Tipperary 0-10 Limerick 0-6

In the first-half, the hosts mustered just a single point from 14 shots and registered nine wides, but Limerick didn’t fare much better as they led by 0-3 to 0-1 at the end of a desperately disappointing half.

However, Tipp boss John Evans was most encouraged by a strong second-half display, as the winners outscored the visitors by 0-9 to 0-3.

Tipp, relegated last year, also went closest to an elusive goal when substitute Conor Sweeney rattled the crossbar with a ferocious left-footed strike 10 minutes into the second-half.

And on a day when little went right for 2010 Division 4 champions Limerick, in Maurice Horan’s first game in charge, dual star Mark O’Riordan was dismissed for a second bookable offence in the final minute.

The free count exceeded 40 on an afternoon when referee Syl Doyle flashed eight yellow cards, including the double award to O’Riordan.

Limerick’s experiment of playing John Galvin at full-forward didn’t work as he was well policed by man-of-the-match Ciarán McDonald.

Ger Collins hit five points, including three from play, and was by far his team’s outstanding forward while Tipperary produced a better overall team effort, with seven players ending with their names on the scoresheet.

Despite playing against the wind, Tipp had the better of the first-half and should have posted a better return by the midway point.

But the home side’s accuracy improved immeasurably in the second-half as Peter Acheson caught the eye with two stunning long-range points.

George Hannigan had scored Tipperary’s only point in the first-half before Acheson, captain Barry Grogan and impressive sub Sweeney chipped in with a brace apiece as John Evans’ side upped the ante.

Scorers for Tipperary: P Acheson, B Grogan (2f) & C Sweeney (1f), 0-2 each, B Jones, G Hannigan, P Austin & S Grogan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Limerick: G Collins 0-5 (2f), J Galvin 0-1.

TIPPERARY: P Fitzgerald; C McDonald, P Codd, A Morrissey; C Aylward, L Egan, C Dillon; B Jones, G Hannigan; B Fox, P Austin, P Acheson; S Hahessy, S Grogan, B Grogan.

Subs: D Dwyer for Dillon (inj, 6), C Sweeney for Hahessy (28), B Mulvihill for Austin (65), N Curran for Fox (70+1).

LIMERICK: B Scanlon; M O’Riordan, J McCarthy, S Gallagher; J Riordan, S Lucey, P Ranahan; J Donovan, J Galvin; S Kelly, P Corrigan, S Buckley; I Ryan, S O’Carroll, G Collins.

Subs: E O’Connor for Buckley (56), J Cooke for Donovan (60), J Mullane for Ryan (61).

Referee: S Doyle (Wexford).