THE Limerick senior footballers have advanced to the second round of the All Ireland SFC Qualifiers after a severe test from London.
In the Gaelic Grounds this Saturday afternoon it finished 1-16 to 1-13.
Limerick advance to round two on July 5 against one of the losing provincial semi-finalists; Donegal/Antrim, Dublin/Wexford, Sligo or Tipperary, although is is thought that repeat pairings would be avaoided.
London led 1-11 to 0-12 entering the final quarter but John Brudair’s Limerick came back strongly in the end.
It was 1-13 each with five minutes to play but late scores sealed the nervy Limerick win in front of just 607 spectators.
Limerick were 0-11 to 0-6 up at half time.
The home side had made all the early running but found it hard to break down a packed London rearguard.
By the 12th minute it was only 0-2 to 0-1 to the home side, who were wearing blue.
Ian Ryan and John Galvin had those opening Limerick points.
Then Limerick took over and by the 25th minute were 0-8 to 0-1 clear.
Debutantes Killian Phair and Danny Neville were along this scoring streak as well as goalkeeper Brian Scanlon (free).
But London then came to life with three points in a row.
Indeed they were to out score Limerick 0-5 to 0-3 in the final eight minutes of the half.
The start of the second half was all London and they kicked 1-4 without reply to go 1-10 to 0-11 ahead for first time.
An Ian Ryan free had Limerick off the mark in the 12th minute of the half. Inspired by goalscroer Damien Dunleavy, London kept pouring forward and held the lead until the 57th minute.
That’s when Gearoid Hegarty had the all-important Limerick goal.
But London had two points in replay to level up the contest with five to play.
But goalkeeper Brian Scanlon and Ian Ryan had Limerick frees to ease the tension.
Then in injury time Ryan capped a fine individual performance with his fifth score from play.
SCORERS: Limerick: Ian Ryan 0-8 (3frees), Gearoid Hegarty 1-0, Ger Collins, Brian Scanlon (2frees), Killian Phair 0-2 each, John Galvin, Danny Neville 0-1 each. London: Damien Dunleavy 1-5, Joe Feeney 0-2, Mark Gottsche, Adrian Flaherty (free), Marcus Miskelly, Sean Hickey, Lorcan Mulvey (free), Tony Gaughan 0-1 each.
LIMERICK: Brian Scanlon; Sean O’Dea, Johnny McCarthy, Mark O’Riordan; Iain Corbett, Paudie Browne, Pa Ranahan; Tom Lee, John Galvin; Darragh Treacy, Ger Collins, Seanie Buckley; Danny Neville, Killian Phair, Ian Ryan. Subs: Gearoid Hegarty for Seanie Buckley, inj (15mins), Micheal Brosnan for Darragh Treacy (43mins), Eoin Hanrahan for Killian Phair (48mins), Stephen Lucey for Iain Corbett (53mins), John Riordan for Tom Lee (57mins), Jamie Lee for Danny Neville (65mins).
LONDON: Adrian Flaherty; Philip Butler, Stephen Curran, Donnacha McCarthy; Seamus Hannon, Tony Gaughan, Shane Mulligan; Aaron Bradley, Martin Carroll; Greg Crowley, Damien Dunleavy, Joe Feeney; Marcus Miskelly, Brian Collins, Lorcan Mulvey. Subs: Mark Gottsche for Brian Collins 24mins), Sean Hickey for Marcus Miskelly (44mins), Barry Mitchell for Joe Feeney (55mins), Sean Kelly for Aaron Bradley (62mins), Cathal O’Neill for Greg Crowley (69mins), Caoimhin Carty for Seamus Hannon (71mins).
REFEREE: Padraig O’Sullivan (Kerry).
See the print editions of the lImerick Leader for a full match report