Waterford Crystal Cup Semi-Final
Tipperary 2-30 University of Limerick 0-22
The Tipperary senior hurlers’ hectic schedule continued at Dr Morris Park on Sunday afternoon when Eamon O’Shea’s developing side enjoyed a fourteen-point Waterford Crystal Cup semi-final win over a heavily-depleted University of Limerick (UL) side.
Having lost to Cork in a challenge game on Saturday Tipperary, featuring the excellent Shane McGrath, Michael Cahill and John O’Dwyer, played with the wind in the opening half of this contest and led 1-19 to 0-10 at the interval.
Early points from John O’Dwyer (two frees), Séamus Callanan and Michael Heffernan from long-range helped Tipperary into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead inside the opening eight minutes.
That pattern persisted with a converted ’65, a point and superb left-handed effort from John O’Dwyer forcing Tipperary six points clear by the 11th minute. Seconds later Mikey Heffernan added his second of the afternoon and Tipperary led 0-8 to 0-1 before Peter Geraghty managed a response for UL.
Two O’Dwyer frees and a long-range Shane McGrath effort forced Tipperary nine clear, but UL responded with frees from Tommy Heffernan and PJ Scully.
The sides traded points to leave seven in it (0-13 to 0-6) entering the 24th minute before Tipperary hit four without reply to extend their advantage to eleven - Séamus Callanan, Shane McGrath, Michael Cahill and John O’Dwyer were responsible for these efforts.
UL hit back with points from PJ Scully and Brian Stapleton, but those efforts were off-set by points from John O’Dwyer (free) and Ruairí Gleeson before Kieran Morris won a Pádraig Heffernan clearance in the 33rd minute and set up John O’Dwyer for the game’s opening goal.
UL closed out the half on a positive note with PJ Scully converting two late frees.
With the game already over as a contest both sides made a series of changes in personnel at the interval.
PJ Scully converted a UL free immediately after the break, but Tipperary responded in style with points from Brendan Maher and Kieran Morris (two frees) to lead 1-22 to 0-11.
UL hit back with a brace of their own courtesy of Pádraig Walsh and Kevin Connolly.
Conor Kenny interrupted UL’s scoring surge, but the students, now playing with the wind, continued to eat into the Tipperary lead thanks to points from Pádraig Walsh and PJ Scully.
Points from Kieran Morris (three) and Colin O’Riordan book-ended a Brian Stapleton effort to help Tipperary into a 1-27 to 0-16 lead with fifteen minutes to play before Pádraig Walsh struck once more to leave thirteen in it. A Ruairí Gleeson point preceded three consecutive UL points which came courtesy of PJ Scully (two) and Tom O’Brien.
As this disappointing contest entered the final five minutes a Kieran Morris free forced Tipperary twelve points clear. Efforts from Bill Maher and Pádraig Walsh maintained UL’s interest in the affair before Tipperary closed out the game with a Michael Cahill point and, finally, a neat goal from Conor Kenny in the 71st minute.
Tipperary: Darragh Egan (Kildangan), Conor O’Brien (Éire Óg Annacarty), Thomas Stapleton (Templederry Kenyons), Jack Peters (Kilruane MacDonagh’s), Shane McGrath (Ballinahinch, 0-2), Pádraig Heffernan (Clonoulty-Rossmore), Ronan Maher (Thurles Sarsfields), Michael Cahill (Thurles Sarsfields, 0-2), David Collins (Drom & Inch), Kieran Bergin (Killenaule, 0-1), Mikey Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg, 0-2), Séamus Callanan (Drom & Inch, 0-3), Ruairí Gleeson (Kildangan, 0-2), John O’Dwyer (Killenaule, 1-9, 0-5 frees, 0-1 ‘65), Kieran Morris (Moycarkey-Borris, 0-6, 0-5 frees). Subs: (HT) James Logue (Ballingarry) for Darragh Egan, (HT) Colin O’Riordan (JK Bracken’s, 0-1) for Kieran Bergin, (HT) Brendan Maher (Borris-Ileigh, 0-1) for Séamus Callanan, (HT) Conor Kenny (Borris-Ileigh, 1-1) for John O’Dwyer, (39th) Shane Bourke (JK Bracken’s) for David Collins.
University of Limerick: Shane Hassett (Drom & Inch, Tipperary), Mark Carmody (Limerick), Jack Sheehan (Cork), Pa Ryan (Clonakenny, Tipperary), Daire Quinn (Nenagh Éire Óg, Tipperary), Michael O’Flaherty (Burgess, Tipperary), David King (Offaly), Martin Boran (Cork), Mikey O’Neill (Clare, 0-1), PJ Scully (Laois, 0-9, 0-7 frees), Brian Stapleton (Templederry Kenyons, Tipperary, 0-2), Thomas Geraghty (Offaly), Mikey Ryan (Limerick), Tommy Heffernan (Nenagh Éire Óg, Tipperary, 0-2, 0-2 frees), Peter Geraghty (Offaly, 0-1). Subs: (HT) Pádraig Walsh (Kilkenny, 0-4) for Peter Geraghty, (HT) Bill Maher (Kilsheelan-Kilcash, Tipperary, 0-1) for Martin Boran, (HT) Tom O’Brien (Limerick, 0-1) for Tommy Heffernan, (HT) Kevin Connolly (Galway, 0-1) for Mikey O’Neill, (53rd) Eamon Murphy (Laois) for Thomas Geraghty.
Referee: Cathal McAllister (Cork).