Category: Archive

N.Y. GAA Simms save the day for Limerick

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Mike Fitzpatrick

Limerick 3-6 , Offaly 2-9

In this senior hurling clash, Limerick, the deposed champions from 1998, faced the team which finished at the wrong end of the table last year. But as soon as Offaly took the field, it became obvious that last year’s poor showing was history, and that they were out to prove that they had what it takes to go further this season. Any side facing the daunting prospect of Dave Simms in attack was never going to find it easy, yet Offaly somehow managed to match their counterparts in practically every department.

Limerick, as expected, held the lead for long periods of the game, and certainly seemed confident at times of gaining their first victory of the season. All credit is due to this Offaly side though, which never once looked as if they’d back down. Some fine forward play from veteran forward Sean O’Donaghue and Damian Beatty brought Offaly right into the tie, with both players grabbing vital scores.

Limerick began to slip a little in the second half, and Tony Burns was sent off. Offaly were given a chance to get right into the game, an opportunity they never looked like squandering.

Simms’s hat trick of goals on any other day may have been enough, but efforts from the excellent Declan Pilkington up front for Offaly ensured that it wasn’t.

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Pilkington grabbed seven of his side’s nine points, and it was a second half effort from him that started an Offaly revival which led to Beatty hitting a great goal past Finbarr Flood in the Limerick goal to equalize proceedings.

Substitute Nigel Carney banged another effort over the bar to give Offaly a thoroughly deserved comeback, and a brief lead. That man Simms however, if given a moment’s space, will punish the opposition, and it was his late point which grabbed the draw for Limerick.

Offaly will be disappointed at not having held out for a famous victory, but this is only the beginning.

Limerick: Finbarr Flood, Tony Burns, Ken Delanty, John Riordan, Philip Wickham, Mark Cosgrave, James McSweeney, Eamonn Shields, Ray Hourigan, Tadhg O’Callaghan, Callaghan McCarthy (0-1), Dave Simms (3-5), Morgan Burns. Subs: Eddie Clancy, Liam Hartnett, Keith Nolan

Offaly: Liam Coughlan, Mark Scanlon, Sean Nolan, Dave Reynolds, Enda Condron, Pat Leavy, Jimmy Mitchell, Colm Scanlon, Donald Miller, Sean O’Donaghue (1-0), Damian Beatty (1-1), Declan Pilkington (0-7), Richie Fitzsimons. Sub: Nigel Carney (0-1)

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