Tough going for Limerick footballers in Division Two 

Limerick senior football manager Ray Dempsey.

ABSENT from Division Two since 2007, Limerick found the going tough on their return to the second-tier when soundly beaten 0-16 to 0-4 by Derry in Owenbeg. 

Realistically, Ray Demspsey’s side were never fancied to collect much on their mammoth journey north against an outfit who appear primed for promotion and must surely also have designs on the retention of their Ulster Senior Football Championship, at the very least.  

They have already won the McKenna Cup, easily dispatching the challenge of Tyrone a week earlier.

Derry were five points ahead at the interval, 0-7 to 0-2, and cruised to an eventual 12-point victory. 

Limerick managed just a couple of points in either half, and will have to dramatically increase their scoring return over the next few weeks to avoid immediate relegation.  

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Injured Josh Ryan appears a major loss through a serious injury sustained in a senior hurling outing with Doon in the Autumn. Now on the treatment table is Brian Fanning (Pallasgreen),  while Brian Donovan (Monaleen) and the Bourke brothers of Adare, Robbie and Hugh, are now all recovered and pushing for starting places. 

Limerick are again outsiders when Dublin visit the TUS Gaelic Grounds on Sunday (throw-in 3pm).  

It appears an insurmountable obstacle for the home side.

In their first Croke Park game since last July’s agonising All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Kerry, Dessie Farrell’s Dublin held on for a repeat of last year’s provincial final win against Kildare in their league opener on Saturday night, 1-11 to 0-13. 

It’s likely that Dublin will get stronger in the coming weeks when they welcome back key figures like James McCarthy, Jack McCaffrey and Paul Mannion in the coming weeks.

With Dublin’s strong travelling support, there will be a bumper attendance at the Ennis Road venue in a few days’ time.