LIMERICK FC’s recent improvement continued as a gallant defeat to league leaders Dundalk was quickly followed up by a fine away win over champions St Patrick’s Athletic on Monday night.
Martin Russell’s side proved to be extremely stubborn opposition for Dundalk at Oriel Park last Friday and it took the table toppers until the final six minutes to eventually wear down Limerick’s resistance, Pat Hoban with the game’s only goal. Three days later, the Super Blues travelled to Richmond Park to face St Pat’s, for whom Limerick have proven to be a bogey side in 2014.
The Shannonsiders had already drawn in Inchicore and beaten the reigning title holders in Thomond Park prior to Monday night’s clash, one which brought some intriguing sub-plots.
Russell had been assistant to St Pat’s boss Liam Buckley prior to taking the reins at Limerick in July, although Lee J Lynch, who made the same move down the M7 recently, did not feature.
The home side bossed the first half but had nothing to show for it and, five minutes after the interval, they were made to rue their failure to turn their dominance into goals.
A superb strike by the in-form Rory Gaffney put Limerick in front and the Super Blues were ultimately good value for their third win in four games, leaving them in seventh place and well clear of any worries of a relegation fight.
After that quick succession of away matches, Limerick’s next two games are at Thomond Park, the first of which is scheduled to take place on Monday night when Derry City make their sole visit to Shannonside in 2014 (kick-off 7:45pm).
There is a slight chance that the match, which was moved from mid-July due to Derry’s European commitments, might be rescheduled again, although this will only happen in the improbable event of the Candystripes’ FAI Ford Cup tie against Malahide on Friday going to a replay.
Limerick FC may be out of the cup, but the city is not without representation in round three. FAI Junior Cup finalists Ballynanty Rovers will fly the Limerick flag in the senior competition when they meet Premier Division side Drogheda United at the Fairgreen on Sunday (kick-off 2:30pm).