Limerick threw the new Munster SHC round-robin series wide open with a dramatic win over Tipperary at the Gaelic Grounds.
They were well worth their victory after a superb performance by John Kiely’s men.
Tipperary led by 1-10 to 0-12 at the break thanks a pointed free from Jason Forde just before the break.
It was Forde’s seventh pointed free of an opening half where the sides were level nine times.
They were level five more times after the restart but then Limerick pulled away for a deserved win in front of a crowd of 20,403.
Limerick had an edge in the opening half but were unable to pull away as they constantly coughed up frees, which Forde kept punishing.
But it was clear that Kiely’s men were finely tuned for this contest, running some great lines which stretched the Tipperary defence.
They were level at the end of the opening quarter before Gillane put Limerick in front just after Tipperary’s debut goalkeeper Brian Hogan produced a superb save to deny Gearoid Hegarty.
But Tipperary hit back and Dan McCormack pounced for the opening goal of the Munster championship when he finished a rebound after John McGrath’s effort came back off the left post.
Dan McCormack goals for Tipperary! pic.twitter.com/dQKktyFFcB— The GAA (@officialgaa) 20 May 2018
Limerick responded well with efforts from Gillane and Mulcahy tying the match and they continued to exchange points to the break before Forde sent Tipperary in with the advantage.
Little separated the sides on the resumption and they were level three more times in the opening ten minutes.
However, it was clear that Limerick were on top in most of the key positions and this was finally reflected on the scoreboard as Gillane, Hegarty and Byrnes hit the target to lead by 0-18 to 1-12 after 50 minutes.
Tipperary responded and drew level when Forde blasted to the net and then Noel McGrath edged them in front eleven minutes from time.
However, Michael Ryan’s men only managed one more point from there to the end of five minutes of stoppage time.
In contrast, Limerick were full of running with their replacements’ bench making a big impact as they pushed home for an invaluable win.
Gillane got them level ten minutes from time and after Cian Lynch and Byrnes pushed them two in front.
Any hopes of a Tipperary revival were killed off when Barry Murphy raced through and neatly flicked the ball to the net three minutes from the end.
Goal for Limerick! Barry Murphy bats to the back of the Tipperary net. pic.twitter.com/zqdBTm0PQk— The GAA (@officialgaa) 20 May 2018
Limerick: Nicky Quaid; Sean Finn, Seamus Hickey, Richie English; Diarmuid Byrnes (0-03, 0-02 65s, 0-01f), Declan Hannon, Dan Morrissey; Darragh O’Donovan (0-01), Cian Lynch (0-02); Gearoid Hegarty (0-02), Kyle Hayes, Tom Morrissey (0-02); Aaron Gillane (0-08, 0-06f), Seamus Flanagan (0-01); Graeme Mulcahy (0-04).
Subs used: David Dempsey for Morrissey (54 mins), Barry Murphy (1-00) for Mulcahy (54 mins), Mike Casey for Hickey (56), Pat Ryan for Flanagan (62 mins), Paul Browne for O’Donovan (67 mins).
Tipperary: Brian Hogan; Alan Flynn, Séamus Kennedy, Donagh Maher; Barry Heffernan, Padraic Maher, Ronan Maher; Willie Connors, Billy McCarthy; Dan McCormack (1-00), Noel McGrath (0-02), Seán Curran; John O’Dwyer (0-01), Jason Forde (1-09, 0-9f), John McGrath (0-02).
Subs used: Sean O’Brien for D Maher (43 mins), Brendan Maher for Connors (50 mins), Seamus Callanan for Curran (53 mins), Michael Breen for Kennedy (55 mins), Patrick Maher for McCarthy (65 mins).