A late point by Paul Kinnerk sealed victory for Limerick over FBD League champions Leitrim in the Gaelic Grounds this afternoon.
Leitrim entered the game full of confidence after last week’s final win in the Connacht pre-season competition against Sligo.
But despite mounting a late second-half rally which saw them cut the gap to 0-10 to 0-9, it was substitute Kinnerk who popped up with the score that clinched Limerick’s victory.
Limerick had to start without key attackers Ger Collins and Ian Ryan in their inside forward line. But Eoghan O’Connor and James O’Meara stepped into the breach to register 0-9 between them for the Shannonsiders.
Maurice Horan’s Limerick team lead by 0-3 to 0-1 after six minutes but Leitrim, inspired by captain Emlyn Mulligan who hit four first-half points, fought back and Paul Brennan’s point pushed them ahead by 0-5 to 0-4 at the interval.
Limerick began the second-half excellently to lead by 0-7 to 0-5 after 40 minutes and with 15 minutes remaining they had stretched the lead to 0-10 to 0-6.
Leitrim hit three points on the bounce to reduce the margin to the minimum but it was Kinnerk who raised the white flag that settled the issue.
Scorers for Limerick: Eoghan O’Connor 0-7 (0-5f), James O’Meara 0-2, Stephen Lavin, Paul Kinnerk 0-1 each.
Scorers for Leitrim: Emlyn Mulligan 0-5 (0-3f), Paul Brennan, Adrian Croal, Gerry Hickey, Kevin Conlon 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Brian Scanlan; Cian Coady, Johnny McCarthy, Mark O’Riordan; Stephen Lavin, Paudie Browne, Pa Ranahan; Thomas Lee, Bobby O’Brien; Seamus O’Carroll, John O’Riordan, Derry O’Connor; Eoghan O’Connor, James O’Meara, Ian Corbett.
Subs: Paul Kinnerk for Lee, Darragh Treacy for Corbett.
Leitrim: Cathal McCrann; Daniel Beck, Ciaran Egan, Paddy Maguire; Colm Clarke, Paul Brennan, Alan Wynne; Wayne McKeon, Paddy McGowan; Adrian Croal, Emlyn Mulligan, Gerry Hickey; Ray Cox, James Glancy, Brian McDonald.
Subs: Sean McWeeney for Clarke, Conor Beirne for Cox, Cian Reynolds for Glancy, Kevin Conlon for McDonald.
Referee: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary).
Darren Guiry’s second-half goal proved the crucial score in enabling Waterford to get their league campaign off to a winning start in Milltown-Malbay this afternoon.
Guiry raised the only green flag of the game as Waterford came back from being two points down at the break to win by the minimum against Mick O’Dwyer’s Clare team.
New Déise boss Niall Carew saw his charges compete in the first-half to be tied at 0-3 apiece by the 19th minute but Clare forged ahead with leading sharpshooter David Tubridy and Marty McMahon on target to see them lead by 0-7 to 0-5 at the interval.
Clare’s Shane McGrath struck the first point of the second-half but then Waterford hit 1-3 without reply with Robert Aherne on target from placed balls and Guiry finding the net.
And despite Clare fighting back to trim the deficit to the minimum, they could not grab the point that would have drawn the sides level.
Scorers for Waterford: Darren Guiry 1-1, Robert Aherne 0-3 (0-3f), Shane Aherne (0-1f), Patrick Hurney, Liam Ó Lionáin, Paul Whyte, Conor McGrath 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clare: David Tubridy 0-5 (0-3f), Shane McGrath 0-2, Cathal O’Connor, Alan Clohessy, Christopher Dunning, Martin McMahon 0-1 each.
WATERFORD: Stephen Enright; Conor Phelan, Stephen Prendergast, John Hurney; Paul Whyte, Shane Briggs, Tony Grey; Shane Aherne, Tom Prendergast; Conor McGrath, Patrick Hurney, Maurice O’Gorman; Darren Guiry, Robert Aherne, Liam Ó Lionáin.
CLARE: Joe Hayes; Laurence Healy, Shane McNeilus, Enda Coughlan; Declan Callinan, Gordon Kelly, Martin McMahon; Gary Brennan, Cathal O Connor; Shane McGrath, Alan Clohessy, Chris Dunning; Mark McCarthy, Niall Kelly, David Tubridy.
Referee: Padraig O’Sullivan (Kerry).
Anthony Rainbow and his Carlow players. Pic: INPHO/James Crombie.
Brendan and Brian Murphy hit late points to help former Kildare defender Anthony Rainbow get off to a winning start in the league as Carlow manager in Semple Stadium this afternoon.
Carlow overcame the second-half sending-off of Kieran Nolan to eke out a narrow victory against a Tipperary team that had lead at the interval by 0-11 to 1-6.
They were ahead by 0-11 to 0-5 approaching half-time but Carlow ended the half in a buoyant mood thanks to a goal from Paul Reid and a point from Willie Minchin.
The second-half was closely fought with Eoghan Ruth and Darragh Foley helping propel Carlow into a 1-11 to 0-13 lead at one juncture. Tipperary drew level before Carlow struck the vital points late on to ensure their trip to Thurles was a sucessful one.
CARLOW: Trevor O’Reilly; Barry John Molloy, Shane Mernagh, Benny Kavanagh; Kieran Nolan, Derek Hayden, Tony Bolger; Darragh Foley, Shane Redmond; Ray Walker, Paul Reid, Eoghan Ruth; Brian Murphy, Willie Minchin, Daniel St Ledger.
TIPPERARY: Paul Fitzgerald; Andrew Morrissey, Paddy Codd, John Coghlan; Brian Fox, Robbie Kiely, Ciaran McDonald; George Hannigan, Phillip Quirke; Donagh Leahy, Alan Maloney, Hugh Coghlan; Michael Quinlivan, Peter Acheson, Barry Grogan.
Referee: Patrick Fox (Westmeath)
Offaly recovered from a two-point deficit at half-time to run out comfortable winners over London at Ruislip.
London made the perfect start when Padraig McGoldrick found the net from a penalty inside the opening minute after Offaly were penalised for a foot-block.
Playing a league game for the first time under the stewardship of Emmett McDonnell, Offaly responded well through points from Bernard Allen and Anton Sullivan, but a brace of points from Sean Kelly and a McGoldrick free had London 1-3 to 0-2 ahead with 12 minutes played.
However, following their bright opening, the Exiles appeared to run out of steam despite still leading by 1-4 to 0-5 at the break.
It was all one-way traffic in the second-half as Offaly expressed their superiority with relative ease. They kicked five unanswered points before their goal came on 50 minutes from Anton Sullivan.
With 20 minutes left it was 1-10 to 1-5 in Offaly’s favour and they ran out eight-point winners with Peter Cunningham impressing for the Faithful.
Scorers for Offaly: Peter Cunningham 0-4 (0-2f), Anton Sullivan 1-2 (0-2f), Bernard Allen 0-4, Ross Brady, Eoin Carroll 0-1 each.
Scorers for London: P McGoldrick 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), S Kelly 0-2, E O’Neill 0-1 (0-1f).
OFFALY: A Mulhall; B Darby, E Rigney, S Pender; D Hanlon, D Kelly, G Guilfoyle; A McNamee, S Sullivan; R Brady, B Connor, E Carroll; M Mitchell, B Allen, A Sullivan.
Subs: M Brazil for Darby, P Cunningham for Mitchell, R Dalton for McNamee, P McPadden for Allen, J Maher for Connor.
LONDON: E Byrne; S Hannon, K Lynam, S Curran; D Ryan, G Carr, G Crowley; M Gottsche, C Doyle; S Kelly, C McCallion, K O’Leary; P McGoldrick, E O’Neill, E Finnegan.
Subs: P Atkinson for Finnegan, D McGreevy for Crowley, J Monaghan for Doyle, S Mulligan for Ryan, C Eastwood for McGoldrick.
Referee: Maurice Condon (Waterford)