Limerick travel to Carlow seeking to put one foot in the Tailteann Cup knockout stage

This Saturday’s clash is the first meeting of the teams in the championship since 2005 when Limerick were comfortable winners in the qualifiers.

Limerick can put one foot in the knockout stages of the Tailteann Cup on Saturday afternoon when they meet Carlow in Netwatch Cullen Park at 3pm.

Mark Fitzgerald’s men meet the Leinster side in a battle of the round one winners where Limerick overcame Longford while Carlow overcame Wicklow.

The Shannonsiders were full value for a 2-16 to 1-16 win in the opening round of games, surviving a late flurry from the visitors last Saturday.

Cathal Downes and Brian Donovan were among the goals for Limerick who picked up a first win since January when they defeated Waterford in the McGrath Cup with ease.

Both are named in a unchanged line up for this Saturday’s game but Limerick are boosted by the return of Iain Corbett who takes his place amongst the substitutes. The Newcastle West man had to limp off half way through the Munster semi-final and missed last weekend’s contest.

22 April 2023; Limerick captain Iain Corbett speaks to his teammates prior to the Munster GAA Football Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Limerick and Clare at TUS Gaelic Grounds in Limerick. Photo by Tom Beary/Sportsfile

This Saturday’s clash is the first meeting of the teams in the championship since 2005 when Limerick were 2-15 to 0-7 winners in the second round of the qualifiers. Their most recent game was in the third round of the National Football League three years ago. Under Billy Lee, Limerick maintained their 100% start to the league with a late smash and grab.

In a topsy turvy encounter, Carlow kicked the first four scores of the game but Limerick replied with six on the bounce either side of the half. The next time the Shannonsiders would find the target, Carlow had moved three in front but that score was to be the decisive one as Cillian Fahy appeared to fist over the line to bring the teams level late on. From the next play, Limerick were awarded a penalty and taking no risks, Corbett flicked over for a memorable win.

Limerick will be keen to build on the Longford victory after what has proven a difficult 2023 thus far. They have played eleven games with just the pair of wins to go with two draws and seven losses that saw them relegated from division 2.

Carlow themselves endured a difficult start to the year as they finished third from bottom in the lowest division of the league. The Leinster side did pick up three points from their first two games but only won one more game in the bottom tier. Wicklow eliminated them from the championship in the Leinster quarter final but Niall Carew’s side rebounded in the Tailteann Cup game last weekend that has them in good stead to qualify for the knockout phase as bottom seeds in group three.

They will also be boosted by home advantage but Limerick will point to the divisional gulf between the sides as a reason to be confident. The last time the side put back to back wins together was in last year’s Munster semi-final and this weekend would be an ideal time to do so again.

Limerick take on Carlow in the second round the Tailteann Cup this Saturday, May 20 at 3pm in Netwatch Cullen Park.

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