Shane Dooley inspires Offaly win over Limerick

Early Shane Dowling red card puts Limerick on the ropes at the Gaelic Grounds

Limerick 0-21 Offaly 1-21

Shane Dooley inspired Offaly to yet another win over Limerick as his side caused a big upset at the Gaelic Grounds.

The game had a dramatic start when Limerick's freetaker Shane Dowling was shown a straight red card after only two minutes.

Despite this blow Limerick managed four points without reply, three of them from Seanie Tobin who was making his first start of the year and who took over the freetaking role.


Dooley's free after 65 minutes and another free had Offaly back in contention but James Ryan made it 5-3 for the home side.

Only a point separated them after 27 minutes when Emmet Nolan hit a cracker of a goal for Offaly after taking a pass from substitute Joe Bergin. Another Dooley free tied it up at 1-5 to Limerick 0-8.

Limerick finished the half stronger with points from Donal O'Grady, Cian Lynch, Tobin, and a superb strike from 60 yards by Paul Browne to have the home side 0-12 to 1-7 in front at the interval.

Nolan and Dooley had the first two points on the resumption and after 52 minutes Limerick led 0-18 to 1-12.

Points by Stephen Quirke, Dermot Mooney (2), Dan Currams, and Dooley put Offaly three points clear 1-18 to 0-18 as Limerick went fourteen minutes without a score.

Seanie O'Brien, David Reidy, and Browne had late Limerick points but Bergin's point ensure that Offaly had the cushion of a lead which meant Limerick needed a goal to get back and it never looked like happening.

Last season Limerick were denied promotion when they could only manage a draw against Offaly and again this year it proved costly for a Limerick side missing their Kilmallock contingent plus a few injuiries.

It was Limerick’s first defeat of the year and the dismissal of Dowling finally told as Dooley sparked a welcome win for Brian Whelahan’s side.

“We are a work in progress and I am delighted for the lads who are working really hard” Whelahan said, and he added that he did not see the incident for which Dowling was sent off.

Limerick: N Quaide; S Walsh, R McCarthy, S Hickey; C Allis, D Hannon, D Morrissey; J Ryan, P Browne; D Breen, D O'Grady, C Lynch; J Fitzgibbon, S Dowling, S Tobin.

Subs: S O’Brien for Hickey (46), D Reidy for Fitzgibbon (48), A Breen for Grady (66), T Morrissey for Tobin (68).

Offaly: J Dempsey; S Wynne, D Shortt, D King; C Parlon, E Murphy, C Egan; E Nolan, S Ryan; J Mulrooney, D Currams, S Cleary; S Kinsella, S Dooley, B Carroll.

Subs: J Bergin for Mulrooney (24), S Quirke for Carroll (32), K Kiely for Clery (64).

Referee: S Cleere, Kilkenny.