Allianz FL D4: Limerick and Wicklow promoted
LIMERICK 1-16 SLIGO 1-14
WICKLOW 0-13 WEXFORD 0-10
ANTRIM 2-14 WATERFORD 0-13
By John Fallon
Billy Lee’s Limerick did just about enough in the end to secure victory at Markievicz Park and in the process claim the Allianz League Division 4 title and promotion for next season with a 1-16 to 1-14 win.
A goal in the opening half by Hugh Bourke pushed them 1-6 to 0-1 after 23 minutes and it seemed they would canter home.
But Paul Taylor’s men never gave up and while their response wasn’t enough to secure a fourth win of the campaign, their comeback will give them confidence as they now turn their attentions to a Connacht championship semi-final meeting with Galway.
Limerick led by 1-9 to 0-4 at the break with Red Og Murphy getting a couple of points for the home side before the break.
Murphy continued to impress after the restart when Sligo made good use of the breeze but Limerick rallied to lead by 1-13 to 0-7 midway through the second half.
However, Sligo hit back with 1-3 without replay with Pat Hughes getting the goal to ensure a nervous finish for Limerick, but they held on for victory.
Wicklow also secured promotion when they denied a Wexford side who were also hoping to claim a spot in Division 3 next season with a 0-13 to 0-10.
Wicklow led by 0-6 to 0-4 at the break Chadwicks Wexford Park in rainy conditions, with Wicklow goalkeeper Mark Jackson kicking a couple of frees to edge them in front at the interval.
Ben Brosnan helped get Wexford back on level terms after the restart but another free from goalkeeper Jackson along with some good efforts from Seanie Furlong, Rory Finn and Padraig O’Toole helped Wicklow open up a six points lead going into the closing stages.
Wexford were unable to save the game and their promotion hopes but they finished strongly with three points without reply and that will give them a boost as these two sides now prepare to renew rivalry next weekend in the Leinster SFC.
Antrim, having agreed to switch their clash with Waterford to Dundalk, won by 2-14 to 0-13 but lost out on promotion by a point after other results did not fall in their favour.
Antrim led by 1-7 to 0-8 at the interval with Odhran Eastwood getting the opening goal of the contest.
Antrim continued to have the upperhand after the restart and they wrapped up the win with a goal from James McAuley but it wasn’t enough to secure promotion.