Tipp and Limerick in thrilling draw

June 10, 2007
Tipperary and Limerick must replay their Munster SHC semi-final after substitute Pat Tobin's late goal rescued a draw for 14-man Limerick in sweltering conditions at the Gaelic Grounds. Tipperary…1-19 Limerick….1-19 A draw was no more than Limerick deserved after they had battled manfully with 14 players following the dismissal of their captain and corner back Damien Reale for a second bookable offence in the 21st minute. A thrilling contest looked to be heading Tipperary's way until Ollie Moran, who produced a man of the match performance in his new role of centre forward, fetched a high ball on the 20-metre line before laying off to Tobin, who gave Brendan Cummins no chance with a powerful shot to the top right corner of the net. There were four minutes of normal time still to be played, but neither side created a clear-cut scoring opportunity in a frantic finale and the teams must do it all again at Thurles next Saturday evening. Limerick were clearly the happier of the two teams at the final whistle, but the extra game won't do Tipperary any harm either and with Paul Curran and Lar Corbett, who were late withdrawals due to injury(Corbett did appear for the second half), expected back for the replay, they will be confident of completing the job. Tipp were first off the mark when Willie Ryan, who was surprisingly handed the free-taking duties ahead of Eoin Kelly, sent over a routine free in the second minute. Ollie Moran, who gave Benny Dunne a torrid time of it, levelled on four minutes before championship debutant James Woodlock restored Tipp's slender lead. Within seconds, however, Moran had the home side back on level terms. Ryan's second free was cancelled out by a similar score from Andrew O'Shaughnessy after Sean O'Connor was fouled by Declan Fanning. In the 11th minute, Eoin Kelly was treated for an injury and afterwards referee Diarmuid Kirwan issued him and his marker Damien Reale with yellow cards. When play resumed, Niall Moran gave Limerick the lead for the first time and Barry Foley's follow up made it 0-5 to 0-3 after 14 minutes. But Tipp went back in front on the quarter-hour mark when the Limerick defence failed to deal adequately with Benny Dunne's long-range free and John Carroll latched onto possession before calmly slotting the ball past Brian Murray in the Limerick goal. Things went from bad to worse for Richie Bennis' side after 21 minutes when a reckless chop down by Reale on Kelly resulted in the Limerick captain receiving a second yellow card. Willie Ryan pointed the resultant free and he was on the mark again in the 25th minute after a clearly frustrated Stephen Lucey needlessly lashed out at Ryan after the Limerick full back had made a magnificent clearance. The Croom man received a yellow card for his troubles. Eoin Kelly's first point in the 27th minute increased Tipp's advantage to 1-6 to 0-5 but then a hard-working Limerick hit a purple patch which yielded four unanswered points in as many minutes from Ollie Moran (two), O'Shaughnessy (free) and Barry Foley. Ryan O'Dwyer put Tipp back in front before O'Shaughnessy levelled for the fifth time with his first from play. But Tipp went into the break leading by 1-9 to 0-10 thanks to a late brace from Darragh Egan and John Carroll. O'Shaughessy and Ryan traded frees on the restart before points from Niall Moran and O'Shaughnessy brought the home side level for a sixth time. The impressive Darragh Egan and O'Shaughessy exchanged points before Tipp upped the ante with three-in-a-row from Shane McGrath, Lar Corbett and Willie Ryan which left it 1-14 to 0-14 after 45 minutes. Ollie Moran's fifth point kept Limerick in touch, only for James Woodlock to reply for the Premier County. O'Shaughnessy and Egan exchanged scores again before Limerick - working as hard as ever - reduced the deficit to the minimum with an excellent brace from subs Michael Fitzgerald and Pat Tobin. The big home support were on their feet again when wing forward Mike O'Brien broke through two tackles to level for an eighth time in the 59th minute. But Tipp, who found scores easier to come by, looked to have finally killed off their opponents when they scored three on the trot per Eoin Kelly, Willie Ryan and Lar Corbett. Limerick refused to throw in the towel, however, and their perseverance was rewarded with Tobin's late major, which levelled a super contest for a ninth and final time.

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