Diarmuid Carrolls 63rd-minute point proved the decisive score as Limerick retained their Division 3 status at the expense of Leitrim in an exciting tie in Kilmallock.
Visitors Leitrim were the better side in the opening half and led by 0-7 to 0-4 at the break.
Five of Leitrims first-half points came from top scorer Emlyn Mulligan.
However, Limerick upped their performance significantly at the start of the second half. Three unanswered points from Ian Ryan, Andrew Lane and JohnÓgalvin, and an excellent Stephen Kelly goal in the 42nd minute, saw Limerick into a 1-7 to 0-7 lead.
Plucky Leitrim rallied again and four points in quick succession from Mulligan, three, and Ciaran Duignan, helped the visitors into a one-point lead by the 55th minute.
However, a resilient Limerick side was not to be denied in a tense final quarter. Inspired by outstanding full-back Johnny McCarthy and points from Ian Ryan, from a well taken free, and an excellent individual score from Carroll, the home side claimed a precious win and consigned their opponents to relegation.
ScórERS — Limerick: I Ryan 0-3, (0-2f), S Kelly (1-0), D Carroll, S Lavin, A Lane (f), J Galvin, C OCruali, G Collins 0-1 each. Leitrim: E Mulligan 0-8, (0-6f), C Duignan 0-2, S Foley 0-1.
LIMERICK — D McMahon; D Carroll, J McCarthy, S Gallagher; P Browne, S Lavin, A Lane; J Cooke, J Galvin; S Kelly, C OCruali, S Buckley; G Collins, K OCallaghan, I Ryan.
Subs: J Ryan for Cooke (h/t), T Collins for OCruali (45), M Crowley for OCallaghan (66), S Walsh for Browne (69).
LEITRIM — nÓgill; D Reynolds, J McKeon, M McGuinness; G Reynolds, B Prior, S Foley; G McCloskey, R Gallagher; M Foley, D Maxwell, D OConnor; C Duignan, P McGuinness, E Mulligan.
Subs: D Brennan for P McGuinness (40), C Regan for Gallagher (49), D Duignan for Foley (58), F McBrien for Regan (69).
REF — M McGann (Clare)
21-Apr-08 by Irish Independant.ie