The Shannonsiders took control of the game in the second half, only for the visitors to goal two minutes from time and turn the game on its head.
Limerick slumped out of the Tailteann Cup on Saturday, as they conceded a late goal to give visitors Laois a surprise win at the TUS Gaelic Grounds. The Shannonsiders took control of the game in the second half, only for the visitors to goal two minutes from time and turn the game on its head. Laois march on to the semi-finals, while Mark Fitzgerald’s side will feel it is a game, and a competition for that matter, that they have left behind them.
The Treaty had a number of chances in the second half, but they were wasteful on the day, and have themselves to blame for the defeat. Five goal chances went abegging in either half with Limerick left to rue missed opportunities.
Having topped their group, Limerick would have expected to get past Laois, and speaking after the game, Fitzgerald’s disappointment was evident.
“I’m gutted, when you consider the amount of chances we had, I counted four/five really good chances, if you stuck half of them away you’re probably home and hosed. We started brilliant on the second half and pulled away a little bit, we just got caught towards the end. We were trying to keep the scoreboard ticking over and we stopped doing that and we started to get a bit withdrawn and Laois pushed up on us but that’s still no excuse, we still should have drove on and won really.”
It has been a “tough year” for Limerick, who were relegated from Division 2 of the League back in March, but their Tailteann cup campaign really brought some excitement, and showed that there is a strong future for this bunch of players.
Impressive wins over Carlow and Longford saw the Shannonsiders top their group, although they would lose to Wicklow in the final round of the group phase. They were favourites going in to the Laois clash, and the loss caps off a year that overall can be called a struggle.
Nonetheless, Fitzgerald said he was “proud” of his players.
“Tough year, I’m really proud of the players the way they responded, they took a bit of flack half way during the year which was really unwarranted, a lot of these guys have put holidays on hold, have put moves abroad on hold so they’re to be commended. It’s been a tough year, we really wanted to get to the final of this thing, we were so close but just caught, game management could have been a bit better.”
Now comes a break for Limerick, who will spend the rest of the year dwelling on what could have been. Fitzgerald’s side will play Division 3 football next year, and will be aiming for a swift promotion back to Division 2.
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