LIMERICK FC held SSE Airtiricty League Premier Division champions Cork City to a 1-1 draw at the Markets Field.
Billy Dennehy’s strike had Tommy Barrett’s side in front inside 20 minutes but Cork were level before half time thanks to a Kieran Sadlier penalty.
Both sides could have won the game in the second half but had to be content with a share of the spoils.
Cork enjoyed all the early possession in the game and it was Sadlier who almost opened the scoring after six minutes when his cross almost caught Brendan Clarke out but the ball went inches wide of the Limerick goal.
Limerick could have opened the scoring themselves two minutes later when Billy Dennehy’s cross from the left was headed back across goal by Danny Morrissey however Shane Duggan was unable to test Cork keeper Mark McNulty.
The home side broke the deadlock on 18 minutes thanks to Dennehy’s 25 yard strike. The former Corkman intercepted on halfway and was let run at the defence before firing in an unstoppable shot much to the delight of the home fans.
Cork immediately came back at Limerick through a couple of Sadlier efforts and a superb Gearoid Morrissey shot that saw Clarke pull off a fantastic save.
John Caulfield’s side were handed a glorious chance to level the game when Darren Dennehy was adjudged to have pulled down Graham Cummins inside the penalty area by referee Neil Doyle.
Dennehy and his fellow teammates protested but it mattered little as Sadlier sent Clarke the wrong way from the resulting penalty.
The game was a much cagier affair after the break and although Cork had much of the possession, it was Limerick that came closest to scoring thanks to Shaun Kelly, Darren Dennehy and Danny Morrisey.
Karl O’Sullivan could also have done better late on after a fine run but shot straight at McNulty.
In the final minute of the game, Sadlier had a chance to win the game for Cork from a free kick at the edge of the box. His shot went through the Limerick wall but Clarke made a fine stop to secure a point for the home side.
LIMERICK FC: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Tony Whitehead, Darren Dennehy, Billy Dennehy; Danny Morrissey (Karl O’Sullivan, 67), Killian Cantwell, Cian Coleman, Daniel Kearns (Will Fitzgerald, h-t); Shane Duggan; Connor Ellis.
CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Conor McCarthy, Aaron Barry, Sean O’Loughlin, Sean Griffin; Conor McCormack (Michael Howard, 80), Gearoid Morrissey; Barry McNamee (Jimmy Keohane, 70); Karl Sheppard, Graham Cummins, Kieran Sadlier.
REFEREE: Neil Doyle