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Limerick and Offaly claim promotion from Division 4

The Shannonsiders and the Faithful will now meet in the Division 4 final on April 27th.

Ian Ryan was on target for Limerick today.
Ian Ryan was on target for Limerick today.

OFFALY AND LIMERICK clinched promotion from Division 4 of the Allianz National Football League in the final round of group fixtures this afternoon.

Offaly beat Tipperary by 2-10 to 1-8 at O’Connor Park in Tullamore to make an immediate return to Division 3, following last year’s relegation.

Tipp sent Offaly down with victory in Clonmel when the sides met in 2012 but this was sweet revenge for the Faithful County as ace forward Niall McNamee bagged both goals – one in each half.

Meanwhile, Limerick beat Clare by 1-13 to 0-10 at Cusack Park in Ennis in the second big promotion shootout of the afternoon.

Ian Ryan’s 59th minute goal settled the tie as the St Senan’s clubman profited from good work by Ger Collins and Iain Corbett.

Limerick raced into an early 0-5 to 0-0 lead as Ryan pointed two frees while Eoghan O’Connor, Collins and Seanie Buckley were also on target.

Mark McCarthy opened Clare’s account in the 24th minute and by half-time, the hosts had reduced the deficit to just two points, trailing by 0-4 to 0-6.

With less than twenty minutes remaining, there was still little or nothing to separate the sides as Limerick led by 0-8 to 0-7.

And Clare had a glorious opportunity to move ahead when they were awarded a 54th minute penalty.

But David Tubridy saw his effort saved by Donal O’Sullivan, who deflected the ball out for a ’45.

The visiting Shannonsiders opened up some breathing space when they moved 0-11 to 0-7 clear.

And the crucial goal from Ryan made the game safe as Clare were left cursing the woodwork on three occasions during the game.

In Tullamore, meanwhile, Tipp finished the game with 14 players when Robbie Costigan was sent off for a second bookable offence with five minutes remaining.

Tipp also lost Peter Acheson and Michael Quinlivan to injury in the second half, with Quinlivan now rated as extremely doubtful to feature against Cork in next Wednesday’s Cadbury Munster U21 football final.

Offaly led by a point at half-time – 1-3 to 0-5 – having played against a stiff breeze in the first half.

Tipp were 0-5 to 0-2 clear before Niall McNamee took Michael Brazil’s for the Faithful County’s first goal.

McNamee struck again early in the second half after Graham Guilfoyle’s long ball was touched down by Ken Casey.

Tipp got back into contention when Alan Maloney’s speculative punt ended up over the line as Offaly goalkeeper Alan Mulhall struggled to deal with the flight of the ball.

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But this was an afternoon when little or nothing went right for 14-man Tipperary, who also lost their influential pair Acheson and Quinlivan to hamstring and knee injuries respectively.

Elsewhere in Division 4, Leitrim beat London by 1-11 to 1-9 at Carrick-on-Shannon.

Lorcan Mulvey scored the early goal for London and Leitrim suffered a major injury blow when James Glancy was stretchered off in the first half. Glancy’s replacement Conor Beirne scored the goal for the Connacht outfit.

Meanwhile, Carlow slumped to a fifth successive defeat as a campaign that began so promisingly petered out with a 0-10 to 0-15 defeat against 14-man Waterford.

The Deise lost Shane Aherne to two yellow cards but still managed to come away from Dr. Cullen Park with a five-point win.

Camogie: Cork and Kilkenny book Division 1 league semi-final spots>

As it happened: Sunday GAA match tracker>

About the author:

Jackie Cahill

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