Late goals give Limerick win over Antrim

Two penalties from Ger Collins in the second-half saw Limerick work their way into the third round of the qualifiers after a battle against Antrim at the Gaelic Grounds.

Late goals give Limerick win over Antrim

Limerick 3-11 Antrim 0-15

Two penalties from Ger Collins in the second-half saw Limerick work their way into the third round of the qualifiers after a battle against Antrim at the Gaelic Grounds.

Substitute Darragh Tracey wrapped up the win in added time with a fisted goal, but Antrim will wonder how they lost this game by five points after being on an even keel with their hosts for the most part.

Unfortunately the first-half was marred by a serious arm injury to Antrim wing-back Justin Crozier after 27 minutes, who left the field on a stretcher following a nine-minute stoppage to the half.

After electing to play with the wind at the backs in the first half after winning the toss, Limerick made the most of that advantage and charged into an early two-point advantage following points from Killian Phair and Ian Ryan's first free.

But despite finding it difficult to punch their way through the Limerick defensive line, the chances came Antrim's way once they picked their way through and after Paul McCann curled over a sweet point, Paddy Cunnigham levelled matters in the eighth minute with a free.

Antrim began to gain the upper hand at midfield and would have hoped for a better return from their dominance but on more than one occasion their delivery into their attackers was not up to the required standard.

Instead, Limerick's vice-captain Ryan showed he was on form in front of goal and followed a well struck free with a beautiful point from play to give the home side a two-point lead by the 16th minute.

But Antrim took over from that point until the interval and kicked six of the next eight points to lead by two at the break.

That dominance included five points in a row from the Saffrons, but an excellent point from play from Limerick corner-back Mark O'Riordan left it 0-8 to 0-6 at half-time.

Antrim looked the stronger side after the restart when they hit three points in the first three minutes of the period, but were severely punished at the other end in the 42nd minute when Ger Collins converted a penalty following a foul on John Galvin.

That goal gave Limerick a one-point lead, but Cunningham levelled the game soon after with his fifth successful free.

However, Limerick went on to kick three consecutive points and when Collins rattled the net with his second penalty a quarter of an hour from the end to open out a five-point lead Antrim looked unlikely to stage a comeback.

But they closed the gap to two points with scores from Cunningham, Michael McCann and Patrick McBride, only for Tracey to punch to the net late on to clinch the win for Limerick.

Limerick: I Ryan 0-4 (3f), G Collins 2-0 (2-0pen), D Tracey 1-0, K Phair, J Galvin 0-2 each, T Lee G Hegarty, M O'Riordan 0-1 each.

Antrim: P Cunningham 0-8 (7f), P McCann 0-2, P McBride, M Sweeney, N McKeever, M McCann, R McGrady 0-1 each.

Limerick: B Scanlon; S O’Dea, P Browne, M O’Riordan; I Corbett, J McCarthy, P Ranahan; T Lee, J Galvin; D Neville, S Buckley, G Hegarty; G Collins, K Phair, I Ryan.

Subs: D Tracey for Lee (42), S Lucey for Corbett (44), E Hanrahan for Phair (63), M Brosnan for Neville (65), J Mullane for Hegarty (69), G Noonan for Ryan (73).

Antrim: P Flood; N Delargly, S McVeigh, K O'Boyle; T Scullion, D Lynch, J Crozier; M McCann, N McKever; P McCann, K Niblock, M Sweeney; P Cunningham, B Hasson, T McCann.

Subs: M Johnson for Crozier (28), R McGrady for Hasson (46), P McBride for P McCann (53), R Johnson for T McCann (65).

Referee: Martin Higgins (Fermanagh).

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