Tom Clancy reports from Markets Field
A Rhys McCabe wonder-strike and a goal from sub Greg Moorhouse earned Sligo Rovers all three points in a tense affair at Markets Field on Saturday evening.
McCabe found the net from a free-kick inside his own half, and that gave Rovers the platform to pick up their first league win in a month. Danny Kearns replied with a minute to go, but it was to prove to be a mere consolation for the home side.
There were several changes on either side from the last league outings. Limerick brought in Darren Dennehy, Danny Morrissey and handed a debut to Conor Clifford who signed for the club during the week.
Sligo meanwhile, made five changes, with Raff Cretaro, sent off in this fixture last year, and ‘keeper Mitchell Benney handed rare opportunities by Gerard Lyttle.
Adam Morgan stretched the Limerick defence early on but Brendan Clarke raced from his line to deny the former Liverpool striker.
At the other end, Mark O’Sullivan went close, denied by the imposing figure of Kyle McFadden. The Rovers skipper put his body on the line to deny O’Sullivan who is still chasing his first goal for the Super Blues.
Brazilian Eduardo Pinceli drew a routine Brendan Clarke save on 25 minutes, while Regan Donelon went close after linking up with Adam Morgan.
In truth, the first half showed why both sides are in the lower placings of the Premier Division table, a lack of quality could witnessed in many areas, though Pinceli and Clifford were bright at times for their respective sides.
The games moment of magic arrived just shy of the hour mark. McCabe won the ball off Killian Cantwell, who fouled the Scot. McCabe spotted Clarke off his line and found the net with a perfectly hit effort from a yard inside his own half.
Cantwell went close with 10 minutes remaining. A penaty area scramble saw the defender go close twice, Beeney denying him superbly with a save after the ball flew through a number of bodies.
Sligo added a second goal and effectively sealed the win when sub Greg Moorhouse found the net.
The Dubliner was found by McCabe after a quick throw caught Limerick sleeping. His volleyed effort had too much power and beat both Clarke and Shaun Kelly on the Limerick goal line.
Kearns pulled a goal back with a minute of normal time remaining, smashing home a loose ball after Beeney failed to gather a corner.
Three minutes of stoppage time saw Limerick come close, as Duggan appealed for a penalty with a drilled effort, but in truth the home side’s lack of attacking threat proved their main problem once more.
Limerick:Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Kilian Cantwell, Tony Whitehead (Will Fitzgerald 63), Darren Dennehy, Billy Dennehy; Cian Coleman (Daniel Kearns 63), Conor Clifford, Shane Duggan ©; Danny Morrissey (Connor Ellis 81), Mark O’Sullivan.
Subs not Used:Tommy Holland; Shane Tracy, Killian Brouder, Barry Maguire.
Booked:Billy Dennehy (68), Mark O’Sullivan (70), Daniel Kearns (75), Shane Duggan (86)
Sligo Rovers:Mitchel Benney; Gary Boylan, Kyle McFadden ©, Patrick McClean, Regan Donelon (Callum Waters 86); David Cawley, Rhys McCabe, Eduardo Pinceli (Caolán McAleer 63), Raffaele Cretaro (Greg Moorhouse 75), Jack Keaney; Adam Morgan.
Subs not Used:Ed McGinty (gk), Séamus Sharkey, Ally Roy, Adam Wixted.
Booked:Gary Boylan (74), Adam Morgan (90+1)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match:Rhys McCabe