DESPITE a brave display there was no joy for the Limerick minor hurlers in this Sunday’s All Ireland MHC Final in Croke Park.
Tipperary ended up 1-21 to 0-17 winners to maintain a Limerick wait for an Irish Press Cup victory that stretches back to 1984.
This 2016 final defeats adds to those of 2005 and 2014.
An early second half goal powered Tipperary to the victory.
When these sides met in the Munster final, Tipperary were 17-point winners but this time round Limerick went toe-to-toe with their neighbours.
Tipperary were ahead 0-9 to 0-8 at half time.
It was a strong close to the half from Limerick, who trailed 0-8 to 0-3 after 21-minutes.
A Brian Ryan free opened the game’s scoring in the third minute but only with the help of Hawkeye. Limerick selector John Mulqueen raced on the field to protest as all in the Hogan Stand were confident of the score and ultimately it was awarded.
Then came the first of the Tipperary run of scores to move 0-3 to 0-1 ahead.
Darragh Carroll hit back but again Tipp remained in control to lead 0-6 to 0-2 on 18-minutes.
Conor Boylan went close to a goal but a Brian Ryan point from play was Limerick’s lot as Tipperary moved 0-8 to 0-3 ahead with nine minutes left in the half.
Then came the big finish from Limerick with five points in the final minutes. There was a three-in-a-row Ryan and one from Conor Boylan.
Shane Neville hit back for Tipperary but a fourth pointed free of the half from Ryan left it 0-9 to 0-8 at the break.
The all-important goal came in the third minute of the second half with Jake Morris finishing low to the net for a 1-10 to 0-10 lead.
Brian Ryan, Kyle Hayes and Ciaran O’Connor hit back for Limerick but the goal that was needed never came. Kyle Hayes, Paul O’Brien and Conor Boylan all had glimpses of goal but no green flag.
With 10-minutes to play it was 1-15 to 0-13 but Limerick couldn’t find another gear to snatch victory.
Indeed David Woulfe and Ryan (free) left it 1-18 to 0-17 with two minutes to play but it was the winners that found the last three points to ensure the title.
LIMERICK: Mark O’Kelly (Croom); Brian Nash (South Liberties), Conor Nicholas (Monaleen), Ronan Connolly (Adare); Josh Adams (Ballybrown), Ciaran O’Connor (Kilmallock), Finn Hourigan (Murroe-Boher); Jerome Boylan (Na Piarsaigh), Darragh Carroll (Newport); Michael O’Grady (Knockainey), Anthony Barrett (Kilmallock), Brian Ryan (South Liberties); Conor Boylan (Na Piarsaigh), Kyle Hayes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Cian Magner Flynn (Killeedy). Subs: Paul O’Brien (Mungret St Pauls) for Cian Magner Flynn (33mins), John Flynn (Patrickswell) for Darragh Carroll (36mins), David Woulfe (Kilmallock) for Anthony Barrett (41mins), Micheal Bourke (Garryspillane) for Josh Adams (44mins), Conor O’Grady (Hospital-Herbertstown) for Michael O’Grady (53mins).
TIPPERARY: Ciaran Barrett (Clonmel Og); Killian O’Dwyer (Killenaule), Michael Whelan (Carrick Dwans), Tom Murphy (JK Brackens); Cian Flanagan (Newport), Brian McGrath (Loughmore-Castleiney), Jerome Cahill (Kilruane McDonaghs); Paddy Cadell (JK Brackens), Ger Browne (Knockavilla Doneskeigh Kickhams); Rian Doody (Cappawhite), Jake Morris (Nenagh Eire Og), Colin English (Fr Sheehys); Cian Darcy (Kilruane McDonaghs), Mark Kehoe (Kilsheelan Kilcash), Lyndon Fairbrother (JK Brackens). Subs: Shane Neville (Lattin Cullen) for Rian Doody (26mins), Gavin Dunne (Holycross Ballycahill) for Tom Murphy (36mins), Dylan Walsh (Ballingarry) for Cian Darcy (41mins), Dylan Quirke (Clonoulty Rossmore) for Cian Flanagan (51mins), Conor Stacklum (Thurles Sarsfields) for Ger Browne (61mins).
REFEREE: John Keenan (Wicklow).