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Monday, 07 June 2010 18:37

Collins' early salvo seals spot in final for Limerick



RED on the double with a splash of yellow for Waterford, who finished with 13 men, but it's a green light for Limerick to advance to their second successive provincial decider.

Unfortunately, that was the extent of the colour on offer at Fraher Field, Dungarvan yesterday, where a hard-fought, uninspiring match was overshadowed by the palette of cards waved in the air by referee Syl Doyle of Wexford.

Six yellows -- five for Waterford -- and two reds for Decies midfielder Tommy Prendergast and right half-back Tony Grey might suggest it was a bloodbath, but it was nothing of the sort.

Limerick manager Micky Ned O'Sullivan reckoned it was nothing more than good, hard championship fare, in which both teams had only the intent of playing football.

He wasn't wrong, but in fairness to the man in the middle, Prendergast certainly swung an arm back as the ball dropped towards him and rival midfielder James O'Donovan in the 13th minute.

O'Donovan was behind Prendergast, and dropped to the ground. Contact was made, but from my vantage point it was not the point of an elbow directed with malicious intent.

No matter what you or I think, rules are there to be applied. Decision made. Prendergast walked. Straight red. Decies down to 14 men and set for a big struggle throughout the rest of the game. As for Grey's red card immediately prior to the final whistle, it didn't affect the result, but it was bizarre.

Allegedly he picked up a sideline flag and appeared to toss it in the direction of a Limerick player. The ref's attention was called by a linesman, after which Grey was sent off. Grey sought clarification after the match, but must now hope that video evidence can help his case.

By that stage of proceedings, Waterford's dreams of reaching the Munster final for the first time in 50 years had evaporated. Limerick's Ger Collins opened the scoring with a point after just 30 seconds and in the fifth minute he got the first goal of the game. A flying sprint and a cross by Stephen Kelly and there was Collins to tuck the ball into the net.

Waterford's Brian Wall had opened his side's account with a point from a free in the second minute, but Limerick, inspired by the quality and guile of the experienced John Galvin, dominated the possession. Another point by Collins from a free was answered by one from Waterford's Conor McGrath, and then came the sending-off of Prendergast.


Sunday, 06 June 2010 18:59

RESULT: Munster Senior Football Semi-Final

Limerick 1-17

Waterford 1-09 

Venue : Fraher Field 

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 21:09

Limerick star Collins braced for Deise duel

By Donnchadh Boyle © 

THEY came to inter-county football from two very different hurling paths, but Waterford's Gary Hurney and Limerick's Ger Collins will have a huge influence on the outcome of the June 6 Munster SFC semi-final meeting between the counties.

Hurney had long been considered one of the Waterford's better footballers when Davy Fitzgerald called the Ballinacourty man into his hurling panel, where he spent a couple of seasons before rejoining John Owens' squad earlier this year.

Conversely, Limerick's Ger Collins seemed destined for a career in hurling, featuring in the 2005 All-Ireland minor final defeat to Joe Canning's Galway as a 17- year-old. And while he would play both minor football and hurling for the county in both '05 and '06, the Milford man always expected to end up hurling.

"I played mostly hurling growing up," Collins said. "But (Limerick manager) Mickey Ned O'Sullivan gave me the chance to play senior football and I got a bit lucky in my first year and haven't looked back. Mickey's a hard man to say no to!"


Hurney's story is much different. After scoring the decisive goal against Clare in Dungarvan last Sunday to set up a rematch of the Division 4 final, he explained that he always intended on returning to the less glamorous life of a Waterford footballer.

"Football is probably my first love. I gave the hurling a go for a couple of years and enjoyed every bit of it. But I missed the football. I'm delighted to be back."

The Treaty men will be installed as favourites heading into the Dungarvan clash, although Collins insists the memory of their defeat to the Deise in the Gaelic Grounds earlier this season is still fresh in the memory.

Monday, 26 April 2010 21:29

Scanlon delivers on cue for Limerick


MICKEY Ned O'Sullivan ran into a brick wall of Dublin defenders of which full-back Sean Doherty was the centre-piece at Croke Park in the 1975 All-Ireland final.

You might see it on TG4 reruns, but anyone who watched it live, shuddered at the impact. Mickey Ned, Kerry captain, was knocked out and taken to hospital while his team-mates went on to run the Dubs ragged.

The man from Kenmare might ponder the old saying 'what goes around, comes around' because 35 years later he was fully conscious to make a fateful decision that helped win Limerick's first piece of national silverware since their 1896 All-Ireland title. An intense final was delicately poised at 1-14 apiece with just three minutes of normal time left when Limerick won a '45.

Team captain Seanie Buckley stood over the ball, preparing to take a crucial kick. On the sideline, there was movement. Calls were being made. Buckley turned to see what the mentors were on about.

And then he saw goalkeeper Brian Scanlon loping up the field. Yes, Scanlon was being given the job of slotting the '45. He is the Limerick U-21 keeper and had only been training with the seniors for a couple of weeks.

Big moment. Big call by Mickey Ned and the sideline boys. Scanlon did not fail. He launched his kick and the ball arrowed like a heat-seeking missile as if locked onto the main bar at the Cat and Cage in Drumcondra. Point! Limerick lead!

Waterford kept battling but that score, coupled with the fatal miss of a goal chance just prior to the '45, combined to turn the game in Limerick's favour.

Scanlon had a hand -- literally -- in that episode too. He dived to parry a shot by Patrick Hurney. Tommy Prendergast's strike from the rebound beat the goalie but bounced back into play off the post.


Saturday, 24 April 2010 21:30





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