Offaly deliver blow to Limerick’s promotion hopes

Limerick suffer setback after early dismissal of Shane Dowling

Limerick 0-21 Offaly 1-21 A straight red card for Shane Dowling inside the first two minutes left Limerick with too big a mountain to climb against Offaly at the Gaelic Grounds and for the second year in a row Brian Whelahan's men inflicted major damage on the promotion hopes of Limerick.

After the sending off Limerick scored the game's first four points, three frees by Seanie Tobin and one from play by David Breen.

Two frees and a 65 by Shane Dooley had Offaly within a point but Limerick pucjed on to lead 0-12 to 1-7 at halftime with the Offaly goal scored by Emmett Nolan after a pass from substitute Joe Bergin after 27 minutes.

The teams were level thrdee times and Limerick led by three points, 0-18 to 1-12 after 52 minutes.


But Offaly then had eight points in a row as Limerick went fourten minutes with a score thanks to points by Stephen Quirke, Dermot Mooney (2), Dan Currams, Dooley, Bergin and Nolan.

That left Limerick with too much to do in the last ten minutes.

Brian Whelahan was "delighted" with the performance by his team and said he did not insee the incident which led to Dowling's departure which had a big influence on the game.

“It took us a while to settle after the dismissal and Limerick scored four points before we got on the mark. We had to adjust our tactics and we do not normally opt for short puck outs etc. But once we got going I thought we played very well. We came with a game plan and we stuck to it. It is a win that will be a big confidence booster to the side. We are a work in progress and things will not happen overnight but this is progress as Limerick are a good side” he said.

Whelahan was pleased with the performance of many of his players and especially Joe Bergin who scored three popints off the bench and created the goal three minutes after entering the game in the 24th minute. LIMERICK: N Quaide; S Walsh, R McCarthy, S Hickey; C Allis, D Hannon (0-1, (free), D Morrissey; J Ryan (0-1), P Browne (0-4); D Breen (0-1), D O'Grady (0-2), C Lynch (0-1); J Fitzgibbon, S Dowling, S Tobin (0-9, five frees). Subs: S O'Brien (0-1) for Hickey (46 mins), D Reidy (0-1, free) for Fitzgibbon (48 mins), A Breen for O'Grady (66 mins), T Morrissey for Tobin (68 mins). OFFALY: J Dempsey; S Wynne, D Shortt, D King; C Parlon, E Murphy, C Egan; P Camon, S Ryan; E Nolan (1-2), J Mulrooney, S Kinsella (0-1); S Dooley (0-9, five frees), D Currams (0-2), B Carroll. Subs, J Bergin (0-3) for Mulrooney (24 mins), S Quirke (0-2) for Carroll (33 mins), D Mooney (0-2) for Murphy (51 mns), K Kiely for Kinsella (63 mins). Referee: S Cleere (Kilkenny).