LEINSTER SENIOR LEAGUE……….2
By EAMON SCOTT – OSCAR TRAYNOR SEMI-FINAL
THE Limerick League qualified for the final of the Oscar Traynor interleague tournament following an extra time victory over the Leinster Senior League after a titanic battle at Pearse Park, Crumlin Saturday night.
This was a game that could have gone either way with James Lee’s Leinster Senior side contributing handsomely to the 110 minutes of end- to- end action which was only decided by an outrageous winner on the stroke of halftime in extra time.
It was the visitors, managed by Shane O’Hanlon, who hit the front early on with Adrian Power reacting quickest to slide home at the back post past a stranded Gary Cleary.
The LSL regrouped and were level by the 14th minute with Marc Keeley finishing off a corner as the visitors showed a weakness off set pieces which surfaced several times on the night.
Limerick went back in front just three minutes into the second period with a cracking strike from Keith Maudsley which flew into the net – much to the delight of the travelling support.
But the LSL have shown lots of desire and character this current campaign and they hit back from another set piece in the 65th minute with Calvin Rogers getting the touch ahead of John Mulneary in the visitors’ goal.
Both sides had chances to nick it late on with the LSL hitting the base of the upright and Shane Clarke’s effort just clearing the LSL crossbar.
The winner on the night came from an unlikely source in Limerick fullback Ryan Doherty’s speculative cross to the back post creeping in off the underside of the crossbar beyond the despairing Cleary in the home goal.
Limerick then, understandably, set their stall out to defend with all their might and even the introduction of 38 year-old veteran Danny Loughran couldn’t come up with the combination to unlock the Munstermen’s rearguard as the clock ticked down.
Limerick have been on the road throughout their campaign and are represented by Limerick Premier title chasing Janesboro. If they are going to win the competition outright it will entail another road trip with the winners of the Galway League and Kilkenny League earning the right to host the national final.
Leinster Senior League: Gary Cleary, Kyle Dunphy, Dylan Whelan, Marc Keeley, Calvin Rogers, Brandon Payne, Jordan Payne, Ian Cowser, Callum Keane, Alex O’Callaghan, Sam Burgess, Subs: Patrick Shortall, Conor Mooney, Philip Shepard, Sean O’Connor, Adam Kenny, Jordan McNeil, Daniel Loughran
Limerick League: John Mulneary, Daniel O’Neill, Ryan Doherty, Thomas Clarke, Lee O’Mara, Aidan Hurley, Michael Ryan, Niall Hanley, Shane Clarke, Keith Maudsley, Adrian Power, . Subs: Dylan Kelly Higgins, Aaron Grant, Andy Murphy, Conor Lynch, Stephen Bradley, Shane Stack, Adrian Davis.
Referee: Jason Redmond, Carl Doyle, Owen White, 4th official: David Jameson (Wicklow Branch ISRS)