Limerick 4 - 0 Mervue UnitedFri, Sep 07 2012
Limerick FC cruised past ten-man Mervue United at Jackman Park by four goals to nil. Shane Tracy, David O’Leary, Rory Gaffney and Denis Behan all found the net in a result that sees Limerick take one more step towards the Premier Division.
Despite the final score, the away side showed glimpses of ability in the early stages and perhaps even settled faster than the eventual winners. Jean Biansumba proved to be a handful with his pace and looked to be Mervue’s big threat from the off. They created the first real chance of the game when Pat Hoban shot wide after just fifteen minutes, much to the relief of the blinded Barry Ryan.
Just as it began to become the same old story for Limerick, the Blues got their break just past the half hour mark. Following a Derek O’Brien cross, the ball was poached goalwards only to be denied by the hand of Mike Elwood on the goal-line. Referee Andrew Mullally gave the Mervue captain his marching orders and Shane Tracy calmly converted his penalty; smashing it to the goalkeeper’s left hand side.
The home side doubled their advantage just before the half when Rory Gaffney broke down the right wing. The man of the match turned inside his marker, and provided a delicately floated cross for David O’Leary to nod home from close range. The timing of the goal was pivotal for both sides.
Mervue were forced to adapt a slightly more aggressive style in the second half given their deficit. Within ten minutes, Limerick had sealed the win with their third goal, courtesy of Rory Gaffney. James McGrath maintained possession in the middle of the park. As he powered forward, Gaffney pulled off the shoulder of his marker, to run onto McGrath’s through ball. He slotted home from an acute angle into the far corner much to the dismay of his former club.
In previous weeks, Limerick would have eased off and settled for the three goal victory, but all credit to the league leaders; they pushed on in search of more goals. Shaun Kelly had an effort well saved by Hanley – a powerful strike from outside the box.
The introduction of Cian Collins and Garbhan Coughlan provided Limerick with even more firepower and pace up front. The latter had a strike from distance fall well wide of Ger Hanley’s goal after two fantastic touches to set himself up for the strike.
Joe Gamble almost made it four with fifteen minutes remaining. The five-foot-seven midfielder won header after header on a night where the Mervue defence just wasn’t at the races. His header went just over the bar after a fantastic cross was drifted in from the right hand side.
Limerick did eventually get their fourth. Denis Behan, who has been out of form of late latched onto a great through ball from Garbhan Coughlan to rise the ball over the outrushing Mervue stopper. His celebrations highlighted the importance of that goal on a personal level. The fans reacted in an appreciative manner.
Limerick have just four games to go. If they win three, they’re guaranteed a place in the Premier Division for next season. Perhaps optimism on Shannonside might just be permitted in the coming days following an excellently efficient performance from their local side.
Limerick FC: Barry Ryan; Shaun Kelly, Pat Purcell, Corie Treacy, Shane Tracy; James McGrath, Joe Gamble, David O’Leary (Robert Kluciar 78), Derek O’Brien (Garbhan Coughlan 68); Rory Gaffney (Cian Collins 64), Denis Behan.
Subs not Used: Shane Cusack, Shane Guthrie, Dominic Foley, Garry Sheahan.
Mervue United: Ger Hanley; Gary Kelly, Mike Elwood, Michael McSweeney (Brian Connolly 71), Stephen Walsh; Jean Biansumba (Alex Lee 86), Dan Cunningham, Shane Keogh, Cian McBrien, Tom Kng (Martin Conneely 66); Pat Hoban.
Subs not Used: Conor Gleeson, Andy Higgins, Etanda Nkololo, Damian O’Rourke.
Referee: Andrew Mullally (Waterford).
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Rory Gaffney (Limerick FC).
Andrew joined Extratime for the 2010 season and covers all the on-goings down in Limerick. Having first experienced the League of Ireland in 2002, Andrew became hooked, even at such an early age. He is currently studying English and New Media at the University of Limerick. You can contact him via Twitter @Cunneen92.