A late Eoghan Stokes header earned Bohemians a share of the spoils in a rather forgettable game at Markets Field. Cian Coleman had given Limerick the lead with their only shot on target, but they failed to hold on as Bohs’ pressure eventually told.
The hosts were able to name the same starting eleven that secured victory in Sligo, Bohemians meanwhile brought in Stokes and Philip Gannon who featured from the bench in the 3-1 victory over Shamrock Rovers.
The first half was truly forgettable. Neither side had the composure to play passing football. The ball spent too much time in the cold Limerick sky and not enough time near either penalty area. Brendan Clarke was called into action once, when reacting quickly to deny Keith Buckley who drilled a shot from a tight angle.
The hosts failed to deal with the industrious Mark O’Sullivan, who battled against Dan Casey and Rob Cornwall throughout. Stokes was busy for Bohemians, but on his first start for the club was unable to link up with Dinny Corcoran often enough to impact the game.
The game came to life shortly after the interval with the visitors looking more likely but it was Limerick who struck first.
The goal arrived after a swift Limerick attack. Daniel Kearns fed Billy Dennehy, his left-foot right wing cross found Shane Duggan, whose shot rebounded to Cian Coleman to tap home.
The hosts looked to play on the counter attack in the final half-hour and almost held on to their delicate lead. Bohs failed throughout to test Brendan Clarke but it was recent signing Stokes who notched the crucial goal.
The ball was chipped by Derek Pender to Rob Cornwall who headed across goal for Stokes to head into the top corner. He celebrated in front of the bulk of the 2,225 with a knee slide. Blues’ fans booed the lack of an offside flag; however, it appeared Cornwall stayed narrowly onside.
In a game that wasn’t a great advertisement for the league, a share of the spoils was arguably correct. Limerick travel to Dundalk on Tuesday, while Bohemians welcome Derry City to Dublin 7.
Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Tony Whitehead, Darren Dennehy, Shane Tracy; Cian Coleman, Eoin Wearen, Shane Duggan ©, Billy Dennehy, Daniel Kearns (Danny Morrissey 86); Mark O’Sullivan (Connor Ellis 75)
Subs not used: Tommy Holland (gk), Killian Cantwell, Will Fitzgerald, Colm Walsh- O’Loghlen, Clyde O’Connell.
Bohemians: Shane Supple; Derek Pender, Darragh Leahy, Dan Casey, Rob Cornwall; Phillip Gannon, Oscar Brennan (Ian Morris 77), Keith Buckley (JJ Lunney 87), Paddy Kavanagh (Karl Moore, 68), Eoghan Stokes; Dinny Corcoran.
Subs Not Used: Colin McCabe (gk), Dan Byrne, John Ross Wilson, Dylan Watts.
Booked: Gannon (78)
Referee: Ray Matthews
ExtraTime.ie Man of the Match: Cian Coleman (Limerick)