UCD 2-3 Limerick FC
LIMERICK FC secured promotion back to the Premier Division at the first attempt after Sunday evening’s 3-2 win away to UCD, the victory giving the Super Blues an insurmountable 24-point lead with six matches remaining.
Martin Russell’s side only needed to draw to seal an immediate return to the top flight but they proceeded to make it 20 league wins out of 22 in Belfield, even if they did have to come from behind as Kieran Marty Waters put the Students in front midway through the first half. It was a lead the home side held for just four minutes, with John O’Flynn conjuring a swift Limerick equaliser.
Paul O’Conor nudged the visitors into a 2-1 lead 10 minutes after half-time but, just as in the first half, it wasn’t long before parity was restored, Maxim Kouogun levelling the teams once more.
Any notion that official confirmation of promotion might have been put back for a further week ended in the 77th minute when O’Conor netted his second goal of the match. Limerick held onto their lead for the remaining few minutes and the final whistle brought scenes of celebrations for players, management and fans.
A party atmosphere is guaranteed at the Markets Field on Saturday, then, when the newly-crowned First Division champions welcome Waterford United to Shannonside.
UCD: Corbet; Scales, Langtry, Kouogun, Collins; Sloggett, O’Neill; McClelland (O’Connor 73), Waters (Byrne 90), Watson (Kelly 81); Swan.
Limerick FC: Hall; Kelly (Coughlan 84), O’Connor, Williams, Tracy; Duggan, O’Conor; Kenny, Lynch, Russell (Greene 61); O’Flynn (Mulhall h-t).