Late Lavin strike rescues draw

Limerick 2-12 Donegal 4-6

Limerick 2-12 Donegal 4-6

It was raining goals at the Gaelic Grounds this afternoon as Stephen Lavin's late strike rescued a 2-12 to 4-6 draw for Limerick against Division 1A table-toppers Donegal.

Lavin found the bottom left corner of Paul Durcan's net to bring Limerick level and keep alive their hopes of finishing out of the bottom two.

Leon Thompson and Michael Doherty grabbed early goals for Donegal but the Shannonsiders led 1-7 to 2-2 at half-time thanks to Thomas Cahill's goal and four unanswered points.

Christy Toye and Adrian Sweeney added further Donegal goals but some good points from Micheal Reidy and Lavin's major ensured a stalemate.

Donegal booked their place in the Division One semi-finals but not with the sixth straight win that they craved.

The Tir Chonaill men, who only needed a single point to make it through to the knock-out stages, made a change to their side before the throw-in with Barry Monaghan replacing Barry Dunnion in the half-back line.

Thompson slammed home Donegal's first goal in the twelfth-minute, but the diminutive corner forward injured himself in the process. His replacement Doherty managed to raise the visitors' second green flag, eight minutes later.

Then Limerick played their way back into contention when some good work from Seanie Buckley put Cahill through for his goal. Mickey Ned O'Sullivan's side dominated for the next ten minutes with Reidy (0-2) and John Galvin (0-2) helping themselves to scores.

The Shannonsiders were 1-7 to 2-1 to the good before Brendan Devenney ended a scoreless 14-minute spell for Donegal with a clever point.

Donegal managed to nip ahead, early in the second half, when a long ball in caused problems for the hosts' defence, wing forward Toye got onto it and drilled a 14-metre shot past the dive of Limerick keeper Sean Kiely and into the left corner of the net.

A Pat Aherne point levelled the sides again at 1-8 to 3-2 but Kiely then gifted another goal to Donegal. His poor kick-out was gobbled up with Sweeney and the former All-Star had no problem dispatching it to the net.

Two points apiece from Reidy and Donegal's Kevin Cassidy brought the score line to 1-10 to 4-4 before Limerick's late revival was topped off by Lavin's injury-time goal which saw him brilliantly bury the ball to Durcan's left.

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