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Limerick win to increase pressure on Croly

Updated: Friday, 01 Aug 2014 22:46 | Comments

Rory Gaffney set Limerick on their way
Rory Gaffney set Limerick on their way

Limerick 4-1 Shamrock Rovers

Limerick FC stunned Shamrock Rovers in Martin Russell's first home SSE Airtricity League Premier Division game in charge at Thomond Park.

A dominant Limerick took a ninth minute lead courtesy of an excellent effort from Rory Gaffney, who rifled a blistering shot beyond Barry Murphy's despairing dive.

Gaffney turned provider for Ian Turner in the 16th minute as a determined Limerick outfit continued to probe.

Things got even worse for Rovers on the half hour mark when Conor Kenna headed a Robbie Williams cross into his own net and Stephen Folan headed a fourth on 85 before Sean O'Connor hit a stoppage time consolation.

The the locals were eager and enthusiastic initially as within a minute a crisp Shane Duggan challenge on Stephen McPhail saw the ball spill kindly for Rory Gaffney, who fired over.

McPhail, though, did exert some influence on the game and the Hoops went close in the eighth minute following a clever move involving Karl Sheppard and Gary McCabe.

But Rovers were unfortunate that Dean Kelly just failed to connect with McCabe's stinging drive as Limerick survived a scare.

It was proving to be an eventful start and Limerick hit the front in the ninth minute courtesy of a delightful Gaffney strike.

Debutant Lee Lynch fashioned the opening for Gaffney, who confidently drilled Limerick ahead from an acute angle.

Gaffney was a constant threat and his 16th minute pass enabled Turner extend Limerick's advantage as a hesitant Rovers defence was punished.

Amazingly Limerick grabbed a third on 30 as a Williams cross caused panic in the Rovers area and Kenna glanced the ball into his own net.

Five minutes after the restart a Sean O'Connor volley forced Barry Ryan to make a save, but Limerick weren't too bothered.

Stephen Folan headed home a Shane Duggan free-kick five minutes from the end as Rovers, who eventually scored courtesy of Sean O'Connor in stoppage time, worryingly suffered a third defeat in four League matches.

Limerick FC: Barry Ryan; Patrick Nzuzi, Samuel Oji, Stephen Folan, Robbie Williams; Ian Turner, Shane Duggan, Jason Hughes, Kieran Djilali (Ross Mann, 68); Lee Lynch; Rory Gaffney.

Subs not used: Shane Cusack (GK), Michael Leahy, Tony Whitehead, Prince Agyemang, Garbhan Coughlan, Tam McManus.

Shamrock Rovers: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, Conor Kenna, Jason McGuinness (Luke Byrne, 37), Evan Osam; Gary McCabe (Kieran Marty Waters, 71), Ronan Finn, Stephen McPhail (Robert Bayly, 78), Sean O’Connor; Karl Sheppard, Dean Kelly.

Subs not used: Craig Hyland (GK), David O’Connor, Ryan Brennan, Ciaran Kilduff.

Referee: Jim McKell (Tipperary).

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