Limerick booked their place in the last eight of the FAI Cup thanks to a 1-0 win over Finn Harps.

Dave O’Connor was key to both major incidents – firstly receiving a kick from Caolan McAleer that saw Harps reduced to ten, before netting the winner.

In a first half that was blighted by injuries to Finn Harps players, neither side found free-flowing football particularly easy to come by.

Harps have taken four points from Limerick this year – a 1-1 draw at the Garryowen venue back in March before a 3-2 win Ballybofey.

This one was solely for the purists though.

A solitary Chiedozie Ogbene shot in the first half was the only meaningful action in front of goal – and even that found the small band of Harps fans behind Ciaran Gallagher’s goal.

Limerick hadn’t been in an FAI Cup quarter-final since 2011 when they bowed out to Shelbourne in Tolka Park, and the Ballybofey outfit were out to extend that barren spell with a solid defensive showing in the opening stages.

However, they were dealt a blow midway through the second half. When a Harps attack came to a premature end, McAleer’s night did likewise.

As the ball rolled towards Brendan Clarke, the nippy winger kicked out at Limerick full back Dave O’Connor.

The home crowd were furious, and Anthony Buttimer raced over to issue McAleer with his marching orders.

The visitors would continue to frustrate into the second half, but a roll of the dice from Limerick boss Neil McDonald paid dividends.

The introduction of Garbhan Coughlan was inspired, as his cross produced the opening goal.

Neat interplay in midfield between Hery and Lynch afforded Coughlan the chance to cross.

He dinked to the far post where O’Connor rushed in to head home from all of two yards.

The hosts saw the remainder of the game out with the minimum of fuss – Harps clearly hampered by their numerical disadvantage.

Limerick: Brendan Clarke, Dean Clarke, Tony Whitehead, Joe Crowe, David O’Connor; Stephen Kenny (William Fitzgerald, 61), Lee-J Lynch, Bastien Hery, Chiedozie Ogbene; Peter Berki (Garbhan Coughlan, 61), Rodrigo Tosi.

Finn Harps: Ciaran Gallagher; Damien McNulty, Killian Cantwell, Ethan Boyle; Caolan McAleer, Ciaran Coll, Paddy McCourt (Gareth Harkin, 62), Tommy McBride, Pascal Millien (Sean Houston, 80); Mark Timlin; Ibrahim Keita (Danny Morrissey, 78).

Referee: Anthony Buttimer (Cork)