Division Three: Surprise defeats for Tipperary and Cavan
Derry start their league campaign with an impressive victory over Longford
Billy Lee’s Limerick team started their 2021 campaign with a win over Tipperary. File photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho
Limerick got some revenge for last year’s Munster championship defeat to Tipperary with a 1-13 to 0-14 win at the Gaelic Grounds on Saturday.
All Star full forward Conor Sweeney was the hero in that extra-time victory and six months later he got the visitors underway with two frees as they built an early four point lead.
Midfielder Darragh Treacy got Limerick’s first score just before the water break and Hugh Bourke slotted over two fine points after it as Tipperary brought a 0-6 to 0-4 lead in at half-time.
The hosts introduced talisman Iain Corbett at the interval and within two minutes of the second half they led after Danny Neville bagged 1-1. Limerick held a 1-10 to 0-8 advantage heading into the final quarter, and while Sean O’Connor slotted his fourth point of the game and a Jack Kennedy free cut the deficit to the minimum in the 66th minute, Limerick held on for the upset.
As well as the reigning Munster champions losing their opener, the Ulster champions also started off with a loss as Fermanagh edged Cavan 0-15 to 0-14 at Brewster Park.
Cavan led by a point at half-time - with Sean Quigley scoring four of Fermanagh’s five points on his way to a tally of nine over the 70 plus minutes. The half ended in drama as Cavan lost James Smith to a straight red card for an off the ball incident, before goalkeeper Raymond Galligan nailed a free from distance to put his team ahead.
Within seven minutes it was 14 aside after James McMahon was shown a second yellow, and approaching the 50th minute it was 0-9 apiece after Ciaran Corrigan landed his second score of the game.
Eoin Donnelly almost decided it shortly afterwards, his shot at goal smashed off the upright, but going down the straight Quigley nailed some long range frees and Corrigan fisted over what turned out to be the winner after returning from the sin-bin.
Derry top Division Three North after an impressive 0-21 to 0-5 away win against Longford. Former AFL player Conor Glass pulled the strings in the middle of the field and he kicked his second point in the 20th minute to put Derry 0-4 to 0-2 ahead. Daniel Mimnagh’s point five minutes earlier was Longford’s last of the first half as they trailed by six at the change of ends.
Derry added another nine points before Longford - who had been down a man after David McGivney was shown a black card five minutes into the half - finally added a third point approaching the hour mark via Darren Gallagher. The same man slotted their fifth point in injury time, Derry meanwhile were rampant with Shane McGuigan top scoring with seven points, he was one of seven Derry scorers in total.
On Sunday Offaly got their campaign off to a winning start with a 1-14 to 1-10 victory over Wicklow in Aughrim.
The visitors led 1-9 to 1-3 at the interval with Colm Doyle scoring their goal as Offaly took over following Eoin Darcy’s eighth minute strike. Two Wicklow frees and a point from Dean Healy cut the deficit to three after 63 minutes but Offaly responded well once Cian Farrell returned from the sin bin to see out the win.