Limerick put one foot in next year’s Premier Division following a one-nil win over Drogheda United at the Markets Field.

Rodrigo Tosi’s second-half penalty was enough to secure the points on what was almost an uncomfortable night for the Shannonsiders.

The Blues made two changes from the side that robbed a point in Inchicore last week. Joe Crowe replaced goalscorer Shane Duggan as he served a suspension, while Barry Cotter came in for Dean Clarke.

 Limerick went into this game with a huge opportunity to put distance between themselves and the dropzone. However, they struggled from the off.

Barry Cotter looked troubled in possession and already-relegated Drogheda caused a few problems for the young full back.

Having shipped sixty-two times in their thirty Premier Division ties to that point, it appeared that Pete Mahon’s men would be in for a tough time in Limerick.

However, Garryowen witnessed just one meaningful chance in the opening half. Cotter teed up twelve-goal Rodrigo Tosi but he could only head over the bar.

Despite their below par performance, the Blues would hit the front just three minutes into the second half.

A cross from the right-hand side looked destined to find Tosi’s head, only for Colm Deasy to drag the target man down. Referee Andrew Mullally pointed straight to the spot.

Tosi had taken three penalties in the league before this game and had scored twice – his only miss coming against Finn Harps when he smashed the post.

He looked confident in his run-up and he had every right to be – smashing low to McGuinness’ left.

The Blues struggled to create enough to put the game to bed, but were aided by Drogs being reduced to ten with twenty minutes to go.

After a couple of warnings from the excellent Mullally, Deasy was eventually given his marching orders.

Limerick saw the remainder of the game out well – and will be confident of safety following a big win.

Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Barry Cotter, Tony Whitehead, Dave O’Connor, Shane Tracy; Joe Crowe; Stephen Kenny (William Fitzgerald, 74), Bastien Hery, Lee-J Lynch, Chiedozie Ogbene; Rodrigo Tosi.

Drogheda United: Stephen McGuinness; Colm Deasy, Kevin Farragher, Dave Mulcahy, Shane Elworthy (Conor Kane, 32); Mark Doyle, Jack Bayly (Lloyd Buckley, 72), Richie Purdy (Sean Russell, 69), Adam Wixted; Ryan McEvoy; Chris Mulhall.

Referee: Andrew Mulally (Waterford)