Wednesday 26 November 2014

Super sub Coen strikes to maintain Sligo's run

Sligo 0-12 Limerick 0-10

Declan Rooney

Published 13/07/2014 | 02:30

Adrian Marren, Sligo, in action against Darragh Tracey, left, and Johnny McCarthy, Limerick
Adrian Marren, Sligo, in action against Darragh Tracey, left, and Johnny McCarthy, Limerick
Charlie Harrison, Sligo, in action against John Galvin, Limerick
Ger Collins, Limerick, in action against Kevin McDonnell, Sligo
Limerick's Pa Ranahan at the final whistle after defeat
Keelan Cawley, Sligo, celebrates at the final whistle

Sligo are one step from equalling their best qualifier run after Pat Flanagan's bench helped him clinch a two-point victory at Markievicz Park yesterday.

Sligo 0-12 Limerick 0-10

Like he did last week, Stephen Coen kicked late points but he was joined on the scoreboard by fellow subs James Kilcullen and Shane McManus, who carried a labouring Sligo over the line. Back in 2002 Sligo reached the All-Ireland quarter-final following a victory over Tyrone in the fourth round and they will need a similar triumph to match that record against either Cork or Mayo in the next round.

In truth, Sligo should have easily picked apart Limerick, but a poor day in front of the posts almost cost them dearly.

"We had an awful lot of possession but we kicked 13 wides to three. It was a game that would have destroyed us if we did lose it because we were the better team on the day," said Flanagan.

Ger Collins kicked the opening point of the game after three minutes following some good work from Ian Ryan, but the home side found it tough to find their range early on.

Mark Breheny was the most guilty with three early wides and the Yeats men's first score didn't surface until the seventh minute when goalkeeper Aidan Devaney drilled over a '45. His opposite number matched his feat two minutes later to restore Limerick's lead, while both goalkeepers missed long-range frees in the following minutes.

With the midfield ending in stalemate, it was up to the Sligo half-back line to inject some attacking impetus, and a sweet point from distance from Keelan Cawley drew Sligo level in the 13th minute. Killian Phair punished a poor Ross Donovan clearance with a 20th-minute score, but Sligo took a two-point lead after points from Breheny (2), Adrian Marren and Pat Hughes. Two scores from Ryan at the other end left it level at 0-6 each at the interval.

As the rain descended on the venue, the quality of football seemed to plummet as Marren's free in the first minute after the restart was the only score in the opening 18 minutes of the half.

Mark O'Riordan failed to take the game's best goal chance in the 48th minute, but Ryan soon levelled matters.

Coen and Kilcullen looked to have given Sligo a decisive advantage with points in the 56th and 60th minutes, but after a levelling point from Eoin Hanrahan, Coen popped up with a super winner for Sligo.

Scorers - Sligo: A Marren 0-3 (3f), S Coen, M Breheny (f) 0-2 each, P Hughes, K Cawley, A Devaney ('45'), J Kilcullen, S McManus 0-1 each. Limerick: I Ryan 0-3 (2f), B Scanlon (1 '45', f), G Collins 0-2 each, K Phair, M Brosnan, E Hanrahan (f) 0-1 each.

Sligo: A Devaney; R Donovan, J Martyn, N Ewing; C Harrison, B Egan, K Cawley; K McDonnell, A McIntyre; B Curran, J Hynes, P Hughes; M Breheny, A Marren, D Kelly. Subs: J Kilcullen for Egan (h-t), S Coen for Hynes (54), L Bree for McDonnell (68), S McManus for Curran (69).

Limerick: B Scanlon; S O'Dea, J McCarthy, M O'Riordan; I Corbett, P Browne, P Ranahan; S Buckley, J Galvin; D Tracey, G Collins, G Hegarty; D Neville, K Phair, I Ryan. Subs: E Hanrahan for Phair (40), M Brosnan for Hegarty (48), J Mullane for Neville (51).

Referee: F Kelly (Longford)

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