All-Ireland SF Qualifiers Round 4 – Limerick v Meath

Meath 1-13 2-09 Limerick

Saturday, 1 August 2009 20:55

Report from the RTE.ie web site

Meath set up an All-Ireland SFC quarter-final clash with Mayo, thanks to the narrowest of Qualifier wins over Limerick at Portlaoise. The Royals appeared to be cruising to a comfortable win when they led by six points at the beginning of the final quarter. But in front of a crowd of 7,300 at O’Moore Park, the courageous Treaty men stunned their opponents with two goals. Meath had ace attacker Stephen Bray dismissed on a straight red card in the 66th minute, but held on for a place in next Sunday’s last eight clash. However, the loss of Bray, who scored four quality points from play, will be a huge blow to their chances of making it through to the semi-finals.

Limerick’s conservative approach allowed Meath to run at them in the opening quarter, during which they built up a 1-04 to 0-02 lead. The sides were level at a point apiece when Cian Ward opened up the Treaty defence with a superb pass to release Peadar Byrne, who was denied by a wonderful Sean Kiely save. Ward converted the resultant ’45, and got in for a twelfth minute goal, dribbling past two defenders before finishing with precision past a helpless Kiely. Nigel Crawford took some clean possession in midfield, and Stephen Bray hit a couple of points to open up a five points lead.

Limerick could have had a goal when midfielder John Galvin powered through only to send a crossing shot just wide at the far post. A perfect example of swarm tackling turned over possession and crafted the opportunity which David Bray finished with a point, and at the break, Meath led by 1-06 to 0-05. Limerick had wind advantage in the second half, but Meath increased their advantage through all-action corner back Chris O’Connor. And with the assistance of goalkeeper Paddy O’Rourke’s massive kick-outs into the breeze, the Royals pressed on, with Byrne hitting a couple, one of which should have been a three-pointer.

But the Munster men grabbed a lifeline in the 48th minute in the form of a Seanie Buckley goal. The Limerick skipper somehow managed to steer the ball past a clutch of defenders and goalkeeper O’Rourke to re-ignite his side’s challenge. Meath rallied again for Stephen Bray to restore their five points lead, but Limerick grabbed a second goal on 57 minutes, punched home by substitute Jim O’Donovan. Meath were reduced to 14 men on 66 minutes when Stephen Bray received a straight red card, but they held on for a place in the last eight.

Meath: P O’Rourke, C O’Connor (0-02), A Moyles, E Harrington, S Kenny, C McGuinness, C King (0-01), N Crawford, B Meade, P Byrne (0-02), J Sheridan, S Bray (0-04), D Bray (0-01), B Farrell (0-01), C Ward (1-02, 1f, 1 ’45).

Subs: M Burke for Byrne (58)

Limerick: S Kiely, J McCarthy, S Gallagher, M O’Riordan, S Lavin, S Lucey, P Ranahan, J Stokes, J Galvin, P Browne, C Joyce-Power, S Buckley (1-00), G Collins (0-02, 2f), S Kelly (0-04, 1f), I Ryan (0-03, 2f).

Subs: J O’Donovan (1-00) for Stokes (39), J Mullane for Browne (53), B O’Brien for Joyce-Power (61), E Hogan for Buckley (67)

Referee: P Hughes (Armagh)

Match Preview

They meet for the second successive year in the qualifiers. Last season’s clash in the Gaelic Grounds was quite remarkable as Limerick won by 4-12 to 4-3 on a day when Ian Ryan scored 3-7 for the rampant winners. Brian Farrell (2-1) and Joe Sheridan (2-0) countered late on for Meath but a miserable points tally left them nine points behind. Limerick led by 4-11 to 0-3 with fifteen minutes remaining before staging a late burst which salvaged some pride without ever coming close to saving the day.

Meath enjoyed a much better run in the 2007 qualifiers reaching the All-Ireland quarter-finals where they beat Tyrone before losing to Cork in the semi-finals.

How they got here

Limerick 1-11 Tipperary 1-9 (Munster Quarter-Final)

Limerick 1-13 Clare 1-9 (Munster Semi-Final)

Cork 2-6 Limerick 0-11 (Munster final)

Dublin 0-14 Meath 0-12 (Leinster quarter-final)

Meath 1-20 Waterford 0-8 (Qualifiers Round 1)

Meath 1-15 Westmeath 1-5 (Qualifiers Round 2)

Meath 2-12 Roscommon 0-11 (Qualifiers Round 3)