IT WAS far from the routine victory anticipated, but Limerick footballers opened-up their Tailteann Cup campaign with a weekend victory over Longford at the Gaelic Grounds.
Mark Fitzgerald’s home side were pushed for much of the journey before emerging as pretty comfortable 2-16 to 1-16 winners.
It was Limerick’s first competitive win since the dramatic penalty shoot-out defeat of Clare in the Munster Senior Championship in Spring of ’22.
The Limerick goals came in either half through Brian Donovan of Monaleen who also raised two white flags and midfielder Cathal Downes of Kildimo/Pallaskenry who ended up with a tally of 1-1.
James Naughton of St. Senan’s was Limerick’s top-scorer for with a fine contribution of six points, five of which were from frees. Long-serving Peter Nash (Kildimo/Pallaskenry) also chipped-in with a couple of neat points.
Limerick were 1-8 to 0-7 ahead at the interval and pushed this out to six points late in the closing-half before Longford squeezed home a consolation goal at the death.
Captain Iain Corbett missed the outing through a hamstring problem.
Next-up for Limerick is a tricky assignment away to Carlow (opening round winners in Wicklow) at Dr. Cullen Park on Saturday (3pm). The Treaty County complete the group phase at a neutral venue against Wicklow in early June.
The Tailteann Cup betting market is headed by Cavan, last year’s beaten finalists (against Westmeath), with Limerick available at odds of 9/1.