GAA Football

NFL Matchbox: Offaly and Limerick secure play-off spots

A Conor Sweeney goal couldn't prevent Tipperary from falling to defeat to Offaly Picture by Séamus Loughran

National Football League

Division Three South

Offaly 1-17 Tipperary 1-12

TIPPERARY will face Longford in a relegation play-off after the Premier county suffered a five-point defeat in Tullamore on Saturday.

Offaly started the game strongly, with Cian Farrell grabbing an early goal as they led by 1-6 to 0-4 at the water break. However, Tipperary turned the tables and, thanks to a Conor Sweeney penalty and a strong showing from Steven O'Brien and Conal Kennedy at midfield, they went in at half-time a point up.

Offaly's tenacious defending made sure the game didn't get away from them, however, and it was 1-11 apiece going into the final quarter. Niall McNamee came off the bench to make a crucial contribution for the Faithful county, kicking three points in the final quarter.

With Tipp forced to chase the game, Offaly struck on the break, Bill Carroll and David Dempsey adding excellent scores that set up a promotion tilt against Fermanagh.

Wicklow 1-12 Limerick 2-19

LIMERICK will play Derry in the other Division Three promotion play-off after they managed to push clear of Wicklow in the final quarter of their meeting at Aughrim.

Squandered goal chances for Limerick and an Eoin Darcy green flag for the hosts meant there was still all to play for at half-time, 0-11 to 1-6. However, goals from Danny Neville and Hugh Bourke helped the Treaty ease over the line to take second spot in the southern section, with 10 players in all getting themselves on the scoresheet.

Division Four North

Louth 3-18 Sligo 1-14

LOUTH turned a three-point half-time deficit into a 10-point victory at Haggardstown to secure a promotion play-off against Carlow.

Ciarán Byrne kept Louth in contention during the first-half which saw three black cards, but a Seán Carrabine goal deservedly left three between the sides at half-time, 1-9 to 0-9.

A fortunate Sam Mulroy goal inspired Louth to an electric third-quarter charge where they outscored Sligo 2-5 to 0-2 before the second-half water break.

New Louth captain Mulroy grabbed an excellent second goal before turning provider for Ciarán Keenan to dispatch to the net.

Division Four South

Carlow 2-12 Wexford 2-11

CARLOW took top spot in Division Four South when they struck late against a Wexford side who looked likely winners for long spells at Cullen Park.

Over the course of the 70 minutes, Carlow lost three players to black cards and, when from a 1-4 to 0-6 half-time deficit Wexford hit their rivals with goals through Seán Nolan and Liam Coleman, the hosts looked to be in big trouble. However, they dug deep and gradually reeled in Wexford.

Two minutes into injury-time Seán Ryan slotted what looked like the winning point for the Model men but, in reply, John Murphy fired over an equaliser.

When play resumed and Darragh Foley got his hands on the ball, the experienced midfielder had it all to do but he made space for himself and forced his effort inside the right-hand upright for a dramatic Carlow win.

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