Munster MFC: Premier find that bit extra

April 18, 2018

Limerick's Michael O'Hanrahan with Kyle Shelly of Tipperary.
©INPHO/Oisin Keniry.

Tipperary kept their Munster MFC hopes alive thanks to a thrilling extra-time victory over Limerick in tonight's play-off at Newcastle West.

After proving no match for five-in-a-row All-Ireland chasing Kerry seven days ago, the Premier County bounced back with a dramatic 2-12 to 1-11 win.

Matt O'Doherty's young guns will now travel to Waterford next Wednesday, April 25th when they face the hosts for a place in the semi-finals against Clare.

Having contested the first minor championship match to be played (resulted in a 3-13 to 2-9 defeat to the Banner County) since the age limit was reduced from U18 to U17, Limerick are the first team eliminated from the competition for 2018.

With Dylan Moloney (1-5) leading by example up front, the Treaty County produced a stirring comeback to force extra-time following substitute Keith O'Kelly's 65th minute leveller but in the end two goals from Kyle Shelly proved crucial for the eventual winners.

A swirling breeze made conditions difficult for both sets of players to cope with as Limerick led by the narrowest of margins at the end of a highly entertaining first-half -1-4 to 1-3.

The hosts enjoyed the better of the early exchanges, striking four points in succession (two apiece from Moloney (frees) and Eoin Murphy) to race into a 0-4 to 0-1 advantage.

Corner-forward Shelly, who opened the scoring for the visitors, pushed his side back in front when netting a goal via a 14th minute penalty - 1-2 to 0-4.

However, it didn't take long for Limerick to regain the initiative as referee John Ryan awarded them a spot kick of their own which St Kierans clubman Moloney - a new addition to the starting 15 - duly dispatched.

Tipperary hit the ground running in the second-half, outscoring their opponents by 1-3 to 0-0 in the third quarter with Moycarkey-Borris clubman Shelly netting his second major on the 40 minute mark.

Trailing by 2-6 to 1-4 and without a score since Moloney's penalty in the 24th minute, Limerick looked to be in major trouble but Niall Crowley's men battled back and landed five of the next six points before O'Kelly fired over to ensure that two periods of extra-time would be needed to separate the sides: Limerick 1-10 Tipperary 2-7, at full-time.

Tipperary - C Scully; T McDonagh, S Lowe, C McDonagh; M O'Meara (0-1f), G Meagher, J Ryan; B Murphy, K Ryan; K Hayes, D Ryan (0-1), E Daly; M Hackett, C English (0-4, 2f), K Shelly (2-3, 1-0pen). Subs: S O'Connor (0-2f) for M Hackett, R Byron for B Murphy, C Whelan for J Ryan (BC), J O'Sullivan for G Meagher, J Holloway (0-1) for E Daly.

Limerick - K Walsh; M O'Hanrahan, T Lyons, S Bradshaw; L Gammell, C Carew, D O'Keeffe; J Molyneaux, J Hayes (0-1); B Foley, D Moloney (1-5, 0-5f), D Kearns; P O'Shaughnessy, E Murphy (0-2), P Gallagher. Subs: K O'Kelly (0-1) for P Gallagher, L Scannell for D O'Keeffe, L Gleeson (0-1) for B Foley, K Guinan (0-1) for L Gammell, R O'Connor for D Moloney.

Referee - J Ryan.

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