League trip to Down next up for Limerick footballers:

By John Keogh Limerick Leader Sport

LIMERICK’S senior footballers head to Pairc Esler in Down on Saturday evening for their second Allianz League Division 3 fixture of 2024.

Jimmy Lee’s side opened their campaign with a seven-point defeat to Antrim in Mick Neville Park and the Newcastle West man will be hopeful of a positive response from the panel in the game that has a 6pm start in Down.

Limerick’s hosts began the league with a 0-18 to 0-13 win over Wicklow in Aughrim first time out. Following the trip up north, Limerick will welcome Sligo to Rathkeale in their third game on Sunday, February 18.

Lee’s charges failed to perform anywhere near their potential for large parts of the loss on Sunday but twice got to within a point of Antrim after a second half purple patch that yielded goals for both Iain Corbett and Tommie Childs.

“We didn’t play well enough in the first half,” was Lee’s immediate thought at the final whistle. “We gave ourselves an uphill battle. We did well to get back into it at the start of the second half but then we were hit by a few body blows.

“To be fair to these lads, they are working their socks off. It’s well known that there is 17 gone from last year. These lads are putting in effort since November 24. There are a lot of young lads in there that are trying to find their way.

“We are trying to put together a team and we have a lot of forwards missing. They’re working and that’s all you can ever ask of them and that’s the big positive. I’m happy with the hand of cards we have at the moment.

“It’s about developing these young lads and hopefully we can get them there. I have never hid that it’s a rebuilding job. I’d like a few more coming in but when you ask, you don’t always get what you ask for.”

Limerick will be big underdogs for their game with a Down side that reached the Tailteann Cup final in 2023, losing to Meath in the decider. Lee may also give further opportunities to newcomers in his panel for the fixture at Pairc Esler.