Tough going for Limerick footballers in Division Two 

Peter Nash feels the pain of Limerick's heavy league defeat by Cork.

THE DIZZY heights scaled by Limerick footballers only last season now appear a distant memory after four league defeats on the bounce.

The Shannonsiders lost to Derry, Dublin, Louth and Cork – the latter by a worryingly wide margin at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Sunday. 

When Limerick and Cork met in the recent McGrath Cup Final in Mallow, the difference was a reasonable six points, but a few days ago the gap had widened to 24 points (6-18 to 0-12).

It’s all a far cry from spring and summer of 2022, when Limerick qualified from Division Three and appeared in the league final (losing to Louth), along with an historic Munster Championship Final appearance against eventual All-Ireland winners Kerry at Fitzgerald Stadium. All of this was achieved under departed Billy Lee of Newcastle West.

His successor Ray Dempsey, of Mayo, will no doubt be worried as to where league points can arrive from to avoid an immediate drop back to Division Three. 

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It will have been a difficult recovery session for Limerick when they reassembled for training at Mick Neville Park in Rathkeale on Tuesday.

However, as Dempsey alluded to, is a matter of parking the “demoralising” loss to Cork and moving on.

Next up is a visit from the Colm O’Rourke-managed Meath at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday next (2pm). The Leinster side are smarting from a three-point loss to neighbours Louth. 

Meath looked all set to take the spoils in the north-eastern derby in Navan when they led by five points with just 15 minutes left despite a numerical disadvantage.

However, a stunning final quarter turnaround saw Louth outscore their opponents in the closing minutes for an unexpected win. 

Shane McEntee, Shane Walsh, Michael Flood, Jordan Morris, Donal Keogan and their Royal County colleagues will be primed to help Meath quickly return to winning ways on a rare visit to the Ennis Road venue.