Limerick produced a barnstorming finish to defeat Tipperary by seven points in the freezing fog of the Gaelic Grounds.
Seamus Callanan’s free had drawn the visitors level for the seventh time seven minutes into the second half but the impressive All-Ireland champions – playing their first Division 1A game at this venue in a decade – scored eleven of the last fifteen points to ease to their second win of the campaign.
Diarmaid Byrnes delivered a Man of the Match display for the winners, slotting four points from wing back, while Aaron Gillane was also excellent, notching nine scores, as was newcomer Conor Boylan.
Late points from substitute Jason Forde and Barry Heffernan had Tipp ahead by the minimum at the interval, 1-9 to 1-8, with 8,559 hardy souls braving the elements.
Patrick 'Bonner' Maher slammed the Premier County goal to the net in the 22rd minute to make it 1-3 to 0-4 after points from Byrnes ('65') and Darragh O'Donovan (slotting his side's first score from play) had pushed John Kiely’s charges ahead for the first time.
But the Treaty County kept battling and Graeme Mulcahy poked the dropping sliothar to the net in the 30th minute before Gillane's free tied the scores up at 1-6 apiece.
Mulcahy drew the sides level for the sixth time four minutes after the restart and an excellent Byrnes free from distance restored the hosts’ lead two minutes later.
Gillane and Callanan traded frees before Boylan nudged the Treaty two clear. Forde’s effort was cancelled out by Gillane's sixth (free) as the winners led by 1-13 to 1-11 with 20 minutes remaining. Underlining their credentials as the side to beat in hurling this year, Limerick pushed on with points from Dan Morrissey, Boylan, Byrnes, Gillane (three), Tom Morrissey and Peter Casey.
On a foggy night Limerick’s class was clear for all to see.
Limerick - N Quaid; T Condon, S Finn, R English; D Byrnes (0-4, 2f, 1'65), D Hannon, D Morrissey (0-1); D O’Donovan (0-1), C Ryan; G Hegarty, T Morrissey (0-2), C Boylan (0-2); A Gillane (0-9, 5f, 2'65), K Downes, G Mulcahy (1-1). Subs: P Casey (0-1) for K Downes, P O’Loughlin for D Hannon, K Hayes for C Boylan, P Ryan for G Mulcahy, C Lynch for D O’Donovan.
Tipperary - B Hogan; D Maher, J Barry, A Flynn; B Heffernan (0-1), R Maher, Padraic Maher (0-1); R Byrne (0-1), M Breen (0-1); D McCormack, N McGrath (0-1), W Connors (0-1); J Morris, S Callanan (0-5f), Patrick Maher (1-0). Subs: J Forde (0-3) for D McCormack, N O’Meara for R Byrne, K O’Dwyer for D Maher, M Kehoe for J Morris, J McGrath for M Breen.
Referee - S Cleere.Tweet