DESPITE a gutsy Limerick performance it was Tipperary that booked their place in the final of the Munster intermediate hurling championship.
In the curtain raiser in the Gaelic Grounds the reigning All-Ireland champions held the upper hand throughout the contest to win 0-20 to 0-15.
They were helped along the way by the very impressive Timmy Hammersley.
The Clonoulty Rossmore man was part of the Tipperary senior panel earlier this year and indeed played against Limerick in the Waterford Crystal Cup. In this tie he finished with 10-points. While only three came from open play he was central to many attacks.
Limerick started well with two placed balls from captain Cathal McNamara. Jack Ahern and Paudie Leahy added points from play and the home side were 0-4 to 0-1 ahead after 11-minutes.
By half time Tipp had gone ahead 0-10 to 0-8.
Patrick Begley and Willie Griffin were also on the mark for Limerick in the opening half but it was a half that saw Tipp go close to goal on at least two occasions.
Limerick needed to get a reasonable start to the second half but it was Tipp that forged ahead to lead 0-13 to 0-8 with just five minutes of the second half played.
Three successive frees from Jack Ahern kept Limerick in touch and by the 44th minute mark it was 0-14 to 0-11.
The first score from play from Limerick came from Micheal Ryan of Doon in the 19th minute of the half.
That left two between the teams but alas it was as close as Limerick came.
Tipp hit back with scores to reopen a four point lead.
Indeed Limerick were to score just once more from play through Jason Hayes.
Limerick needed a goal and the chance came three minutes from time.
Mikey Ryan cut in along the end line but his shot from a tight angle was saved by Darragh Egan. The rebound fell the way of Dan Morrissey but his batted effort was again saved.
Up the field went Tipp and sealed the win with another point.
SCORERS - Limerick: Jack Ahern 0-8 (six frees), Cathal McNamara 0-2 (one free, one ‘65), Paudie Leahy, Patrick Begley, Willie Griffin, Micheal Ryan, Jason Hayes 0-1 each. Tipperary: Timmy Hammersley 0-10 (six frees, one ‘65), Joey McLoughney 0-3 (one lineball), Pat Molloy 0-2, Paudie Greene, Willie Ryan, Orrie Quirke, Padraig O’Leary 0-1 each.
LIMERICK - Shane O’Donoghue; Shane Irwin, Barry O’Connell, Mike Reidy; Jason Hayes, Cathal McNamara, David O’Neill; Paudie Leahy, Conor Kearney; Kevin O’Brien, David Reidy, Dan Morrissey; Willie Griffin, Pat Begley, Jack Ahern. Subs: Barry Lynch for David O’Neill (33 mins), Micheal Ryan for Kevin O’Brien (37 mins), Mikey Ryan for Willie Griffin (42 mins), Brendan Giltenane for David Reidy (51mins).
TIPPERARY - Darragh Egan; Sean O’Brien, Micheal Butler, Tom Treacy; Willie Ryan, David Young, Padraig Heffernan; Joey McLoughney, Sean McCormack; Orrie Quirke, Timmy Hammersley, Pat Molloy; Ruairi Gleeson, Denis Maher, Paudie Green. Subs: Padraig O’Leary for Denis Maher (41 mins), Michael Ivors for Paudie Greene (46 mins), Alan Hogan for Sean McCormack (51 mins).
REFEREE - Paul Foley (Waterford).