Limerick secure victory

Offaly 3-8 Limerick 0-21

Limerick secure victory

Offaly 3-8 Limerick 0-21

Limerick wasted a series of goal-scoring opportunities but did enough to warrant this latest Allianz Hurling League success in Tullamore.

Offaly were unable to reel the Shannonsiders in, with their fourth straight league win confirming a spot in the Division 1B final for John Allen's men and a shot at promotion back into the top flight.

The home side had been on course for a surprise victory over the Division 1B leaders, thanks to two goals from Shane Dooley inside the opening ten minutes.

Dooley netted first from a penalty, adding to his three earlier points which cancelled out Graeme Mulcahy's opener for Limerick. The visitors created their first goal-scoring chance through Conor Allis but his shot was brilliantly saved by Offaly goalkeeper James Dempsey.

Offaly stormed downfield for their second just moments later, with Dooley capitalising to finish to the net after Limerick full-back Richie McCarthy was not quick enough to deal with a loose ball.

Cathal Parlon got on the scoresheet for the Faithfuls but two Seamus Hickey points kept Allen's men within reach and they ended the first half with three late points, including a fine score from Kevin Downes out wide on the left.

That reduced the margin to 2-7 to 0-8 by the interval and with Limerick having the assistance of the wind in the second half, Dooley's brace of goals were lessening in importance by the minute.

Despite some poor free-taking from Declan Hannon, Limerick closed the gap even further on the resumption thanks to long range scores from Paul Browne and defenders Wayne McNamara and Gavin O'Mahony.

Mulcahy, the scorer of their opening point, nudged the Shannonsiders ahead with 20 minutes remaining - 0-14 to 2-07 - but Offaly hit back with their third goal of the contest.

Wing forward Colin Egan was the grateful recipient of some excellent approach work from substitute James Mulrooney, who broke past full-back McCarthy and his well-placed pass played in Egan for a neat finish to the net.

However, Offaly had to wait until the 70th minute for their first point of the second half - a Dooley free - as Limerick, led by the increasingly influential Downes and Mulcahy, maintained their grip on the scoreboard.

The visitors' full-forward line of Downes, Hannon and Mulcahy was particularly effective, tallying up 0-11 between them, with Downes pointing on the turn in injury-time to complete a satisfying second half comeback from his side.

OFFALY: J Dempsey; C McDonald, D Kenny, P Cleary; D Morkan, R Hanniffy, K Brady; C Slevin, B Carroll (0-1); C Egan (1-0), C Mahon, S Ryan; S Dooley (2-6, 1-0 pen, 0-4f), C Parlon (0-1), T Carroll.

Subs used: J Mulrooney for C Parlon (46 mins), G Healion for Ryan (60), T Bolger for Carroll, D Mooney for Slevin (both 66).

LIMERICK: N Quaid; A Dempsey, R McCarthy, S O’Neill; P O’Brien, W McNamara (0-1), G O’Mahony (0-1); P Browne (0-2), J Ryan; D Breen, S Hickey (0-2), C Allis (0-4, 0-2f); K Downes (0-3), D Hannon (0-4, 0-4f), G Mulcahy (0-4).

Subs used: M Carmody for O’Neill (28 mins), T Quaid for Breen (66).

Referee: Alan Kelly (Galway)

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up