Tipperary v Limerick, Offaly v Carlow and Leitrim v Waterford
Limerick made to pay for missed penalties
PETER Creedon's Tipperary moved into the promotion picture with a third successive league victory.
Tipp made the trip to the Gaelic Grounds and inflicted a first league defeat of the season on hosts Limerick, who missed two penalties.
Ian Ryan's 29th-minute penalty was saved by Paul Fitzgerald and Ger Collins dragged his 53rd-minute effort wide. Tipp were awarded a penalty of their own in the 60th minute but leading scorer Barry Grogan skied his effort over the crossbar.
Limerick were 0-4 to 0-1 clear by the 11th minute but Tipp recovered to lead by 0-7 to 0-5 at half-time. A run of five unanswered points from the visitors helped them on their way.
A pair of Eoghan O'Connor points brought Limerick level early in the second half but Tipp hit three without reply to regain the initiative, before Collins's penalty miss.
Tipp kicked on from there and outscored Limerick by 0-5 to 0-2 for the remainder of the game.
Peter Acheson enjoyed a hugely productive second half for Tipperary and Liam McGrath, All-Ireland minor-winning captain in 2011, came off the bench to kick a late point.
Scorers – Limerick: G Collins, E O'Connor, I Ryan (2f) 0-2 each, S O'Carroll ('45'), J Riordan, L O'Dwyer, 0-1 each. Tipperary: B Grogan 0-5 (4f, 0-1 pen), C Sweeney (2f), B Fox, P Acheson, M Quinlivan 0-2 each, G Hannigan, L McGrath 0-1 each.
Limerick: B Scanlon; C Coady, J McCarthy, M O'Riordan; S Lavin, P Browne, P Ranahan; D Treacey, T Lee; J O'Meara, J Riordan, S O'Carroll; G Collins, E O'Connor, I Ryan. Subs: L O'Dwyer for Coady (20) D O'Sullivan for Scanlon (39), D Lowry for Sweeney (47), I Corbett for Treacey (54), D Quaid for O'Riordan (63).
Tipperary: P Fitzgerald; A Morrissey, P Codd, C McDonald; J Coghlan, R Costigan, D Leahy; P Acheson, G Hannigan; B Fox, H Coghlan, A Matassa; M Quinlivan, B Grogan, C Sweeney. Subs: L Egan for Morrissey (22), B Mulvihill for Matassa (44), S Buckley for O'Carroll (46), L McGrath for Fox (63), T Dalton for Quinlivan (70).
Referee: D Brazil (Offaly)
Late goal victory for Offaly
LATE goals from Sean Pender and Brian Connor proved crucial as Offaly pulled a vital win out of the fire in O'Connor Park.
Carlow struck back late with a goal from John Murphy to set up a nervous last two minutes for the home side but Offaly held on for a victory that keeps them in the promotion hunt.
Offaly were ahead by two at the break and two early points after the restart put them four ahead and seemingly in control of the game.
However, Carlow, led by the excellent Brendan Murphy, kicked seven of the next nine points to take the lead for the first time at 0-11 to 0-10 entering the closing minutes.
With the game in the balance, Offaly were awarded a controversial free when Murphy was adjudged to have thrown the ball and from the resulting attack, centre-back Sean Pender was on hand to fist a dropping ball into the back of the net.
Ken Casey added a point to put Offaly three clear and the second goal followed soon after when a long surging run from Graham Guilfoyle opened up the Carlow defence and he timed his pass to Brian Connor to perfection and the full-forward made no mistake with his finish. Carlow pulled a goal back when John Murphy deftly slotted a loose ball into the corner of the net, but time ran out for Carlow as Offaly held on for the win.
Scorers – Offaly: J Maher 0-5 (3f), S Pender, B Connor 1-0 each, W Mulhall 0-2, A Mulhall (f), K Casey, N McNamee, B Darby 0-1 each. Carlow: J Murphy 1-0, D Foley (2f), B Murphy, B Murphy (3f) 0-3 each, E Ruth, P Reid 0-1 each.
Offaly: A Mulhall; B Darby, P McConway, S Sullivan; E Carroll, S Pender, E Rigney; M Brazil, A McNamee; G Guilfoyle, R Dalton, W Mulhall; J Maher, B Connor, R Allen. Subs: N McNamee for Maher (52), R Brady for Allen (54).
Carlow: T O'Reilly; C Lawler, S Mernagh, B Kavanagh; K Nolan, S Redmond, M Doyle; D Foley, B Murphy; R Walker, P Reid, E Ruth; B Murphy, J Murphy, W Minchin.
Referee: A Nolan (Wicklow)
Letrim beat Waterford with convincing lead
Both sides are out of the promotion race and Leitrim and Waterford served up a suitably low-key encounter in Carrick-on-Shannon, where Leitrim held the edge for most of the encounter.
After last week's last defeat by London, Waterford seemed more dispirited than Leitrim who also went under to Offaly a week ago.
Waterford manager Neil Carew and the Leitrim joint management duo of Barney Breen and George Dugdale have plenty of work to do with their respective squads before the start of the provincial championships.
Ray Cox's 13th-minute goal put Leitrim in the driving seat in the opening half. A goal from Robert Ahearne in the fourth minute and another from Darren Guiry before the break kept Waterford in contention.
Leitrim led by 1-9 to 2-3 at the interval, with Guiry's goal cutting Leitrim's advantage to three points after the home side had restricted the visitors to just four scores prior to that.
After Conor Beirne's 55th-minute goal, Leitrim enjoyed a 12-point lead.
Waterford managed to put some respectability on the scoreboard following that with a fine goal from Tony Grey and two points from Gary Hurney frees, but they were merely consolations.
Scorers – Leitrim: R Cox 2-1, E Mulligan 0-7 (5f); C Beirne 1-2, E Williams 0-2, G Reynolds, B Brennan 0-1 each. Waterford: T Grey 1-2, G Hurney 0-4f, R Ahearne, D Guiry 1-0 each, S Ahearne 0-1.
Leitrim: B Flynn; F McMorrow, C Egan, P Maguire; G Reynolds, E Williams, D Beck; B Brennan, T Beirne; R Lowe, E Mulligan, P Brennan; B McDonald, C Beirne, R Cox. Subs: G Hickey for Lowe (h-t); S Moran for McDonald (62); Gavin Reynolds for Cian Reynolds (65), B Prior for Beck (68); P McGowan for Mulligan (69).
Waterford: S Enright; C Phelan, S Prendergast, M O'Gorman; T Grey, S Briggs, T Ó hUallacháin; S Ahearne; S Prendergast; L Ó Lonáin, S Ó hEithir, P Whyte; D Guiry, R, Aherne, G Hurney. Subs: P Hurney for T Prendergast (41); J Hurney for Guiry (45); B Wall for Aherne (54); S Dempsey for Prendergast (64).
Referee: E McHugh (Tyrone)