Allianz FL D2: Spirited Limerick draw with Meath
Allianz Football League Division Two
Limerick 0-17 Meath 2-11
By Tom Clancy at TUS Gaelic Grounds
Limerick and Meath played out a thrilling draw with both sides looking dejected not to have taken the victory. Despite two second half Meath goals courtesy of Matthew Costello and Donal Lenihan, the home side kicked three of the final four points of the game.
It was a real end-to-end opening period, with Limerick clearly putting more pace into their attack after a heavy defeat away to Cork last weekend. For Meath, they were looking to kick over a hard-working Treaty rear-guard, but turned the ball over when near the scoring zone on a number of occasions.
The net result was that Limerick created the better openings, and had nice early points from Hugh Bourke, Iain Corbett and Cian Sheehan. Centre-half forward James Naughton was in good-form landing frees.
It was a game that Meath after 15 minutes, when Matthew Costello’s free added to further points from Jack O’Connor and Jordan Morris.
The Royals had a clear opening for goal when Shane Walsh fielded a superb delivery, but Donal O’Sullivan denied him with a strong save.
Limerick led by four at half-time, closing the half with a sublime Cathal Downes point. His outside of the boot effort sailed between the sticks to become the sixth Limerick scorer.
Colm O’Rourke rolled the dice at half-time, making three subs which got them in the front foot. But they were wasteful in attack and didn’t make much inroads into the deficit.
There was 1,029 in attendance with a large contingent from Meath – they were in full voice on 44 minutes with a breakthrough goal. After great work down the left from Jordan Morris, he centred for Costello who had the simple task of kicking to an empty net. He quickly added a point to tie the clash up at 0-10 to 1-7.
Sub Donal Lenihan scored with his very first touch, just moments after being introduced. The St. Peter’s Dunboyne clubman benefited from a turnover of a Limerick kick-out and drilled low under Donal O’Sullivan to put Meath two points ahead entering the final ten minutes.
Meath did look likely winners from here but two Ray Dempsey subs got on the scoresheet – Paul Maher and Davy Lyons. The a fine point from Donovan left it all level in stoppage time.Meath goalkeeper Harry Hogan was narrowly off-target with a stoppage time ’45’ but they were able to win another, this was taken by Jack Flynn but he sent his effort off target. It was Meath's 10th wide in the second half.
Scorers for Limerick: James Naughton 0-6 (4fs), Cathal Downes, Brian Donovan 0-2 each, Hugh Bourke, Cian Sheehan, Cillian Fahy, Iain Corbett, Adrian Enright, Paul Maher, and Davy Lyons 0-1 each.
Scorers for Meath: Matthew Costello 1-3 (2fs), Donal Lenihan 1-0, Jordan Morris 0-3, Diarmuid Moriarty 0-2, Jack Flynn, Ronan Jones, and Jack O’Connor 0-1 each.
Limerick: Donal O’Sullivan; Michael O’Donovan, Séan O’Dea, Brian Fanning; Barry Coleman, Iain Fanning, Tony McCarthy; Colm McSweeney, Cillian Fahy; Cian Sheehan, James Naughton, Cathal Downes; Killian Ryan, Brian Donovan, Hugh Bourke.
Subs: Paul Maher for McCarthy (49), Peter Nash for Corbett (50), Adrian Enright for Ryan (55), Gordon Brown for Coleman (58), Davy Lyons for Bourke (65).
Meath: Harry Hogan; Adam O’Neill, Michael Flood, Daniel O’Neill; Jack O’Connor, Donal Jeogan ©, Shane McEntee; Ronan Jones, Jack Flynn; Cillian O’Sullivan, Jason Scully, Ross Ryan; Jordan Morris, Matthew Costello, Shane Walsh.
Subs: Diarmuid Moriarty for Walsh; Daithi McGowan for Scully, B Conlon for Hickey (all H-T), Donal Lenihan for McEntee (59), Aaron Lynch for O’Sullivan (70).
Referee: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary).