Neville hits key goal as Limerick defeat Munster champions Tipperary in league opener

Limerick 1-13
Tipperary 0-14

John Fallon reports from LIT Gaelic Grounds

MUNSTER CHAMPIONS TIPPERARY came a cropper in their opening game in Division Three South of the Allianz League when Limerick took over after half-time.

And unlike the Munster championship last year when they had Tipperary on the ropes, Limerick finished the job this time after coming up from the bottom division last season.

The Munster champions led 0-6 to 0-4 at the interval after getting off to a flying start when they opened up a 0-4 to 0-0 lead after 15 minutes.

Tipperary had just seven of the side which started in the Munster but All Star full-forward Conor Sweeney gave them a perfect start with a couple of points from frees.

Then midfielder Steven O’Brien finished off a good passing movement and then Sean O’Connor landed one after a mark when he fielded a good cross from Colman Kennedy.

Limerick struggled to get the ball into a shooting position but midfielder Darragh Treacy finally got them off the mark just before the first water break with a point from 20 metres on the right.

O’Connor added his second point from a mark on the resumption before Limerick wing-back Tony McCarthy went forward to finish a good move and cut the gap to 0-5 to 0-2 after 27 minutes.

Hugh Bourke brought Limerick right back into contention with two good points from the left before goalkeeper Michael O’Reilly extended Tipperary’s advantage with a 45 to lead by 0-6 to 0-4 at the interval.

The introduction of All Star nominee Iain Corbett and Brian Donovan gave Limerick impetus after the restart and full-forward Danny Neville prospered, landing a point before dispatching a brilliant shot to the top left corner of the net to lead for the first time at 1-5 to 0-6.

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Two more frees from Bourke and another effort from Neville pushed Limerick 1-8 to 0-6 in front after 41 minutes.

The sides twice exchanged points before the water break with Limerick taking a 1-10 to 0-8 lead into the final quarter.

Tipperary hit back with points from Conal Kennedy, O’Connor and O’Brien to reduce the margin to 1-10 to 0-11 after 55 minutes but the Limerick response was good with Bourke and Neville pushing them four clear going into the final ten minutes and while Jack Kennedy landed a couple of frees, Billy Lee’s men held on for a deserved victory.

Scorers for Limerick: Danny Neville 1-3, Hugh Bourke 0-6 (0-3 frees), Brian Donovan 0-2, Tony McCarthy 0-1, Darragh Treacy 0-1.

Scorers for Tipperary: Conor Sweeney 0-4 (0-4 frees), Sean O’Connor 0-4 (0-2 marks), Steven O’Brien 0-2, Jack Kennedy 0-2 (0-1 free), Michael O’Reilly 0-1 (0-1 ’45), Conal Kennedy 0-1.

Limerick

1. Donal O’Sullivan (Monaleen)

2. Sean O’Dea (Kilteely Dromkeen), 3. Brian Fanning (Pallasgreen), 17. Michael Donovan (Galbally).

5. Tony McCarthy (Kildimo Pallaskenry), 6. Robert Childs (Galtee Gaels), 7. Gordon Brown (Na Piarsaigh).

8. Darragh Treacy (St. Kierans), 9. Tommie Childs (Galtee Gaels).

22. Adrian Enright (Fr Caseys), 11. Cillian Fahy (Dromcollogher Broadford), 10. Cian Sheehan (Newcastle West).

12. Tommy Griffin (Gerald Griffins), 14. Danny Neville (Ballysteen), 15. Hugh Bourke (Adare).

Subs

18. Iain Corbett (Newcastle West) for Griffin, half-time

23. Brian Donovan (Monaleen) for Enright, half-time

4. Paul Maher (Adare) for Brown (57)

21. Seamus O’Carroll (Castleknock) for Sheehan (62)

26. Robbie Burke (Adare) for Colman Kennedy (66)

Tipperary

1. Michael O’Reilly (Clonmel Commercials)

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2. Tadhg Fitzgerald (Moyle Rovers), 3. Jimmy Feehan (Killenaule), 4. Colm O’Shaughnessy (Ardfinnan).

5. Emmet Moloney (Drom & Inch), 6. Paudie Feehan (Killenaule), 7. Jack Harney (Moyle Rovers).

8. Steven O’Brien (Ballina), 9. Conal Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials).

10. Jason Lonergan (Clonmel Commercials), 11. Colman Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials), 12. Brian Fox (Éire Óg Annacarthy Donohill).

13. Liam Boland (Moyle Rovers), 14. Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen), 15. Sean O’Connor (Clonmel Commercials).

Subs

18. Dáire Brennan (Kilsheelan Kilcash) for Harney (41)

21. Shane Foley (Moyle Rovers) for Fitzgerald (56)

22. Jack Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials) for Boland (56)

19. Alan Campbell (Moyle Rovers) for O’Shaughnessy (56)

24. Stephan Quirke (Moyle Rovers) for Lonergan (66)

23. Padraic Looram (Clonmel Commercials) for Moloney (70)

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