By Mark Jones
DUBLIN — It had to end. Unbeaten since the 2000 All-Ireland quarterfinal, Tipperary’s 20-month run of success came to a halt when they were outplayed by Limerick League Div. 1B game at Thurles.
Inspired by Mark Foley, Limerick were full value for their 2-13 to 1-12 victory and if Foley was the catalyst for much of the good play, Mark Keane was on hand to finish the job with a superb individual contribution of 2-7, which included six points from frees.
Tipp started with 11 of their All-Ireland winning side, and later Tommy Dunne and John Carroll were sent into action in an effort to salvage a result. Eugene O’Neill was selected at full forward to replace the retired Declan Ryan, and he scored his team’s only goal just before the break to leave Tipp 1-10 to 1-6 in front.
There was little change in the pattern in the early stages of the second half, but once Keane pounced for his second goal, Limerick were on their way, and the same player added three more points in the closing five minutes.
Cork 0-24, Wexford 2-12
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Cork made it two wins out of two when they accounted for Wexford at Pairc Ui Chaoimh. With Seanie McGrath in good form and Alan Browne hitting the mark from all of his seven free attempts, Cork finished strongly, scoring 8 points to Wexford’s 1 in the final 20 minutes.
Offaly 1-16, Derry 0-9
Offaly opened their account with a comfortable victory over Derry at Lavey. Trailing by 2 points at the interval, Offaly then managed to take control thanks to a Ger Oakley goal, which was followed by a rush of scores from Mick O’Hara, Brian Carroll and Damien Murray, each of whom added 3 points.
Galway 0-15, Kilkenny 0-9
The dismissal of John Hoyne midway through the second half was a factor in Kilkenny’s Div. 1A loss to Galway at Ballinasloe. However, the introduction of Joe Rabbitte at halftime changed the game in a major way.
Rabbitte was already making an impression at center forward when Hoyne swung dangerously at Liam Hodgins, and he set up several chances for Kevin Broderick and Damien Hayes, who scored two points each.
Clare registered a second victory by surviving a late Dublin comeback at Cusack Park. It finished 0-18 to 2-7, but poor defending allowed Dublin in for goals, by Ciaran Wilson and Pat Maguire, which momentarily reduced the gap to just 2 points.
Meanwhile, Waterford overpowed Meath by 4-12 to 1-5 at Dungarvan, where Paul Flynn and substitute Michael White each scored two goals.
In Div. 2A, two goals by Emmett Trainor set up Down’s 2-18 to 1-7 triumph over Westmeath at Portaferry, while in Div. 2B, Carlow defeated Kerry by 2-11 to 2-8 at Dr. Cullen Park, and Laois got the better of Wicklow by 2-11 to 0-9.