Limerick 2-4 Galway United

Jake Keegan pounced for a hat-trick as Galway United claimed an SSE Airtricity League Premier Division win over Limerick FC at the Markets Field.

Galway hit the front in the 12th minute when Keegan scored following an inviting cross from right wing Gary Shanahan.

Limerick levelled in the 33rd minute when Lee Lynch's corner found Vinny Faherty, who headed the ball into the back of the Galway net.

The visitors edged ahead again in the 61st minute when Keegan eventually scored following several outstanding Tommy Holland saves.

Keegan and Gary Shanahan gave Galway a commanding lead before Ian Turner trimmed the deficit with a penalty.

Limerick carved a decent opening in the sixth minute when Lee Lynch's delivery caused panic in the Galway defence.

Paul O'Conor had made a smart run forward from the centre of the park, but his hooked effort went over the bar.

Relieved to have survived that scare, Galway punished Limerick in the 12th minute when taking the lead courtesy of a fine Keegan effort.

The promising New York native swept the ball confidently home from Shanahan's excellent cross for Tommy Dunne's side.

Galway custodian Conor Winn had to be alert in the 15th minute when clawing away a dangerous Shane Tracy free-kick as Limerick sought to respond.

That is what Martin Russell's side did in the 33rd minute as Lynch's corner vexed the visitors, who allowed former colleague Faherty to head an equaliser.

Four minutes after the restart the impressive Keegan released substitute Padraic Cunningham, but the Galway teenager was denied by a Tommy Holland save.

Cunningham was dashing about craving involvement and the teenager had another effort palmed away by Holland seconds later.

Keegan was the next to extract two fine saves from Holland as a much-improved Galway dictated the third quarter.

Sixty one minutes had elapsed when Alex Byrne's smashing pass enabled Cunningham to drill the ball across goal for Keegan to steer Galway in front.

Keegan notched his third on 74 when bursting clear following a challenge involving Ryan Connolly and Limerick substitute Prince Agyemang.

Shanahan rifled a fourth for Galway in the 81st minute, but Limerick narrowed the gap a minute lead when Ian Turner converted a penalty after he was fouled by Marc Ludden.

LIMERICK FC: Tommy Holland; Jason Hughes (Shane Costelloe, 83), Tony Whitehead, Paudie O’Connor, Shane Tracy; Dean Clarke, Paul O’Conor (Ian Turner, 68), Shane Duggan, Sean Russell; Lee Lynch (Prince Agyemang, 46); Vinny Faherty.

Subs not used: Sean McSweeney, Darragh Rainsford, Ross Mann, Kieran Hanlon.

GALWAY UNITED: Conor Winn; Colm Horgan, Paul Sinnott, Stephen Walsh, Marc Ludden; Gary Shanahan, Alex Byrne, David O’Leary, Jake Keegan; Ryan Connolly (Jason Molloy, 83); Enda Curran (Padraic Cunningham, 27).

Subs not used: Ger Hanley, Cormac Raftery, Samuel Oji, Killian Cantwell, Conor Barry.

REFEREE: Graham Kelly (Cork).