Extra time heartbreak for Limerick as Tipperary prevail in Munster football semi final

Jerome O'Connell in LIT Gaelic Grounds

Reporter:

Jerome O'Connell in LIT Gaelic Grounds

Email:

joconnell@limerickleader.ie

Limerick Tipperary

EXTRA-TIME heartbreak for Limerick in the Munster senior football championship semi final.

It ended Limerick 2-11 Tipperary 1-15 in the Munster SFC semi final.

Brian Fox scoring the Tipp winner in the final seconds as penalties looked likely.

Limerick built a seven point first half lead but then saw Tipperary score 1-6 unanswered at the start of the second half.

Billy Lee's men battled back to regain the lead until Conor Sweeney forced extra time with the last kick of the game to tie up the semi final for a fifth time.

Limerick had the aid of a gentle breeze in the opening half and were 2-6 to 0-5 ahead at half time.

It was a half in which Limerick had six different scorers and kicked just four wides.

Tipperary were first off the mark and while the teams were level on three occasions in the opening quarter, Limerick bossed much of the half.

It was 0-4 to 0-3 to Limerick at the first half water break.

Sean McSweeney and Cillian Fahy were the only scorers from play in that opening 16-minute period.

Both were to have telling impacts in the second quarter with 25th and 31st minute goals.

Tipperary's first score from play came in the 17th minute from Michael Quinlivan and tied up the contest at 0-4 each.

But Tipperary were to score just once more in the remaining 20-minutes of action.

Limerick went 12-minutes without a score but ended the barren spell in style.

Tommie Childs timed his lay-off perfectly to the overlapping Sean McSweeney and the former Limerick FC soccer star crashed to the net for a fine goal.

That had Limerick 1-4 to 0-4 ahead.

Tommy Griffin swung over a point to extend that lead before another goal.

This time it was a brilliant diagonal foot pass from distance from Tony McCarthy that found the in-rushing Cillian Fahy and he fired high to the net.

Now a 2-5 to 0-4 lead for Limerick.

Conor Sweeney ended 15-minutes without a Tipperary point but it was left to Killian Ryan to end the first half scoring an ensure a seven point interval lead for the men in green.

As they have done in recent games Limerick switched Iain Corbett from attack into centre back for the second half.

Tipperary hit the ground running and had three points inside the first 10-minutes of the new half to cut the lead to two scores.

They were to extend that run out to seven unanswered point before the second half water break.

A Liam Casey goal in the 54th minute had Tipperary ahead 1-11 to 2-6 at that water break.

Limerick now had four substitutes introduced and finally in the 22nd minute of the half came a score for Billy Lee's men - Darragh Treacy pointing.

That made it a one point game with over 10-minutes to play.

Just inside that final 10-minutes a Hugh Bourke had the game level for a fourth time with his second pointed free - 2-8 to 1-11.

Just as the fourth official held the board to signal five minutes of injury time Cian Sheehan lofted over to put Limerick back in front - he became the eighth Limerickman on the scoresheet.

There was time for one final dramatic act - Conor Sweeney ensuring extra time with a last gasp free from on the sideline - 2-9 to 1-12.

There was to be just one score in the first 10-minute period of extra time - Liam Boland with a Tipperary point.

Two minutes into the second period of extra time Sean McSweeney levelled again - moments after his re-introduction.

Then goalkeeper Donal O'Sullivan edged Limerick back in front with a '45 - alas the lead was short lived with Robbie Kiely hitting back for Tipperary.

In the final seconds came the winner - Brian Fox for Tipperary.

There was a last gasp shot from Seamus O'Carroll to force penalties but it was to be one of 11 Limerick wides.

SCORERS: Limerick: Sean McSweeney 1-2, Cillian Fahy 1-1, Hugh Bourke (2frees) and Donal O'Sullivan (1free, 1 '45) 0-2 each, Tommy Griffin, Killian Ryan, Darragh Treacy, Cian Sheehan 0-1 each.

Tipperary: Conor Sweeney 0-7 (5frees), Liam Casey 1-0, Jack Kennedy (2frees) and Liam Boland 0-2 each, Michael Quinlivan, Kevin Fahey, Robbie Kiely, Brian Fox 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: Donal O'Sullivan; Sean O’Dea, Brian Fanning, Paul Maher; Tony McCarthy, Killian Ryan, Gordon Brown; Darragh Treacy, Tommie Childs; Iain Corbett, Cillian Fahy, Adrian Enright; Hugh Bourke, Tommy Griffin, Sean McSweeney. Subs: Padraig de Brun for Adrian Enright (h-t), Danny Neville for Sean McSweney (50mins), Cian Sheehan for Tommy Griffin (50mins), Bob Childs for Gordan Brown (54mins), Seamus O'Carroll for Killian Ryan (65mins), Michael Donovan for Tony McCarthy (6mins, e-t), Davey Lyons for Cillian Fahy (11mins, e-t), Sean McSweeney for Paul Maher (h-t, e-t).

TIPPERARY: Evan Comerford; Alan Campbell, Jimmy Feehan, Colm O'Shaughnessy; Bill Maher, Kevin Fahey, Robbie Kiely; Conal Kennedy, Liam Casey; Jack Kennedy, Colman Kennedy, Emmet Moloney; Jason Lonergan, Conor Sweeney, Michael Quinlivan. Subs: Brian Fox for Jason Lonergan (h-t), Liam Boland for Colman Kennedy (h-t), Riain Quigley for Jack Kennedy, inj (58mins), Kevin O'Halloran for Emmet Moloney (65mins), Tadhg Fitzgerald for Colm O'Shaughnessy (68mins), Padraic Looram for Kevin O’Halloran (e-t), Colman Kennedy for Riain Quigley (6mins, e-t), Paudie Feehan for Kevin Fahey (11mins, e-t), Kevin O'Halloran for Liam Boland (18mins, e-t).

REFEREE: Maurice Deegan (Laois).