Defeat to Tipperary ends Limerick McGrath Cup campaign


LIMERICK’S participation in the McGrath Cup is over for 2022 following a 1-12 to 0-14 loss to Tipperary at Mick Neville Park in Rathkeale.

Billy Lee’s men let go of a three point lead in the closing stages to fall to a second defeat in a week. Josh Ryan top scored for Limerick with 0-5.

Limerick now have three weeks to prepare for their opening league game which takes place against Longford at the TUS Gaelic Grounds.

Today’s result was one that could have went either way but Limerick’s lead of 0-14 to 1-8 looked like a winning one heading into the final quarter but two points each from Sean O’Connor and Jack Kennedy’s saw Tipperary to the win.

It was O’Connor that opened the scoring with two frees but Limerick responded with efforts from Darragh Ranahan and Tony McCarthy.

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O’Connor put Tipperary clear once more with another placed ball only to see McCarthy square the game up with his second point.

The Tipperary corner forward bagged his fourth point just before the water break but Limerick came out of the blocks after that with Ryan, Peter Nash and Hugh Bourke raising white flags.

O’Connor was at it again though in the 28th minute when he finished off a brilliant Tipperary attack with a fisted finish past Limerick keeper Aaron O’Sullivan that saw his side 1-4 to 0-6 ahead.

Shane Foley then stretched Tipperary’s advantage to two with a well taken score from play but Nash and a Ryan ’45 saw Limerick level at half time.

Conor Ryan and Bourke swapped scores at the beginning of the second half before an excellent Conal Kennedy point put Tipperary one clear yet again.

O’Connor then put Tipperary two ahead but they were then hit with a Limerick purple patch as Lee’s charges scored five points on the trot.

Points from the impressive James Naughton and Ryan levelled the game for a sixth time before Ryan missed a glorious goal chance for the home side.

Josh Ryan (in action v Wexford in 2017, scored 0-5 in Limerick’s McGrath Cup game against Tipperary. Photo by Diarmuid Greene/Sportsfile

He picked himself up to knock over two frees in a row and then a fine Cillian Fahy point saw Limerick 0-14 to 1-8 in front after 59 minutes.

O’Connor’s first point from play of the game stopped the rot for Tipperary and a free in the 70th minute put a solitary point between the teams.

Then enter Kennedy. The Tipperary substitute found room inside the Limerick full back line to level the game on 72 minutes and repeated the trick 60 seconds later to seal the late win.

Scorers – Limerick: Josh Ryan 0-5 (3f), Tony McCarthy, Peter Nash and Hugh Bourke 0-2 (2f) each, Darragh Ranahan, James Naughton and Cillian Fahy 0-1 each

LIMERICK: Aaron O’Sullivan; Jim Liston, Sean O’Dea, Mike O’Donovan; Tony McCarthy, Darragh Woulfe, Liam O’Sullivan; Tommy Griffin, Josh Ryan; Peter Nash, James Naughton, Barry Coleman; Shane Barry, Hugh Bourke, Darragh Ranahan.

Subs: Darragh Treacy for Nash (h-t), Liam O’Sullivan for McCarthy (h-t), Cillian Fahy for Liston (h-t), Dara Noonan for Barry (53), Padraig de Bruin for Coleman (53), Robbie Bourke for Hugh Bourke (53), Ruairi O’Brien for Woulfe (59), Hugh Bourke for Ranahan (63).

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