Late Offaly comeback earns a draw and dent’s Limerick’s promotion hopes
Peter Geraghty’s goal and a last-gasp equaliser from Joe Bergin so costly for the visitors
Offaly 2-15 Limerick 2-15
Offaly come back from being four points down with three minutes to play, to hit 1-1 in the closing stages and earn themselves a deserved draw with Limerick in a thrilling clash at O’Connor Park, Tullamore.
Peter Geraghty fired in a cracking goal on 68 minutes to bring Offaly to within a point with the final say being left to captain Joe Bergin, who sailed over a free from midfield with the last puck of the game to salvage the draw.
Offaly manager Brian Whelahan was delighted with the spirit showed by his players. “I am delighted for the lads that they didn’t lose it because I didn’t think they deserved to lose it. I was very happy with the way we responded each time they got a goal and that is something we have been trying to work on. If you haven’t got that bit of spirit, you won’t make those comebacks”.
Limerick were wasteful throughout and racked up 12 wides but could call on the clinical Graeme Mulcahy for their two second-half goals. Mulcahy was generally well-marshalled by James Rigney but pounced when the chances came his way.
Limerick led 0-8 to 0-6 at half-time with Bergin seeing his first-half penalty saved on the line by Aaron Murphy. Offaly failed to score from play in that opening half but a rousing couple of scores from Shane Dooley early in the second half inspired the home side.
Mulcahy struck for his opening goal on 40 minutes, just at the stage Offaly were really carving into the deficit.
Kevin Downes started to get the upper hand on a limping Rory Hanniffy but Bergin kept Offaly in touch with some excellent free-taking.
Limerick led by five points with 15 minutes to go and looked more than capable of closing the game out but Offaly’s Dan Currams found some space on the edge of the square and rounded Richie McCarthy in the 62nd minute to fire home a blistering shot.
That brought Offaly level on 1-13 each but two minutes later Mulcahy capitalised on some pedestrian defending to get his second goal. Offaly showed resilience however and a rocket goal from Peter Geraghty set the stage for Joe Bergin to point his free with the last puck of the game to earn a draw and earn Offaly their first point.
OFFALY: J Dempsey; N Wynne, R Hanniffy, J Rigney; C Parlon, G Healion, M Egan; T Geraghty, P Geraghty (1-0); J Bergin (0-12, (0-10f, 0-1’65’), C Mahon, S Dooley (0-2); B Carroll, D Currams (1-0), K Connolly. Subs: S Cleary (for P Geraghty 22-26m blood), S Cleary (0-1) for K Connolly 51m), S Quirke (for B Carroll 58m), D Morkan (for R Hanniffy inj 58m).
LIMERICK: A Murphy; S Walsh, R McCarthy, T Condon; P O’Brien (0-1), W McNamara, G O’Mahony; D O’Grady, P Browne (0-2); W Hickey, C Allis (0-6, 0-4f, 0-1 ‘65’), D Reidy (0-2); G Mulcahy (2-1), K Downes (0-3), T O’Brien. Subs: J Ryan (for W Hickey 48m), C King (for G Mulcahy 50m), S Tobin (for T O’Brien 52m), A Dempsey (for C Allis 61m)
Referee: D Hughes (Carlow)