National Football League Division 3 South: Limerick show signs of progress against Wicklow
By Eoin Horkan
Limerick 2-19 - 1-12 Wicklow
Billy Lee’s sides 10-point victory in Aughrim earns them in a place in the Division 3 promotion play off semi final against high flying Derry.
Wicklow will play Cavan in the Division 3 relegation play off.
The visitors hit the ground running in Aughrim with wing back Gordon Brown getting the first white flag of the game. Robbie Burke added a 2nd minutes later to extend the lead.
Wicklow captain Podge O Toole lead by example from midfield reducing the gap with a well taken point. Limerick midfielder Tommie Childs mirrored his midfield counter part moments later before corner forward Danny Neville added another fine point for the Treaty men.
Eoin Darcy who is now finding his feet at senior level opened his tally for the day splitting the posts nicely. Adrian Enright responded in kind for the visitors before the home side hit two scores in a row.
The first of these coming from the fist of Kevin Quinn before Darcy notched the first score of the game from a free. Just before the water break Hugh Bourke slotted over to give Billy Lee’s side a 2-point lead.
Lee’s side flew out of the blocks after the break with All Star nominee Iain Corbett firing over the bar when his effort could easily have nestled in the back of the Wicklow net. Tommie Griffin nailed a long-range effort moments later.
As it looked like Limerick were pulling away Davy Burke’s men kicked into gear scoring 1-1 in the blink of an eye. Mark Jackson spilt the uprights with a long range free before the aforementioned Darcy rose highest amongst a crowd of bodies to fist the ball into the net.
Danny Neville and Jackson traded points then as defences started to come to grips with the opposition attack.
With the game heading towards the half time whistle, Limerick pulled clear with scores from Robbie Burke and Hugh Bourke to give the visitors a 2-point lead at the break.
The home side flew out of the blocks with Kevin Quinn narrowing the gap with his 2nd point of the game. Neville added another score for Lee’s side before Seanie Furlong got his name on the score sheet with a great score from the 21-yard line with two defenders hanging off him.
Scores from play started to come few and far between with Hugh Bourke adding two frees for Limerick in between a solitary free from Darcy.
Dean Healy burst through the middle for the home team to fire over the bar. Limerick’s full forward line kicked into gear to finish the game as a contest with two frees from Bourke, before Danny Neville danced his way in along the end line to slot the ball into Mark Jackson’s net.
Wicklow sub Patrick O ‘Connor replied with a point before Neville went down the end line again this time he fisted the ball to Bourke who just had to touch it into the net. Bourke added another dead ball with the game over as a contest.
Jackson fired over a consolation free for the home side which gave the narrowed the gap. Try as they might Wicklow couldn’t get another score which resulted in Limerick earning a 10-point victory.
Wicklow: Mark Jackson (0-3, fs): Jamie Snell, Ross O’ Brien, Oisin Manning; Kevin Quinn (0-2) , Niall Donnelly, Dave Devereux; Podge O’ Toole(0-1) , Dean Healy(0-1); Darragh Fitzgerald, Mark Kenny, Conor Byrne; Eoin Darcy (1-3 2fs) Seanie Furlong(0-1), JP Hurley
Subs: Eoin Murtagh for Ross O Brien, Patrick O’ Connor (0-1) for Conor Byrne (inj), Chris O’ Brien for Dean Healy , James Sheerin for Eoin Darcy, Dan Keane for JP Hurley, Fintan O Shea for Oisin Manning , John Crowe for Podge O’ Toole
Limerick: Donal O’Sullivan (C), Sean O’Dea, Brian Fanning, Michael Donovan, Robert Childs, Iain Corbett (0-1), Gordon Brown (0-1); Darragh Treacy ,Tommie Childs (0-1);Tommie Griffin(0-1) , Robbie Burke (0-2) ,Adrian Enright(0-1)); Danny Neville (1-4), Cilian Fahy, Hugh Bourke (1-7, 5fs )
Subs; Paul Maher for Gordon Brown, Cian Sheehan for Tommie Griffin, Padraig De Brun for Adrian Enright, Gerard Stack (0-1)
Man of the match: Danny Neville.
Referee Niall McKenna (Monaghan)