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Limerick 1-1 Shamrock Rovers

Updated: Tuesday, 02 Apr 2013 22:07 | Comments

Sean O'Connor grabbed the Shamrock Rovers goal at Thomond Park
Sean O'Connor grabbed the Shamrock Rovers goal at Thomond Park

Limerick frustrated Shamrock Rovers at Thomond Park as the Hoops drew their fifth game of the Airtricity League campaign 1-1 and finished the game with ten men.

Rovers ruled for most of the first half, however, the teams went in deadlocked at the break as Limerick responded to an early Hoops strike.

Sean O'Connor gave the visitors a ninth-minute lead, but Craig Curran equalised after 29 minutes for Stuart Taylor's side.

The Hoops had Ken Oman sent off in the 49th minute for a second yellow card with Karl Sheppard, Ronan Finn, and O'Connor all going close for Rovers.

With Sligo Rovers so efficient and effective in the opening weeks of the campaign, the Hoops were keen to produce in the south west.

Four draws out of five games meant points had been dropped so the margin for error was slim for the 2010 and 2011 champions.

And Trevor Croly's side were eager from the outset, bossing the early stages as Limerick struggled to deal with the central midfield aggression of James Chambers, Stephen Rice and Ronan Finn.

With those three occupying significant roles, Rovers were on the front foot and in the sixth minute a Ken Oman effort was blocked following an O'Connor corner.

Then Limerick custodian Shane Cusack got down quickly in the eighth minute to save a Gary McCabe free-kick as Rovers pressed for the lead.

O'Connor, though, pounced on a loose ball in the ninth minute and made space to rifle the Hoops ahead with a sweet strike.

Rovers really should have added to their advantage, but Cusack caught a Chambers snap-shot and Rice headed over a splendid Finn cross.

Limerick then enjoyed a productive burst as Shaun Kelly's drive forced a fingertip save from Barry Murphy.

Stuart Taylor's tidy team restored parity after 29 minutes as Shane Tracy's flick allowed Curran slam the ball through a cluster of bodies for the equaliser.

Rovers were reduced to 10 men four minutes after the restart when Oman was given a second yellow card for a foul on Curran.

Despite not having the full complement, Rovers still created openings with Karl Sheppard clipping the woodwork and Finn coming within a whisker of scoring from an acute angle.

A skilful O'Connor chip also rebounded off the post, but Rovers just couldn't get a winner as Limerick held out for a draw.

Limerick Cusack; Kelly, Brown, Folan, Nzuzi; Tracy, Gamble, O'Leary, Bradley (Gaffney, 64), Galbraith; Curran.

Shamrock Rovers Murphy; Sullivan, Foran, Oman, Powell; Finn, Rice, Chambers; McCabe (Stewart, 63), Sheppard, O'Connor (Kilduff, 87).

Referee P Tuite (Dublin).

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