Improving Limerick FC eked out a third SSE Airtricity League victory on the trot when defeating UCD 2-1 at Thomond Park.

Stuart Taylor's side took a second minute lead when Shaun Kelly's inviting delivery was headed home by Tam McManus.

Limerick controlled affairs, but had to wait until the 48th minute before scoring again courtesy of skipper Shane Duggan.

UCD trimmed the deficit in the 59th minute when Samir Belhout struck a crisp shot from the inside the area, but they could not ultimately level matters.

Limerick, poor when losing in the FAI Ford Cup to Bohemians last Saturday, got off to a dream start.

Danny Galbraith and Rory Gaffney were involved in releasing Shaun Kelly on the right and his precise cross found McManus, who headed the Blues in front.

Limerick, with Prince Agyemang, Shane Duggan, and Jason Hughes dictating the midfield exchanges, wasted a string of gilt edged opportunities in the first 10 minutes.

Gaffney, Duggan, and Galbraith drilled efforts over as Limerick continued to probe against the stunned Students.

UCD defender Ian Ryan did well to prevent a McManus drive rattling the net, while from the resultant corner Stephen Folan was unable to supply the requisite touch to Agyemang's cross.

On a rare foray into Limerick territory Gary Burke's attempt was easily gathered by Limerick custodian Barry Ryan.

In the 21st minute Agyemang, excellent for Limerick, released Gaffney, who was thwarted by a Conor O'Donnell save.

The UCD goalkeeper was extremely busy as Limerick continued to rule the first half as Gaffney and Hughes forced further stops from O'Donnell.

Three minutes after the restart Limerick finally bagged again when Duggan rifled a goal following an Agyemang corner.

Duggan scuffed another Galbraith assist inches wide, but UCD responded and were back in the reckoning in the 59th minute.

Belhout, who was willing throughout, was crafty enough to ruthlessly punish a momentary lapse in Limerick concentration.

UCD battled until the bitter end, but Limerick, with Agyemang effective, held out for a crucial success in the south west.

Limerick FC: Barry Ryan; Shaun Kelly, Samuel Oji, Stephen Folan, Patrick Nzuzi; Prince Agyemang, Shane Duggan, Jason Hughes; Danny Galbraith; Rory Gaffney, Tam McManus (Ross Mann, 72).

Subs not used: Shane Cusack, Robbie Williams, Michael Leahy, Shane Costelloe, Darragh Rainsford, Tony Whitehead.

UCD: Conor O’Donnell; Hugh Douglas, Ian Ryan, James Kavanagh, Gareth Matthews; Samir Belhout, Robbie Creevy (Barry McCabe, 68), Colm Crowe, Chris Mulhall; Gary Burke (Dwayne Wilson, 86); Robbie Benson.

Subs not used: Niall Corbett, Tomas Boyle, Michael Barker, Tom O’Halloran.

Referee: Rob Harvey (Dublin).