A late Jason Byrne goal would send the Bohemians fans into a frenzy of celebration, as the 37 year old's first league goal of the season in the 84th minute sent Bohs on their way to a 2-1 victory over Martin Russell's Limerick on Friday night.
Limerick were forced to defend on the edge of their own penalty area from the first whistle as intense pressure from Dean Kelly and Kealan Dillon would set the tempo for the encounter, as a Patrick Kavanagh curling cross from the right inside the opening minute found the head of an unmakred Roberto lopes drifting into the Limerick box from midfield but the header looped just over the Conor O'Donnell's crossbar.
Bohs pushed on in their advances as an inspired Adam Evans run saw the winger beat two Limerick players before being slide tackled with the ball rolling out for a corner kick. The resulting out-swinger from the left foot of Lorcan Fitzgerald was met by the ferocious header of Derek Pendergast, the powerful effort unstoppable for Conor O'Donnell in the Limerick goal to see Bohs go one nil up on the eleven minute mark.
The two sides would go on to exchange periods of dominance as Limerick moved the ball effortlessly across the pitch despite the pressure put on by the Bohs attack.
A neat passage of passing play from Limerick after fifteen minutes put Bohs on the back foot momentarily, with Sean Harding, midfielder Shane Duggan and Vinny Flaherty moving the ball well across the pitch, the play ending in a Dean Clarke shot into the side netting of Dean Delany's goal.
However Bohs would respond in a manner custom to Keith Long's side this season and went on in search of their second to put a secure hold on the game as Adam Evans came into the game late on in the first half fresh from his equalising volley against Cork City on Monday night when he found himself free on the right wing.
The winger provided a deep and threatening cross for Patrick Kavanagh however the ball proved to be too deep and could not match the run of the onrunning Kavanagh.
Derek Pender joined in the crossing game Bohs implemented throughout the first half as his inviting cross was hammered against the Limerick crossbar by Marc Griffin, the ball bouncing out onto the line and cleared from danger.
The visitor's closest chance of the opening half would come in stoppage time following the substitution of Jason Hughes for Sean Harding as an Ian Turner corner forced Dean Delaney into pushing the ball onto his crossbar in Limerick’s closest chance of the opening forty five minutes.
The reluctant pressure of Dean Kelly on Conor O'Donnell's goal almost paid dividends in the first minute of the second half as O'Donnell was found to linger on his clearance a moment too long before being closed down and blocked by Kelly, the forward's effort forcing the ball to trickle off the post and back out again – the second time Bohs had hit the woodwork on the night.
But Limerick would finally get their equalizer on 52 minutes as pandemonium ensued in the Bohemians box with Dean Clarke finally putting the ball beyond Dean Delany, following a scramble of attempted clearances from Derek Pendergast and Roberto Lopes on the Bohs line after Ian Turner’s inswinging corner.
Bohs came battling back in search of the win as a Lorcan Fitzgerald corner found the head of Derek Pendergast whose header from an unmarked dash to the front post was cleared off the line dramatically by Limerick forward Darragh Rainsford to keep the score at 1-1.
Frustration grew for Bohemians with Limerick sensing the opportunity to win the game. A Shane Tracy corner found an unmarked Paudie O'Connor at the back post, however the centre-back's effort was again denied by a Bohs headed clearance on the line.
Substitute Jason Byrne provided later inspiration for a Bohemian's victory as his knock-on in the 80th minute found the onrushing Adam Evans whose shot beat goalkeeper Conor O'Donnell but was swept clear by the Limerick defence.
Marc Griffin then found himself free behind the Limerick defence in a one-on-one with O'Donnell however his poor footing meant that his shot failed to achieve its intended result.
But it was to be Jason Byrne's night as he took command of a late cross in the 84th minute to turn his marker and smash the ball past Conor O'Donnell in the Limerick goal for his first league goal of the season, and thus sending the home support into a frenzy of celebration.
Patrick Kavanagh look set to put the game beyond doubt when a deep cross found him unmarked just inside the Limerick penalty area, the midfielder dribbling skilfully past the tackles of the Limerick defenders before releasing a powerful attempt that failed to place itself into its desired corner of the goal.
However in the end it was Jason Byrne's night as his 217th league career goal put Keith Long's team third in the table on twenty four points with their seventh win of the season.
Bohemians: Dean Delany; Derek Pender, Dave Mulcahy, Derek Prendergast, Lorcan Fitzgerald; Paddy Kavanagh, Robbie Creevy (Keith Buckley 75), Roberto Lopes, Kealan Dillon (Marc Griffin 66), Adam Evans; Dean Kelly (Jason Byrne 77).
Subs not used: Lee Stacey (gk), James O'Brien, Stephen Best, Karl Moore.
Bookings: Fitzgerald (57), Prendergast (71), Kavanagh (90+2)
Limerick FC: Conor O'Donnell; Sean Harding (Jason Hughes 46), Paudie O'Connor, Robbie Williams, Shane Tracy; Ian Turner, Paul O'Conor, Shane Duggan, Darragh Rainsford; Dean Clarke, Vinny Faherty (Kieran Hanlon 78).
Subs not used: Tommy Holland (gk), Aidan Price, Tony Whitehead, Val Feeney, Ross Mann.
Bookings: Paul O'Conor (64).
Referee: Ryan Stewart (Wales).
Attendance: 1,200 (estimate).
ExtraTime.ie Man of the Match: Dean Kelly (Bohemians).