Win not enough as Limerick go down

Championship dreams have been shattered year after year in dramatic circumstances and now for the second time in three years the footballers have been relegated to Division Four of the league, despite winning three games.

Championship dreams have been shattered year after year in dramatic circumstances and now for the second time in three years the footballers have been relegated to Division Four of the league, despite winning three games.

Maurice Horan’s side drop to the basement division of the Allianz Football League in 2012 after amassing six points in this season’s Division Three.

But Louth are promoted and will play in the league final against Westmeath with just one win more on eight points.

Limerick actually finished level on points with Tipperary, but The Premier men stay up by virgue of the result between the two counties, which was a 0-10 to 0-6 win in Semple Stadium in the opening round.

Ahead of throw-in in sunny Newcastle West, Wexford were sitting on top of the division with sights set on promotion, but they were rocked by an early Limerick onslaught.

This was a vastly different performance in the opening 35 minutes from that of the Westmeath defeat just the previous Sunday.

The ideal start came with Ger Collins goaling from the penalty spot in the eighth minute after the impressive James Kelly was brought down by Daithi Waters.

That left Limerick 1-1 to no score ahead.

Wexford did fight back to 1-3 to 0-4, but then they were reduced to 14-men with Waters picking up a second yellow.

Limerick were further boosted just two minutes later, when Seanie Buckley scored a superb finish.

Buckley played much of the first half as extra cover around the middle third and when space opened in front of him he soloed directly for two.

Ian Ryan and Ger Collins played in a two man full forward line and they did their bit by dragging the defence towards both corners and Buckley did the rest with a finished from close range after side stepping one defender.

With two points from Eoghan O’Connor, Limerick headed to the dressing room 2-7 to 0-5 ahead after playing with the wind in the opening half.

The started of the second half was also promising with Ian Ryan finding the range and Tom Lee bursting through from midfield with two fine points.

With 13 minutes gone in the second half, Limerick led 2-11 to 0-7.

But then they failed to score for the next 24minutes until injury time when Ryan pointed.

In between Wexford kicked seven unanswered points.

Limerick did have chances but time after time the final pass went astray or was the wrong choice. And in the middle third all breaking ball went the way of the visitors.

None the less Limerick held on for victory, but it was a hollow one as relegation couldn’t be kept from the door.

Scorers - Limerick: G Collins 1-2 (1-0pen, 0-1free), S Buckley 1-1, E O’Connor 0-3, I Ryan, T Lee 0-2 each, J McCarthy, S Lucey 0-1 each; Wexford: C Lyng (0-2frees), S Roche (0-1free) 0-3 each, A Flynn, R Barry, P Byrne 0-2 each, R Quinlivan, A Doyle 0-1 each.

Limerick: Brian Scanlon; Mark O’Riordan, Shane Gallagher, Stephen Lavin; Johnny McCarthy, Stephen Lucey, Pa Ranahan; John Galvin, Tom Lee; Seanie Buckley, James Kelly, Eoin Hogan; Ian Ryan, Eoghan O’Connor, Ger Collins. Subs: Eoin Joy for Kelly, inj (49mins), John Mullane for Hogan (63mins), Jim O’Donovan for Lee (66mins), John Riordan for O’Connor (70mins).

Wexford: Anthony Masterson; Niall Murphy, Graeme Molloy, Aindreas Doyle; Brian Malone, David Murphy, Adrian Morrissey; Rory Quinlivan, Daithi Waters; Sean O’Neill, Colm Morris, Redmond Barry; Ciaran Lyng, Peader Byrne, Ben Brosnan. Subs: Brendan Doyle for O’Neill (h-t), Shane Roche for Brosnan (42mins), Adrian Flynn for Morrissey (49mins), Liam Og McGovern for Morris (53mins), Seamus McLaughlin for Byrne (65mins).

Referee: Francis Flynn (Leitrim).