Early goals see Tipp past Limerick
TIPPERARY 3-12 LIMERICK 1-16
Two first-half goals from Michael Breen and another from Seamus Callanan proved the difference as 14-man Tipperary weathered a late Limerick rally to book their place in the Munster final with Waterford.
Breen fired a brace in the opening 10 minutes to put Tipp in charge but the sending off of star forward John "Bubbles" O'Dwyer for lashing out at Richie English in the 14th minute briefly turned the game on its head.
With Shane Dowling in fine free-scoring form and Gavin O'Mahony mopping up as sweeper, TJ Ryan's side trailed by one, 2-2 to 0-7, before Callanan finished an excellent team move to the net.
Tipp led by three at the break, 3-5 to 0-11, in a rain-soaked Thurles but the expected Treaty second-half charge never materialised as the likes of Padraic Maher and James Barry mopped up at the back.
For long periods it looked as if Tipp were the ones with the extra man as Limerick found it hard to break them down but a cracking injury-time goal from sub Tom Morrissey did make things interesting.
Tipp were the better team, however, and with Noel McGrath back to his best they held on for a two-point win, setting up a rematch of last year's Munster decider on Sunday July 10.
SCORERS – Tipperary: S Callanan 1-6 (3fs, 2 '65), N McGrath 0-3, M Breen 2-1, J McGrath 0-1, P Maher 0-1. Limerick – S Dowling 0-9 (8fs), T Morrissey 1-0, D Hannon 0-2, B Nash, J Ryan, G Hegarty, C Lynch and J Fitzgibbon 0-1 each
TIPPERARY: D Gleeson; C Barrett, J Barry, M Cahill; S Kennedy, R Maher, Padraic Maher; B Maher, M Breen; D McCormack, Patrick Maher, N McGrath; J O'Dwyer, S Callanan, J McGrath. Subs: N O'Meara for D McCormack (60), D Maher for R Maher (64), J Forde for Patrick Maher (69), K Bergin for B Maher (71), D Quinn for M Breen (72)
LIMERICK: N Quaid; S Hickey, D Morrissey, R English; D Byrnes, G O'Mahony, T Condon; J Ryan, P Browne; G Hegarty, S Dowling, C Lynch; G Mulcahy, D Hannon, B Nash. Subs: T Morrissey for J Ryan (48), K Downes for B Nash (55), J Fitzgibbon for G Hegarty (58).
REF: James McGrath (Westmeath)