Limerick rejoice with promotion in Allianz Football League with victory over Fermanagh
Limerick players celebrate with manager Billy Lee after securing promotion to Division 2 of the Allianz Football League on Sunday Picture: Keith Wiseman
Jerome O’Connell in TUS Gaelic Grounds27 Mar 2022 3:39 PMEmail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A RED letter day for Limerick football as Billy Lee’s side secured a second promotion in three years in the Allianz Football League.
This victory over Fermanagh ensures Limerick will play in Division Two next season – the first time since 2007 that the men in green are outside of the bottom two tiers. They will play against Dublin, Kildare, Derry, Meath, Cork, Clare and Louth.
Limerick needed to win this final round group game in the TUS Gaelic Grounds and that’s what they did with a 1-16 to 0-14 victory over the Ulster side.
It’s a win that books a league final v Louth next weekend and also ensures Limerick will play in the Sam Maguire Cup and not the new Tailteann Cup.
Limerick went to the half time dressing room with a 1-8 to 0-8 lead.
A 24th minute Josh Ryan goal was the difference between the teams and what a fine score it was – Iain Corbett carried forward and then Cillian Fahy and Hugh Bourke created the opening for the big full forward to palm to the net.
It was a score that moved Limerick 1-7 to 0-5 ahead but Fermanagh did finish the half with scores to reduce the lead.
It was an opening half in which the Ulster side had eight different scorers for their eight scores. The Kieran Donnolly managed side had five wides, one more than Limerick in a half when they were aided by the breeze.
They had started on top and were 0-3 to 0-1 ahead after five minutes.
Josh Ryan and Hugh Bourke levelled by the 10th minute.
James Naughton, Bourke and Ryan had a run of Limerick points for a 6-3 advantage at the mid-point of the first half.
There were glimpses of goal for both Bourke points but he opted to keep the scoreboard ticking over.
Then 10-minutes from the half time whistle came the Ryan goal and Limerick were five points clear.
When Adrian Enright pointed the lead was still five points but Fermanagh found the final two points to leave just a goal between the teams. All could have been different but a Sean Quigley shot crashed off the crossbar in the minutes before the break.
Similar to the Laois game the previous weekend, it was a nervous start to the second half for Limerick.
Fermanagh had the lead reduced to a single point by the time Limerick ended almost 20-minutes without a score when Cian Sheehan soloed forward to fist over.
That left it 1-9 to 0-10 and 46-minutes on the stopwatch.
Ryan, Cillian Fahy and Bourke added points and Limerick were four clear with 15-minutes to play.
Ryan’s third from play edged it out to five points but Fermanagh kept on coming as their 10th player got on the scoresheet.
Sub Tommy Griffin eased the tension in the final minutes.
SCORERS: Limerick: Josh Ryan 1-6 (0-3frees, 0-1mark), Hugh Bourke 0-4 (1mark), James Naughton, Adrian Enright, Cian Sheehan, Cillian Fahy, Robbie Bourke and Tommy Griffin 0-1 each. Fermanagh: Darragh McGurn 0-3, Ciaran Corrigan and Conall Jones 0-2 each, Josh Largo Ellis, Sean Quigley (free), James McMahon, Gary McKenna, Ryan Lyons, Aidan Breen, Brandon Horan 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Donal O’Sullivan (Monaleen); Sean O’Dea (Kilteely-Dromkeen), Brian Fanning (Pallasgreen), Mike Donovan (Galbally); Cian Sheehan (Newcastle West), Iain Corbett (Newcastle West), Paul Maher (Adare); Darragh Treacy (St Kierans), Cillian Fahy (Dromcollogher-Broadford); Adrian Enright (Fr Caseys), Brian Donovan (Monaleen), James Naughton (St Senans); Peter Nash (Kildimo-Pallaskenry), Josh Ryan (Oola), Hugh Bourke (Adare). Subs: Killian Ryan (Mungret St Pauls) for Brian Donovan, inj (10mins), Robbie Burke (Adare) for Peter Nash (46mins), Colm McSweeney (Gerald Griffins) for Adrian Enright (57mins), Tommy Griffin (Gerald Griffins) for Cillian Fahy (66mins), Dara Noonan (Gerald Griffins) for Josh Ryan (71mins).
FERMANAGH: Sean McNally; Luke Flanagan, Jonny Cassidy, Aidan Breen; James McMahon, Richard O’Callaghan, Josh Largo Ellis; Ryan Jones, Joe McDade; Ciaran Corrigan, Darragh McGurn, Ryan Lyons; Gary McKenna, Conall Jones, Sean Quigley. Subs: Brandon Horan for Joe McDade (16mins), Danny Leonard for Gary McKenna (h-t), Garvan Jones for Conall Jones (53mins), Oisin Kelm for Josh Largo Ellis (53mins), Kane Connor for Richard O’Callaghan (66mins).
REFEREE: Jerome Henry (Mayo)