Classy Marren puts wasteful Treaty men to the sword
Sligo 0-15 Limerick 0-13
Adrian Marren inspired shaky Sligo to a tense two-point win over Limerick to ensure new manager Pat Flanagan's tenure started on the right foot at a breezy Markievicz Park.
Marren, named captain for the NFL campaign, landed eight points – six of them during the second period as the hosts overturned a three-point interval deficit.
Limerick will rue 14 wides – eight coming in a first half they dominated – and squandering late goal chances, with Ger Collins twice blasting over.
Limerick also had a new manager on the line, as John Brudair looked for a positive start to his reign.
Brudair was the most affected in terms of absentees – the likes of Stephen Lavin, Stephen Lucey and John Galvin were all unavailable – as forwards Michael Brosnan and Eoin Hanrahan made their NFL debuts.
Flanagan was without St Vincent's players Brendan Egan and Luke Bree, with Adrian McIntyre also ruled out, as goalkeeper Aidan Devaney made his first start at this level.
Limerick, wind-assisted in the first period, were sharper early on, but Sligo found their feet with points from Pat Hughes and Eoin McHugh to lead 0-3 to 0-2 after 20 minutes.
Limerick kicked the next four scores, including superb efforts from Ian Ryan and Eoin Hanrahan, to gain the advantage, 0-6 to 0-3, 10 minutes short of half-time.
Sligo kept in touch with a brace of scores from Marren but Limerick, who continued to play the better football, merited an interval lead of three points, 0-8 to 0-5, although they wasted numerous chances in that opening half.
They would regret that wastefulness as Sligo, driven by Marren, stepped on the gas to take the victory.
Scorers – Sligo: A Marren 0-8 (6fs), M Breheny (1f), E McHugh 0-2 each, P Hughes, S Coen, D Kelly 0-1 each. Limerick: S O'Carroll 0-4 (2fs), E Hanrahan (1f), I Ryan 0-3 each, G Collins 0-2, M Brosnan 0-1
SLIGO – A Devaney 6; R Donovan 7, M Quinn 5, K Cawley 5; C Harrison 8, N Ewing 6, J Kelly 5; J Kilcullen 6, C Griffin 7; P Hughes 6, M Breheny 6, E McHugh 6; A Marren (capt) 8, D Kelly 6, S Coen 6. Subs: D Rooney 5 for Hughes (46), N Murphy for Breheny (63), D O'Boyle for McHugh (63), J Hynes for Coen (65).
LIMERICK – D O'Sullivan 6; L O'Dwyer 6, P Browne 6, J McCarthy 6; I Corbett 6, M Sheahan 6, P Ranahan 6; T Lee 6, D Treacy 7; M Brosnan 5, E Hanrahan 7, S Buckley (capt) 6; S O'Carroll 7, G Collins 5, I Ryan 7. Subs: M O'Riordan 5 for O'Dwyer (42), J Riordan 5 for Sheahan (48), M Fitzgibbon 5 for Brosnan (56), J Mullane for Hanrahan (64)
REF – B Cassidy (Derry)