Limerick win keeps dream of great escape alive

Allianz FL Division 3 

Limerick win keeps dream of great escape alive

Rooted to the bottom of Division 3 prior to the weekend, the Shannonsiders will travel to Drogheda next weekend hopeful of retaining their status in the third tier. Clearly the better side, a solid second 35 minutes into the strong wind was the difference against a disappointing Clare.

After four successive defeats, manager John Brudair said the result is a magnificent boost, ahead of their trip to Louth next weekend.

“Clare drew level 10 minutes into the second half but our response all over the field was brilliant. We used the ball very well. We created a lot more chances. The likes of Peter Nash – he missed a very simple point but then came along and kicked a really difficult one. Then he scored a smashing goal. You are looking for fellas to step up in crunch times.”

The home side, who started without the experienced Ian Ryan (introduced 23rd minute), played with the gale in the opening half and thanks to Seanie Buckley’s goal, scored 1-3 before Gary Brennan kicked Clare’s first point on 15 minutes.

However, thanks to the graft of Podge Collins and a point from Brennan’s midfield partner Cathal O’Connor, it was a four-point match at the interval, 1-4 to 0-3.

When Pat Burke slipped a penalty past Brian Scanlon and the visitors added a pair of points, they were right back in it, 1-5 apiece with the fourth quarter to play.

Somehow, the Banner failed to score again and it was Limerick who never looked back, doubling their tally. All over the field, Limerick impressed – from brave keeper Scanlon to subs Ryan, Cian Sheehan and Danny Neville. Nash’s goal three minutes from time was the icing on the cake.

Clare boss Colm Collins rued missed opportunities as his charges recorded 10 wides to Limerick’s five. And despite a promising start to their league campaign, they now find themselves needing to put one over Fermanagh next Sunday to make sure of survival.

Other results will also determine who will be relegated as there are four teams with four points – Sligo, Clare, Louth and Limerick. Wexford are on two points.

“We would have been very happy at half-time going in four points down and there was quite a decent breeze there. But the breeze never won a match. Limerick showed more hunger and played a lot more intelligent football.

"We got an excellent start to the second half (penalty converted) and drew level but no excuses, we just didn’t drive on from there. We have a tough one now coming up next weekend against Fermanagh. It is a must-win. We need a performance, we just need to do the simple things right.”

Scorers for Limerick:

S Buckley (1-2, two frees), P Nash (1-1), D Neville (0-2), C Sheehan, K Moore, R Browne, I Ryan (free) and D Tracey (0-1 each).

Scorers for Clare:

P Burke (1-0, pen), G Brennan (0-3, one free), C O’Connor and D Ryan (0-1 each).

LIMERICK:

B Scanlon; S Cahill, J McCarthy, R Browne; I Corbett, P Browne, P Ranahan; T Lee, G Hegarty; J Riordan, D Tracey, C Fahy; P Nash, S Buckley (Capt), K Moore.

Subs:

I Ryan for K Moore (23), D Neville for J Riordan (half-time), C Sheehan for I Corbett (half-time), J Lee for C Fahy (65), M Lyons for I Ryan (70).

CLARE:

J Hayes; D Ryan, K Hartnett, M McMahon; S Hickey, G Kelly, J Malone; G Brennan (Capt), C O’Connor; S Collins, P Collins, S McGrath; M O’Leary, S Brennan, P Burke.

Subs:

K Sexton for M O’Leary (half-time), S Haugh for S Collins (61), D Nagle for S McGrath (69).

Referee:

Sean Joy (Kerry).

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