Tailteann Cup: Ruthless Sligo prevail:

Sligo 2-20 Limerick 0-09

By Liam Maloney

Sligo powered into the Tailteann Cup semi-finals with a straightforward victory over Limerick at Markievicz Park on a sunny Saturday evening at the scenic Sligo town venue.

Led by the classy accuracy of Sean Carrabine, who shot 0-7, Sligo were eight points up at the break, 0-13 to 0-8, and added a brace of goals in the second-half through Lee Deignan and Patrick O’Connor.

Limerick never got going in this fixture – and, in truth, weren’t allowed to – despite scoring the opening scores in each half.

Back at the venue where they almost shocked Galway in April’s Connacht semi-final, Sligo had the favourites tag into this game against opponents that they had beaten by five points in this year’s Allianz Football League.

Limerick have certainly put the disappointment of Division Three relegation behind them – they have won three games on the trot in the Tailteann Cup, including a preliminary quarter-final victory over Tipperary.

The home side, who were without important defender Eddie McGuinness, went behind after four minutes when breeze-assisted Limerick opened the scoring through an excellent point from Tommy Childs.

Sligo settled, however, and they were moving possession with slick play and had outstanding finishers in the form of Sean Carrabine, who notched 0-5 in the first period, and Cian Lally, who kicked 0-3 in that first-half.

The first of Sean Carrabine’s five first-half points levelled the scores after six minutes. The home side began to take charge and seven unanswered points saw them lead 0-8 to 0-1 by the 18th minute.

Among these points was a close-range effort from Cian Lally after he seized on a rebound from a Paul McNamara shot that came off the upright.

Limerick briefly halted Sligo’s momentum with points from Peter Nash and Tommy Childs, who pointed from long-range, but Sligo were back in their stride with a burst of points from Darragh Cummins and Sean Carrabine (2).

Cian Lally also twice pointed with aplomb in the closing stages of the first-half. Limerick’s fifth point was a fine score in additional time from Cillian Fahy.

Sligo, who were eight points up at half-time, 0-13 to 0-5, were backed by the breeze for the second-half.

Limerick needed a big second-half and when goalkeeper Josh Ryan converted a ‘45’ five minutes after the restart there was a glimmer of hope for the few hundred Limerick fans in the attendance of 2,238.

But the game was put firmly beyond Limerick when Sligo goaled after 45 minutes when Lee Deignan slipped the ball home with a low shot from Alan McLoughlin’s assist.

Alan McLoughlin got in on the scoring act, pointing twice, and Sean Carrabine continued to torment Limerick’s defence.

Limerick kept battling and might have had a consolation goal in the 58th minute Rob Childs blasted his shot over from an Iain Corbett pass. Sligo scored their second goal after 65 minutes when Patrick O’Connor netted from close-range after Mark Walsh made a powerful surge through the centre.

Scorers for Sligo: Sean Carrabine 0-7 (3fs, 1 m), Lee Deignan 1-1, Patrick O’Connor 1-0, Cian Lally 0-3, Niall Murphy 0-3 (1f, 1 ‘45’), Alan McLoughlin 0-2, Darragh Cummins 0-2, Nathan Mullen 0-1, Canice Mulligan 0-1.

Scorers for Limerick: Josh Ryan 0-2 (1f, 1 ‘45’), Peter Nash 0-2 (2fs), Rob Childs 0-1, Sean O’Dea 0-1, Cillian Fahy 0-1, Tommy Childs 0-1, Iain Corbett 0-1

Sligo: Aidan Devaney; Nathan Mullen, Evan Lyons, Paul McNamara; Paul Kilcoyne, Brian Cox, Darragh Cummins; Patrick O’Connor, Canice Mulligan; Cian Lally, Alan McLoughlin, Lee Deignan; Mikey Gordon, Niall Murphy, Sean Carrabine.

Subs: Jack Lavin for Cox (HT), Mark Walsh for Gordon (53), Donal Conlon for Lally (55), Eoghan Smith for Cummins (59), Pat Spillane for McLoughlin (64).

Limerick: Josh Ryan; Cormac Woulfe, Sean O’Dea, Paul Maher; Barry Coleman, Cillian Fahy, Tony McCarthy; Tommy Childs, Iain Corbett; Emmet Rigter, James Naughton, Cathal Downes; Danny Neville, Rob Childs, Peter Nash

Subs: Jim Liston for McCarthy (HT), Bryan Nix for Naughton (46), Shane Costelloe for Downes (48), Brian Ahern for Childs (61), Andrew Meade for Rigter (67).

Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry).