14-man Tipperary may have scored all the goals, but the aces lay on the Limerick side as a superior second half performance saw the National League semi-finalists through on a 0-16 to 3-05 scoreline in their Munster SFC examination at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

The experienced heads of skipper Muiris Gavin and returning midfielder John Quane combined with the point-taking of forwards Eoin Keating and Conor Fitzgerald told as Limerick ran out two-point winners in the Cork sunshine, despite leaking goals to Aidan Fitzgerald, Declan Browne and Paul Cahill.

2003 All-Star Browne laid off a third minute pass for Fitzgerald to slide home Tipp's opening goal, and barely three minutes later, in a torrid opening spell for stand-in Limerick 'keeper Mike Jones, Browne netted for a 2-01 to 0-02 lead.

Browne had cancelled out Gavin's opening two frees after a minute-and-a-half with a free of his own. From a move started by goalkeeper Brian Enright, Cahill crashed home Tipperary's third goal on 26 minutes as they racked up a slender 3-03 to 0-09 lead by the break. At that stage, Browne had already accounted for 1-03 of Tipperary's tally.

At the other end, Keating chipped in with two scores on 13 and 19 minutes, and ended the half's scoring with a 35-yard effort after Gavin had notched a third free on 33 minutes. Conor Fitzgerald (0-02) and Stephen Kelly were also on target for the Shannonsiders.

A sharp turnaround seemed to suit Limerick the better and they soon chipped away at the Premier county's lead. A run of yellow cards saw play suffer but a 41st minute point from half-back Glen Burke saw Tipp maintain their lead, albeit by just two points at 3-04 to 0-11. Gavin and full forward John Murphy had stoked the Limerick fires with early scores, and Kelly almost nipped in on 37 minutes for a goal, but his shot was blocked away by Enright. Ironically Burke was the Tipp man to walk on 48 minutes for a second bookable offence.

Gavin (two frees) and Keating pointed Limerick in front, and with Conor Fitzgerald wielding another score, Tipp were down by two points just past the hour mark, 3-04 to 0-15. Browne summoned the reserves to point a free with six minutes remaining but victory was deservedly Limerick's with a Keating point from the left wing sealing matters.

Filed by Barry J Whyte