A resilient Limerick side overcame a below par Shelbourne tonight at Jackman Park with Declan Cahill header being the difference between the teams.
A precise Martin Deady corner found Cahill towering above the rest to nod in at the near post past a sprawling Dean Delaney. It’s the centre half’s first goal for the Blues since he signed in March.
The game kicked off with some harsh challenges from both sides, with tension in the air as a somewhat atmospheric Jackman Park set the scene. Peter White was the first to be booked for a deliberate handball.
As both sides settled, Limerick began to take control of the middle of the park, as Shels couldn’t seem to find their feet. The first real chance fell to Limerick after some good play from Stephen Hickey acrobatically finding the run of John Tierney whose pace has proved quite tricky for Gareth Whelan to handle. Tierney’s venomous shot struck Delaney and bounced back harmlessly.
As half time drew closer, Limerick were relentless in keeping possession. Various chances were crafted for both Stephen Hickey and John Tierney but Delaney wasn’t hassled.
The second half started with a bang as a Daryl Kavanagh effort was deflected out of play for a corner. From the resulting Martin Deady cross, ex-Cobh centre back Cahill rose highest to nod in at the near post despite Shelbourne claims that Delaney was being held. The referee waved away the protests and Limerick were one nil up.
As you’d expect, Shels took control in pursuit of the equaliser. Colin O’Brien looked their biggest threat with some nice passing into the feet of Hughes and Gorman. Limerick’s hard tackling attitude proved too much for the Drumcondra outfit as they didn’t seem to fancy the challenges.
Twenty minutes from the end, Shels appeared to have found their goal, as O’Brien crossed for Gorman, who found the net, only to have a free given against him for apparent handball, much to the disgust of the travelling support.
As Shels dominated, they couldn’t find that clear cut chance they soughtTen minutes from the end Mark Leech found himself free in the centre, only four yards out, but somehow managed to hit the post.
Limerick saw out the remainder of the game with ease as the Reds failed to strike. A heroic performance from Declan Cahill gave the Shannonsiders the three points.
Limerick FC: Dave Ryan, Seán Kelly, Declan Cahill, Pat Purcell, Martin Deady, Daryl Kavanagh (Hughes 70), Peter White, Jeffrey Judge, Shane Tracey, John Tierney Kelleher 51), Stephen Hickey (Lyons 84).
Booked: Jeffrey Judge, Declan Cahill.
Shelbourne: Dean Delaney, Stephen Quigley, Ian Ryan, Gareth Whelan, Sean Byrne, Dave McGill, Paul Shiels, Colin O’Brien (Corcoran 84), Ray Scully, Phillip Gorman, Mark Hughes (Leech 68).
Booked: Gareth Whelan.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Declan Cahill.
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.