Limerick on course to retain title after big win over Tralee

Limerick 3-11, IT Tralee 0-8

A meeting with CIT now beckons on Sunday, but that was not the only reason for a smile on the face of the hometown manager, Liam Kearns.

"Obviously I'm pleased with the win. But importantly, it gives us another competitive match ahead of the National Football League the following Sunday," said Kearns.

"We have used this particular competition to blood a couple of new players I feel we have unearthed a couple in Seán Buckley, Pat Fitzgerald, Ger Ahern, Andrew Lane and Jim O'Donovan."

While the dominance of John Quane and O'Donovan gave Limerick total command at midfield, their defence had little difficulty in containing the challenge offered by the Tralee attack in which only Michael Collins and Enda Coughlan posed any real threat.

For Limerick Damien Reidy was outstanding at wing back while Padraig Browne, Andrew Lane and the vastly experienced Diarmuid Sheehy looked very assured.

Tralee official William Harmon put a brave face on the defeat believing the side can learn ahead of Saturday's Sigerson Cup tie with UUJ in Newbridge.

"It's new experience for us competing against inter-county teams, and got two competitive games in preparation for the Sigerson," he said.

"Our problems stemmed from midfield where we could make no impression but we did create a couple of chances up front that on another day, hopefully next Saturday, would end up in goals. You wouldn't want to lose sight of the fact that Limerick gave Kerry arguably their two toughest games in last year's championship, so it is no disgrace to be beaten by them today. It's a learning process for us."

Tralee had the opening score, when Collins who accounted for all his side's first half scores from placed balls pointed a close in free after 45 seconds but they weren't to score again until the 27th minute as Limerick took complete control. The home side were level after six minutes when Colm Hickey (who hit 2-2 from play), pointed and when Johnny Murphy goaled from a penalty after a foul on Hickey, there was only going to be one outcome. Murphy's goal helped Limerick to a half-time lead of 1-6 to 0-3 and it would have been far greater had the Limerick forwards finished off good approach work.

However, all that changed. By the end of the third quarter the home side had stretched their lead to 2-10 to 0-5, with Hickey finishing off a splendid move for the first of his two goals, in the 42nd minute.

Credit to Tralee who continued to press at every opportunity, and it took an excellent save by Limerick keeper Mike Jones to deny Ambrose O'Donovan a goal, after they had John McCarthy sin-binned. Two Tralee players suffered a similar fate in Michael Collins and Eoin Colgan.

The visitors added three points without reply but they were only token scores and Limerick remained firmly in control and they confirmed their superiority with a third goal, Hickey's second, following sloppy defending, in injury-time.

Scorers for Limerick: C. Hickey 2-2; J. Murphy 1-3 (1-2 frees); S. Buckley 0-2; C. Mullane, J. O'Donovan, A. Lane, P. Fitzgerald 0-1 each.

Tralee IT: M. Collins 0-4 (0-3 frees); R. McAuliffe 0-2; E. Coughlan, T. O'Leary 0-1 each.

LIMERICK: M. Jones; J. McCarthy, D. Sheehy, P. Browne; D. Reidy, S. Lavin, A. Lane; J. Quane, J. O'Donovan; S. Buckley, P. Fitzgerald, C. Mullane; G. Ahern, J. Murphy, C. Hickey. Subs. E. Keating for Ahern; J. O'Connell for Mullane; S. Gallagher for Lane.

TRALEE IT: S. Murphy (Cork); M. O'Mahony (Kerry), E. Mahony (Cork), E. Lawlor (Kerry); A. Cahalane (do.), B. McMahon (do.), T. O'Leaary (Cork); D. Murphy (Kerry), J. Best (do.); S. Moloney (Clare), E. Coughlan (do.), B. Flaherty (Kerry); P. O'Connell (Kerry), S. O Se (do.), M. Collins (do.); Subs. F. O'Dea (Clare) for Moloney; O. Colgan (Kerry) for Cahalane; C. O'Sullivan (Kerry) for Mahony; R. McAuliffe (Kerry) for Best; A. O'Donovan (Kerry) for O'Connell.

Referee, J. Geaney (Cork).

More in this section

courtsgaafootballplace: gaelic groundsplace: traleeplace: newbridgeperson: liam kearnsperson: kearnsperson: buckleyperson: pat fitzgeraldperson: ger ahernperson: andrew laneperson: jim o'donovanperson: john quaneperson: o'donovanperson: michael collinsperson: enda coughlanperson: damien reidyperson: padraig browneperson: diarmuid sheehyperson: william harmonperson: collinsperson: colm hickeyperson: johnny murphyperson: hickeyperson: murphyperson: traleeperson: mike jonesperson: ambrose o'donovanperson: john mccarthyperson: eoin colganperson: c. hickeyperson: j. murphyperson: s. buckleyperson: c. mullaneperson: j. o'donovanperson: a. laneperson: p. fitzgeraldperson: m. collinsperson: r. mcauliffeperson: e. coughlanperson: t. o'learyperson: limerickperson: m. jonesperson: j. mccarthyperson: d. sheehyperson: p. browneperson: d. reidyperson: s. lavinperson: j. quaneperson: g. ahernperson: e. keatingperson: ahernperson: j. o'connellperson: mullaneperson: s. gallagherperson: laneperson: s. murphyperson: m. o'mahonyperson: e. mahonyperson: e. lawlorperson: a. cahalaneperson: b. mcmahonperson: t. o'leaaryperson: d. murphyperson: j. bestperson: s. moloneyperson: b. flahertyperson: p. o'connellperson: s. o seperson: f. o'deaperson: moloneyperson: o. colganperson: kerryperson: c. o'sullivanperson: mahonyperson: a. o'donovanperson: o'connellperson: j. geaneyevent: mcgrath cupevent: sigerson cuporganisation: limerickorganisation: traleeorganisation: it traleeorganisation: citorganisation: uujorganisation: sigersonorganisation: kerryorganisation: cork

Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

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