League survival still possible for Limerick footballers

James Naughton whose five first half points helped Limerick to earn a draw with Meath.

LIMERICK footballers reinvented themselves to earn a thrilling National League draw with a fancied Meath side at the Gaelic Grounds yesterday.

Beaten soundly in their previous four outings, Ray Dempsey’s side easily produced their finest performance of ’23 to earn a valuable league point. It still has the Shannonsiders at the wrong end of the Division Two table but a positive result or two in the upcoming clashes with Kildare (home) and Clare (away) could well earn survival in an ultra-competitive Division Two. 

A stunning contribution of five points from James Naughton helped Limerick to lead 0-10 to 0-6 at half time. 

Two goals hauled the Royal County back into the reckoning in the closing-half, and in a toe-to-toe finish, during which the sides were level many times, the equaliser arrived from the boot of Monaleen’s Brian Donovan, his second of the afternoon. 

It finished Limerick 0-17, Meath 2-11.

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A downside to enjoyable encounter was the enforced departure of Limerick midfielder Iain Corbett through injury, which will be assessed in the coming days. 

There’s a break from action next weekend before Limerick entertain Kildare on Sunday week at the Gaelic Grounds, the curtain raiser to the NHL tie between John Kiely’s side and struggling Wexford. 

Limerick: Donal O’Sullivan (Monaleen, joint captain); Mike Donovan (Galbally), Sean O’Dea (Kilteely/Dromkeen), Brian Fanning (Pallasgreen); Barry Coleman (Rathkeale), Iain Corbett (Newcastle West, joint captain), Tony McCarthy (Kildimo/Pallaskenry); Cathal Downes (Kildimo-Pallaskenry); Cillian Fahy (Dromcollogher-Broadford); Colm McSweeney (Gerald Griffins), James Naughton (St Senans), Cian Sheehan (Newcastle West) ; Killian Ryan (Mungret St Paul’s), Brian Donovan (Monaleen), Hugh Bourke (Adare).

Substitutes used: Paul Maher (Adare), Peter Nash (Kildimo/Pallaskenry), Adrian Enright (Fr Casey’s), Gordon Brown (Na Piarsaigh), Dave Lyons (Adare).