Cork City ran out easy winners of this Munster Derby against Limerick, played in front of 4,817 fans in Turners Cross, thanks to a brace of goals from both Darren Dennehy and Billy Dennehy while Gavin Holohan scored one goal.
Manager John Caulfield had suggested earlier in the week that he would make a few changes and he stayed true to his word with Danny Morrissey making his first league start since the end of the 2013 season, while last week’s goal scorer Ross Gaynor was rewarded with a starting spot in place of Dan Murray and Mark O’Sullivan. Limerick had one change to their squad replacing underage international Ross Mann with Vinnie Faherty.
The game was only five minutes old when City took the lead when a Colin Healy corner was headed back across goal by Danny Morrissey and Darren Dennehy stuck out a long leg to hit the ball into the net from close range.
Limerick had a few dangerous balls into the box that caused a little bit of trouble for Mark McNulty, who dropped one or two balls, but overall City were in control and they were to stretch their lead even further on 18 minutes when Liam Miller split the Limerick defence with a pass to Karl Sheppard but he was fouled by Conor O’Donnell. Up stepped Billy Dennehy and he slotted the penalty down the middle of the goal.
Limerick’s task was made even tougher on 32 minutes when former City player Shane Duggan was shown a red card for a lunging tackle on Morrissey.
Danny Morrissey had a goal ruled out for offside by assistant referee David Keeler on 39 minutes when he tapped in Gaynor’s cross but the rebel army were to score another goal in first half stoppage time.
Substitute Gavan Holohan scored a screamer from all of 25 yards into the top right corner to further extend their lead as by now Limerick were just in damage limitation mode as they struggled to win possession with ten men.
Billy Dennehy got his second goal of the night on 51 minutes when Val Feeney was dispossessed on the outside of his box following a throw in and Dennehy hit the ball low past O’Donnell into an appreciative shed end.
Cork City were in complete control of the game through midfielder Colin Healy, who had a brilliant game in the middle of the pitch, along with Liam Miller. Karl Sheppard kept the entire Limerick defence on their toes but some wayward shooting prevented him getting on the score sheet.
The game’s final goal arrived on 84 minutes when Billy Dennehy’s cross to the back post was met by the head of Darren Dennehy to put the ball past O’Donnell and finish of the game.
Cork will be happy with the result while for Martin Russell it will require a lot of hard work to change around current form for what is already looking like a long season battling relegation for his Limerick side.
Cork City: Mark McNulty; John Dunleavy (C), Darren Dennehy, Alan Bennett, Ross Gaynor; Billy Dennehy, Liam Miller, Colin Healy (John Kavanagh 76), Gary Buckley (Gavan Holohan 31); Karl Sheppard, Danny Morrissey (Liam Kearney 64).
Subs not used: Kevin O’Brien (gk), Dan Murray, Kieran Djilali, Mark O’Sullivan,
Limerick FC: Conor O’Donnell; Seán Harding, Paudie O’Connor, Aidan Price, Robbie Williams; Ian Turner, Paul O’Connor, Shane Duggan (c), Darragh Rainsford; Dean Clarke (Kieran Hanlon 57), Vinnie Faherty (Val Feeney 35).
Subs: Tommy Hanlon (gk), Seán Russell, Tony Whitehead, Shane Costelloe, Ross Mann.
Booked: Paudie O’Connor (68).
Sent Off: Shane Duggan (32).
Referee: Tomás Connolly
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Karl Sheppard (Cork City).