IN a championship clash that could well have a significant bearing on relegation from senior hurling, Effin and South Liberties couldn’t be separated at the hour’s end in Bruff on Wednesday evening as Brian Ryan’s 62nd minute free liberated Liberties from most of their worries thanks to an earlier victory over Murroe-Boher.
It finished Effin 2-13, South Liberties 0-19.
It was a game that saw Limerick inter-county goalkeeper Nickie Quaid return from injury. He lined out in midfield for Effin.
His brother Tommy Quaid was in sparkling form for Effin with 2-11 (1-0 penalty, 0-7 frees), while South Liberties’ had Tom Ryan with 0-8 (5frees) and his younger brother Brian with 0-5 (3frees).
At half time, Effin were 1-7 to 0-7 clear.
The goal came from the penalty spot from Quaid after Darren Sheehy was pulled down as he charged into the square.
In the second half Tom Ryan equalised and Brian Nash put Liberties in front for the first time since the opening moments. But just as they were about to build on it, Quaid struck again, this time his speculative effort from halfway floating to the net over the upraised hurleys of goalie, backs and forwards.
At the point, the Effin radar went on the blink while Liberties’ found its focus. With their front men finally raising their intensity, Ryan’s free and Barry Nash drew them level and Ryan and Butler put them in front. Yet still, Effin weren’t finished.
Swarming around any chance of possession, they forced two fouls for Quaid to convert and took the lead on the stroke of normal time through a glorious Quaid strike from distance. But this was never a match destined to provide a result and Brian Ryan obliged by converting an injury time free.