Paul Corcoran reports from Éamonn Deacy Park
Galway United took the three points in their last home game of the season – seeing off a spirited Limerick by three goals to two on a night of high drama on Corribside this Monday night.
This one came to life in the second half with Galway taking the lead twice, only to be pegged back by the visitors until the dying seconds of the game when a Conor Barry goal finally separated the sides.
The opening chance fell to the home side in the 7th minute when Donal Higgins nodded the ball down to the onrushing Jack Lynch.
The defender carried the ball into the box before sending a rasping low cross across the field to Melody. The striker struck a great shot at goal, but Jack Brady got his fingertips to it to nudge the ball against the post.
Down the other end, a quick ball down the field found Kieran Hanlon who almost had the beating of Killian Brouder, the striker could not quite get the opening he wanted, however, and his shot was saved by Kevin Horgan.
Galway had most of the possession, but their finishing was letting them down the whole half. In the 34th minute Brady was called into action, once again making a fingertip save to put the ball behind for a corner – Donal Higgins with the shot.
Minutes before half time Higgins had another chance. This time a horrendous back pass from Limerick allowed the winger in on goal.
He rounded the goalkeeper, but his movement took him out at an angle from goal, Aaron Fitzgerald only just got back to nudge the ball off the line before Brady pounced on the ball to kill the play.
The Tribesmen went close again in the 53rd minute. This time a Stephen Christopher free-kick was played out to Lynch.
The defender crossed the ball into the box once again where Higgins claimed it and just got a shot off, but Brady got his fingertips to it to nudge it over the bar.
Vinny Faherty really should have scored in the 61st minute but Brady once again conspired to frustrate the home side.
Conor Melody played the ball into the box from the right flank and the unmarked Faherty booted the ball at goal, but the save was made at point blank range.
To the relief of the home fans The Tribesmen took the lead in the 67th minute. Captain for the night, Nugent, took aim from 35 yards and somehow found the bottom left corner of the net after his side had been frustrated all night long by Brady.
Limerick fought back, however, and the away side equalised in the 75th minute. This time some poor decision making by the defence allowed McSweeney in on goal, he took aim and fired low and hard into the back of the net.
That parity did not last long as the Tribesmen scrambled themselves back in the lead ten minutes later.
Another excellent save by Brady gave Galway a corner kick. Colin Kelly struck the ball as far as Cian Murphy and the defender smashed the ball as hard as he could at goal finding a deflection on the way to get the ball into the net.
A Limerick corner kick brought the sides level once again in the 89th minute. The ball landed dangerously into a mob of players and Lee Devitt was the first to get a boot to it in the crowd smashing it into the roof of the net from close range.
The final twist came in seconds before the final whistle. A move started by debutant Caoilfhionn O’Dea ended with a rasping shot from Conor Barry who required another deflection to find the back of the net, but they all count.
Galway United: Kevin Horgan; Iarfhlaith Davoren (Dara Costelloe, 34), Cian Murphy, Killian Brouder, Jack Lynch; Maurice Nugent (Colin Kelly, 67), Conor Melody, Conor Barry, Donal Higgins, Stephen Christopher (Caoilfhionn O’Dea, 84); Vinny Faherty.
Subs not used: Cian Mulryan, Ivan Gamarra, Joe Collins, Andrew Peters.
Booked: Dara Costelloe (35).
Limerick: Jack Brady; Aaron Fitzgerald (Sean Madigan, 72), Shane Tracy (Ciaran O’Reilly 86), Robbie Williams, Andy Quaid; Alan Murphy, Edmond O’Dwyer, Lee Devitt, Karl O’Sullivan; Adam Foley, Kieran Hanlon (Sean McSweeney, 39).
Subs not used: Callan Scully.
Booked: Robbie Williams (13).
Referee: Adriano Reale.
Extratime.ie Player of the Match: Jack Brady (Limerick).