Scanlon returns for Limerick’s football qualifier

Colm Kinsella

Reporter:

Colm Kinsella

Limerick players and officials stand for, and sing, the National Anthem before their All-Ireland football qualifer with Longford in Pearse Park last year. The counties renew rivalry in the qualifiers this Saturday evening
LIMERICK senior footballers have made one change in personnel for Saturday’s All-Ireland football qualifier with Longford at Glennon Brothers, Pearse Park.

LIMERICK senior footballers have made one change in personnel for Saturday’s All-Ireland football qualifier with Longford at Glennon Brothers, Pearse Park.

Goalkeeper Brian Scanlon returns to the side in place of Donal O’Sullivan in the only change from the side which lost heavily to Cork in the Munster quarter-final last month.

Maurice Horan’s side get their shot at redemption in this year’s championship when they tackle Longford this weekend.

Limerick have shown a healthy appetite for the challenge posed by the qualifiers in recent seasons on the back of disappointing exits from the Munster championship.

The Shannonsiders will be hoping to bounce back from an 18-point provincial quarter-final mauling they suffered at the hands of Cork when they renew rivalry with Longford at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park (7pm).

Limerick came away with a thrilling extra-time victory over Longford when the same two counties met at the second round stage of the All-Ireland qualifiers last summer.

Limerick and Longford will both play in Division Three of the Allianz National Football league in 2014 after experiencing contrasting League campaigns this spring.

While Limerick gained promotion from Division Four at the end of an encouraging campaign, Longford dropped out of Division Two after failing to record a single win.

The Midlanders then suffered a two-point defeat to Wicklow in the opening round of the Leinster SFC.

Limerick must plan without the services of three injured players, Jim O’Donovan, Damien Quaid and star forward Ian Ryan for the trip to Pearse Park.

Limerick manager Maurice Horan is hoping his side can make the most of their ‘second chance’ in the qualifiers.

Maurice Horan said: “There was no easy draw in that qualifier draw. We got close enough to the toughest draw possible going away to Longford. They are a very good side, with a very good qualifier record.

“We have to look at ourselves and get our own house in order.

The draw was made last Monday week and we had a round of club football games in between. We have to be as ready as possible.

“Counties should embrace the qualifiers as much as possible. It is a third part of the season after the League and provincial championship has ended for them. It’s championship football.

“You have to get back on track on soon as you can. In the past few years, we have had some good days out in the qualifiers. We are as positive and focused as possible about it. We got promoted this year. We have to dwell on the positives.”

Bookmakers have installed Longford as slight favourites to win Saturday night’s tie at 10/11, with Limerick available at 11/10. If Limerick overcome Longford this weekend, they would then enter the round two All-Ireland qualifier draw which takes place this Monday, July 1. Second round games take place on either July 6 or 13.