Tom Clancy reports from the Markets Field
Captain Shane Duggan delivered a thunderbolt to claim a vital victory for Limerick late on over high-flying Waterford at the Markets Field.
Ten man Limerick had led through a Billy Dennehy spot kick, before Bastien Hery scored against his former club early in the second half. Waterford played the second half a man down after defender Dave Webster saw red in first half stoppage time.
Limerick had lost Eoin Wearen to an early red card right at the beginning of the game. He was dismissed inside two minutes as he pulled down former Irish International Noel Hunt to concede a penalty. However Paul Keegan saw his spot kick expertly saved by young ‘keeper Tommy Holland.
Limerick opted to play on the counter attack as result and were defensively comfortable for large periods as Waterford failed to reach their top gear.
The visitors passed up a great opportunity when they intercepted Shane Duggan’s pass. Noel Hunt squared for Courtney Duffus who slipped when he looked certain to break the deadlock.
Tommy Barrett’s men were adventurous at times with Dennehy supporting Will Fitzgerald on the left hand side when he could. The Limerick boss added more youthful legs when he replaced Barry Maguire with teenager Karl O’Sullivan.
The home side were rewarded for their attacking efforts in the 33rdminute when Webster pulled Fitzgerald’s shirt. Referee Damien MacGraith pointed to the spot and booked Webster, despite his protests.
Dennehy calmly slotted home his second penalty in a week and his third goal of the season to give the loud home support something to celebrate.
Stanley Aborah clipped the outside of the post with a free-kick, but Alan Reynolds’ side were dealt a huge below in the final moments of the half.
Webster and attacker Connor Ellis lunged together for a loose ball with both players requiring treatment. A clearly injured Webster received his marching orders almost four minutes after the incident as he was carried down the tunnel.
Limerick over committed players forward in the opening moments of the second half, and Hery countered to punish them. He was allowed dribble from the halfway line before blasting to the net, as Limerick backed off far too much.
Waterford dominated possession for the remainder of the game, with Limerick relying on their defensive shape to maintain parity. Noel Hunt went close with a volley, after he’d earlier brought a wonderful save from Tommy Holland.
However, Duggan snatched the win with a 35-yard effort that flew past Matt Connor, to the delight of the Garryowen crowd. His outpouring of emotion was evident during his knee slide in front of the bulk of the 1,040 in attendance.
Waterford thought they’d equalised in stoppage time when Holland caught the ball on the line with Akinade denied a goal as Limerick held on.
Limerick: Tommy Holland; Killian Cantwell, Eoin Wearen, Killian Brouder, Billy Dennehy; Shane Duggan, Barry Maguire (Karl O’Sullivan 31), Cian Coleman, Darren Murphy, William Fitzgerald, Connor Ellis (Danny Morrissey 71).
Subs not used: Jack Brady, Shaun Kelly, Tomás O’Connor, Adam Foley, Colman Kennedy.
Booked: Killian Cantwell (78)
Sent off: Eoin Wearen (3)
Waterford: Matthew Connor; Dessie Hutchinson, Kenny Browne, Dave Webster, Dylan Barnett; Paul Keegan (Carlos Wilson 79), Stanley Aborah, Bastien Héry, Sander Puri (Isamahil Akinade 57); Noel Hunt, Courtney Duffus (Rory Feely 57).
Subs not used: Niall Corbett, Dean O’Halloran, Gary Comerford, Noe Baba.
Booked: Dave Webster (33, 45+4), Kenny Browne (89)
Sent off: Dave Webster (45+4)
Referee: Damien McGraith
Attendance: 1,040 (estimate)
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Shane Duggan (Limerick)
FULL-TIME: #LimerickFC 2-1 @WaterfordFCie.— Limerick FC (@LimerickFCie) July 27, 2018
Captain Shane Duggan's 83rd-minute rocket has given Limerick a huge @SSEAirtricityLg Premier Division win at the Markets Field as we see off Waterford in our Munster Derby.
The match was watched by 1,040 - thank you for your support! pic.twitter.com/RXIWtq69Gd