ON ANOTHER BUSY Saturday of GAA action across the length and breadth of the country, there were All-Ireland SFC qualifier wins for Laois, Westmeath and Clare as the curtain came down on Derry, Limerick and Leitrim’s respective 2019 campaigns.
Laois were four-point winners over Derry in Owenbeg in the earliest of the three throw-ins, knocking the hosts out of the All-Ireland championship and booking their place in Monday’s third round qualifier draw.
Although Derry started brighter, Laois punished them for a lacklustre second half with substitute Eoin Lowry’s 66th-minute goal proving decisive.
After a flawless league campaign in which they landed the Division 4 title and a short summer, the Oak Leaf men now go back to the drawing board for 2020 while 2018 Leinster finalists Laois march on.
TEG Cusack Park played host to the meeting of Westmeath and Limerick, with the Midlanders running out six-point winners on home soil.
James Dolan celebrates scoring a goal.
Source: Tom O’Hanlon/INPHO
To Limerick’s credit, they battled gamely but a scoring blitz from Westmeath either side of half time sent them on their way. James Dolan rattled the net to leave the scoreboard reading 1-9 to 0-5 at the interval.
And just seconds into the new period, Joe Halligan bagged another goal to send the hosts 10 points clear. Limerick staged a brave fightback but with John Heslin sprung from the bench, Westmeath kicked back into gear and held on for the win.
And Clare ended Leitrim’s year with a nine-point win in Carrick on Shannon; Jamie Malone, Gary Brennan and Eimhin Courtney’s goals the difference in the end.
Gary Brennan with a young supporter.
Source: Evan Logan/INPHO
While Leitrim’s heroic 2019 Lory Meagher champions were presented to the crowd at half time after their win in Croke Park earlier, it wasn’t just as memorable a day for the county’s footballers.
Colm Collins’ Banner impressed on the other hand as they pushed on from a 2-12 to 0-6 half-time lead to win the game out and progress to Monday’s all-important draw. While Malone and Brennan combined for 2-5, Eoin Cleary chipped in with 0-6 and David Tubridy accounted for 0-5.
- Derry 0-12 Laois 1-13
- Westmeath 2-13 Limerick 1-10
- Leitrim 0-17 Clare 3-17
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