Division Three: Clare upset Sligo as Limerick earn late draw

Colm Collins’ Clare team schocked Sligo with a seven point win at a windy Miltown Malbay

Clare 1-11 Sligo 0-7

Clare’s Division Three campaign got off to the best of starts at Miltown Malbay on Sunday when they defeated Sligo by seven points, on a day marred by bad weather that made it difficult for good football. Nevertheless the Banner put in an impressive second half display to gain two valuable league points

Colm Collins’ side overturned a two point deficit (0-4 to 0-2) at the break and went on to notch up 1-9 after half-time. Sligo paid the price for not taking advantage of a strong breeze in the first half, where they managed just four scores plus seven wides.

Sligo began well and lead by three points to no score after thirteen minutes. Niall Murphy had two, one from a free and Noel Gaughan was the other scorer. Shane McGrath opened Clare's account and then David Tubridy brought it back to a single score game with another by his sweet left foot. Sligo's Murphy made it 0-4 to 0-2 on the stroke of half time with a long range free


Clare hit four unanswered points, all from Tubridy's boot, inside the opening twelve minutes of the half, to open up a two point advantage. With four minutes of full time remaining Clare captain Gary Brennan was in for the game's only goal. Substitute Pat Burke fielded a rebound off the Sligo crossbar and hand passed to the perfectly positioned Brennan who fisted home from the edge of the square.

CLARE: J Hayes, C O'Dea, K Harnett, M McMahon, J Malone, Gordon Kelly, P Lillis, G Brennan (1-0), C O'Connor (0-1), S Collins, E Coughlan, S McGrath (0-1), M O'Leary, E Cleary (0-3), D Tubridy (0-6, 3f), .

Substitutes: K Sexton for O’Leary (26), P Burke for McGrath (53), Graham Kelly for Coughlan (62), S Haugh for Tubridy B/C (69), S Malone for J Malone (69).

SLIGO: A Devaney, J Rodgers, , E Flanagan M Gordon K Cawley, Brendan Egan, G O'Kelly- Lynch, E McHugh, K McDonnell (0-1), N Ewing, N Murphy (0-3, 2f), N Gaughan (0-1), Brian Egan (1-0), P Hughes, C Davey.

Substitutes: C Breheny for Davey (44), A McIntyre for McHugh (48), J Hynes for Murphy B/C (53), M Breheny (0-1) for Brian Egan B/C (58), K Sweeney for Gaughan (69).

Referee: J Bermingham (Cork).

Limerick 1-12 Tipperary 2-9

Limerick battled to a draw despite a very poor first half performance against Tipperary in Kilmallock after a nail-biting finish.

For all their first half dominance Tipperary led by only four points at halftime, 1-6 to 0-5, as four of the Limerick points came from frees.

Conor Sweeney and Philip Austin hit early points for Tippearary while it took thirteen minutes for wingback Stephen Cahill to get Limerick’s first score. Within seconds of raising that white flag though Cahill was shown a black card.

Tipperary quickly moved the ball upfield upon the restart in a move which ended with a Peter Acheson goal, which was promptly followed by a Conor Sweeney point to leave it 1-4 to 0-2.

Three Ian Ryan pointed frees and a spectacular point by Seanie Buckley reduced the lead to one though as a rejuvenated Limerick finally began to play to their strengths.

Home supporters roared approval after 57 minutes when Peter Casey crashed home a goal after a fisted effort by Gearoid Hegarty came back off the woodwork, somehow putting Limerick in front 1-9 to 1-7.

It looked at that stage that Limerick would push on but Tipperary kept their nerve and a goal by Josh Keane looked to have earned a win for them.

But four minutes of added time were played, during which Ryan came to Limerick’s rescue with another pointed free to earn a draw. It brought his total nine points, eight of them from frees.

Tipperary were without several front line players, including the Clonmel Commercials contingent who are involved in the All Ireland club semi-finals, but a change of tactics for the second half gave Limerick what could be a very special point at the end of the campaign.

LIMERICK: B Scanlon; J McCarthy, P Browne, S O'Dea; S Cahill 0-1, I Corbett, B Fanning; G Hegarty, D Tracey; D Neville, P Ranahan, S Buckley 0-2; S McSweeney, S Kelly, I Ryan, 0-9 (8f). Subs M O'Donovan for Cahill, (b-c 16), P Nash for McSweeney (25), D O'Sullivan for Scanlon (h-t), T Lee for Kelly (49), J Naughton for Tracey (62).

TIPPERARY: C Kenrick; C McDonald, A Campbell, C O'Shaughnessy; J Feehan, R Kiely, J O'Callaghan; A Moloney 0-1, M Dunne 0-1; B Fox, P Acheson 1-1, J Keane 1-0; N O'Donovan, C Sweeney 0-4 (2f), P Austin 0-2 (1f). Subs K O'Halloran for O'Callaghan (46), B Hewitt for Maloney (61), D Butler for O'Donovan (68), D Leahy for Dunne (72).

Referee B Cawley, Kildare.

Offaly 0-12 Longford 0-10

Offaly had to dig very deep before claiming two crucial points when they edged Longford in Tullamore.

With a strong wind blowing straight down the field, it was a game of two halves and Offaly made hard work of things in a second half that they dominated.

With the elements at their backs, the odds were stacked in their favour when they overturned a three point half time deficit to get back on level terms, 0-10 apiece early in the second half.

However, they struggled to break down a resolute Longford side and it took eleven minutes before Bernard Allen edged them in front.

They lived dangerously for a while before a free from substitute Sean Doyle settled it with the game just gone into injury time.

Longford failed to score in the second half and even though they had spells of sustained pressure, they found it impossible to make head way in the wind.

While Offaly found it hard to win, they were the better team and deserved the points. In the first half, they did well to lead by 0-4 to 0-3 after thirteen minutes but a huge turning point came five minutes later when Anton Sullivan was wide with a penalty.

Buoyed by that let off, Longford played their best football and went 0-7 to 0-4 ahead after 25 minutes. Offaly got it back to level terms before Longford finished the half strongly and points from Barry McKeon (2) and Andrew Dalton gave them a 0-10 to 0-7 half time lead.

OFFALY: A Mulhall; B Darby, E Rigney, S Pender; N Darby (0-1), J Moloney, J O'Connor; G Guilfoyle (0-2, 1f), J Gethins; C McNamee, M Brazil, A Sullivan; B Allen (0-5, 1f), N Dunne, N McNamee (0-3). Subs - C Donoghue for Moloney (21m), R McNamee for Dunne (50m), S Doyle (0-1, f) for Sullivan (56m), S Moriarty for R McNamee (Black card, 72m).

LONGFORD: P Collum; D Brady, B Gilleran, C Smyth; A Dalton (0-1), D McElligott, F Battrim; M Brady, M Quinn (0-2); B McKeon (0-5, 3f), J McGivney, B Farrell; R Smyth, L Connerton, F McGee (0-2, 1f). Subs - B Kavanagh for R Smyth (19m), R Connor for Farrell (23m), S Doyle for Dalton (50m), P McKeon for Connerton (50m), D Reynolds for C Smyth (64m), M Hughes for Battrim (63m).

Referee - Fergal Barry (Kildare).