“Very, very close” | Iain Corbett in running for Limerick return after missing Tailteann Cup opener

Limerick were without joint-captain Iain Corbett who missed out on the game with a hamstring injury that has derailed his campaign to date.

It wasn’t as straightforward as Mark Fitzgerald would have hoped but a first win in charge of the Limerick senior footballers was secured on Saturday night in the first round of the Tailteann Cup.

Goals from Cathal Downes and Brian Donovan helped see off Longford for a three-point victory to kick start their campaign in the second tier All-Ireland.

Longford battled back to within a pair of points late on but Limerick held on for the crucial victory at the Ennis Road victory.

Limerick were without joint-captain Iain Corbett who missed out on the game with a hamstring injury that has derailed his past four games. But Fitzgerald provided a positive update on the Newcastle West native who is in the running to feature this weekend against Carlow.

“He was very close, very close. If it was do or die, he probably would have risked it himself. But we just wanted to be a little bit more careful this time with what happened to him against against Claire you know.”

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

Corbett isn’t the only player closing in on a return to full fitness with Fitzgerald providing a positive update on Robbie Bourke and Killian Ryan as he looks to bolster his squad ahead of what could be a hectic couple of months.

“Robbie Burke is a little bit closer to to full fitness and Killian Ryan a little bit closer to full fitness so we’re getting lads back and I think we’re going to need that over the next couple of weeks because it’s a heavy enough schedule.”

Fitzgerald also praised the application of the side in preparation for their first crack at the Taiulteann Cup. To miss out on the All-Ireland series after a number of positive championship results in recent years would have been a disappointment.

But Saturday’s display and the scenes in Mullingar after they claimed the inaugural title last season have furthered the importance of the competition with the side excited for the remainder of the championship.

“Absolutely huge appetite from our lads. I suppose the beauty of it is that it’s a competition that gives you games and ultimately that’s what players want really.

“I mean you saw last year what it was like for the Tailteann Cup Final. There were some good games along the way and you’re expecting some good games as it progresses so the lads are very excited.”

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