tipperary too good for Limerick

14-man Premier surge past Treaty

Fourteen-man Tipperary booked their place in the Munster SHC final as they beat Limerick 3-12 to 1-16 at a rain-soaked Semple Stadium.

Two goals in the opening eight minutes from Michael Breen gave Tipperary what proved to be a decisive advantage which they never surrendered.

The two-point margin at the end surely flattered Limerick who were unable to match the Premier men's work rate and intensity despite having an extra man on the pitch for almost an hour.

Tipperary looked dangerous from the off and led 2-01 to 0-2 when John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer was dismissed on 14 minutes for an off-the-ball foul on Richie English.

That handed the momentum to Limerick who posted four unanswered points, three from Shane Dowling and his fourth of the game in all, to leave just a single score between the sides with 20 minutes on the clock.

But that was as good as it got for Limerick as Breen finished a fine flowing move to send Tipp two in front once again.

Cian Lynch replied in kind for the Treaty County, but Seamus Callanan landed a free from distance and then struck a superb goal after McGrath brothers Noel and John had combined to excellent effect to give Tipp some breathing space at 3-03 to 0-08 after 27 minutes.

But Limerick fought back and registered three without reply before Callanan took his total to 1-04 for the half with one from open play and another from a free to send Tipp in 3-05 to 0-11 ahead at the break.

Noel McGrath extended the lead to four immediately after the restart before Dooley notched his seventh of the afternoon from a free shortly afterwards.

But a 45 from Callanan and John McGrath's first score of the day extended Tipp's lead to five ten minutes into the second period.

The work rate of 14-man Tipperary was enormous and Limerick found it difficult to make any inroads into a disciplined Premier defence who challenged for every ball.

Dowling registered his ninth point of the game with yet another free to leave five between the teams at 3-11 to 0-15 but, with just seven minutes remaining, Limerick's hopes were ebbing away.

Paidi Maher broke forward to move Tipp ahead by six once again four minutes from time as the local support began to celebrate.

But they must have feared their celebrations were premature when Tom Morrissey fired the ball into the net after Tipp goalkeeper Darren Gleeson had made a fine save to deny Kevin Downes.

That reduced the margin to two, but it was too late and Tipp held on for a deserved win and a date with Waterford in the Munster final next month.

By: Kieran O'Daly

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