Limerick and Meath play out an entertaining league draw
By John Keogh Limerick Leader Sports
LIMERICK earned their first point of the Allianz Football League Division 2 after a 0-17 to 2-11 draw with Meath at the TUS Gaelic Grounds.
The Limerick side held a four-point half time advantage but two second half Meath goals looked to have turned the game in their favour.
However, a Brian Donovan point from play in added time saw Limerick to the draw. Jack Flynn had a ’45 for Meath late on but it sailed wide and the game finished in a stalemate.
It was a very evening opening quarter that saw the teams level on four occasions. Hugh Bourke, James Naughton (2), and Iain Corbett landing the scores for Limerick.
Cian Sheehan and a Naughton effort from play then had Limerick into a 0-6 to 0-4 advantage with 22 minutes on the clock. Naughton’s fourth of the game soon put Ray Dempsey’s side three to the good.
The St Senans club man landed his fifth of the half to stretch Limerick’s advantage to five points as the Shannonsiders dominated the opening half four.
Meath did respond with scores from Jack Flynn and Jordan Morris but Limerick finished the half the stronger. Cillian Fahy put Limerick three to the good and then a sumptuous Cathal Downes effort saw them 0-10 to 0-6 ahead at the break.
Colm O’Rourke’s side came out of the blocks fast at the start of the second half but their accuracy was off with three wides from their first three shots but that soon changes.
Morris had too much pace for the Limerick defence and with Donal O’Sullivan advancing, he hand-passed the ball to Matthew Costello and he finished to an empty net.
Costello then levelled the contest for a fifth time moments later with an excellent point from play. Morris then put Meath in front for the first time since the 15th minute.
Limerick responded well with Brian Donovan and a Downes long-range effort but Meath were soon back on level terms through Diarmuid Moriarty.
Adrian Enright had Limerick in front with his first touch moments after coming on and Naughton then put his side two to the good with 58 minutes on the clock.
However, Meath were soon in front yet again with Moriarty’s second and then they turned over a Limerick kick-out on the home 21 metre line and Donal Lenihan slotted the ball under O’Sullivan to put them 2-10 to 0-14 in front.
Limerick were soon level again, however, through Paul Maher and Davy Lyons points, the latter blazing over the bar with a goal chance. Morris put Meath ahead in the 69th minute only for Donovan to level the game in added time for a ninth and final time.
Limerick Scorers – James Naughton 0-6 (4 frees), Cathal Downes and Brian Donovan 0-2 each, Hugh Bourke, Iain Corbett, Cian Sheehan, Cillian Fahy, Adrian Enright, Paul Maher and Davy Lyons 0-1 each.
Meath Scorers – Matthew Costello 1-3 (2 frees), Donal Lenihan 1-0, Jordan Morris 0-3, Diarmuid Moriarty 0-2, Jack O’Connor, Ronan Jones and Jack Flynn 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Donal O’Sullivan (Monaleen); Mike Donovan (Galbally), Sean O’Dea (Kilteely-Dromkeen), Brian Fanning (Pallasgreen); Barry Coleman (Rathkeale), Iain Corbett (Newcastle West), Tony McCarthy (Kildimo-Pallaskenry); Cathal Downes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry); Cillian Fahy (Dromcollogher-Broadford); Colm McSweeney (Gerald Griffins), James Naughton (St Senans), Cian Sheehan (Newcastle West) ; Killian Ryan (Mungret St Paul’s), Brian Donovan (Monaleen), Hugh Bourke (Adare).
Subs: Paul Maher (Adare) for McCarthy (49 mins), Peter Nash (Kildimo-Pallaskenry for Corbett (50 mins, inj), Adrian Enright (Fr Casey’s) for Ryan (55 mins), Davy Lyons (Adare) for Bourke (65 mins).
MEATH: Harry Hogan (Longwood); Adam O’Neill (Wolfe Tones), Michael Flood (St Brigid’s), Dan O’Neill (Wolfe Tones); Jack O’Connor (Curraha), Donal Keogan (Rathkenny), Shane McEntee (St Peter’s, Dunboyne); Ronan Jones (St Peter’s, Dunboyne), Jack Flynn (Rathoath); Cillian O’Sullivan (Moynalvey), Jason Scully (Oldcastle), Ross Ryan (Summerhill); Jordan Morris (Kingscourt Stars), Matthew Costello (Dunshaughlin), Shane Walsh (Na Fianna).
Subs: Brian Conlon (Simonstown Gaels) for D O’Neill (h-t), Diarmuid Moriarty (Curraha) for Walsh (h-t), Daniel McGowan (Ratoath) for Scully (h-t), Donal Lenihan (St Peter’s, Dunboyne) for McEntee (59 mins), Aaron Lynch (Trim) for O’Sullivan (71 mins).
REFEREE: Derek O’Mahony (Tipperary)