The visitors created the lion’s share of the chances in the opening 45 minutes with Davy Byrne lobbing well over the bar from inside the box just past the half hour mark. Limerick, who were minus eight first team regulars, went close after the interval via Brian Cleary, who had a corner cleared off the line, and Ross Cosgrave, whose close-range effort was saved by Ciaran Kelly.
At the other end Athlone Town defender Jim Sheridan rose unchallenged to head a Phil Reilly corner wide of the target 15 minutes from time.
Cosgrave went close to securing a much needed win for the Shannonsiders late on but was again denied by Kelly who dived low to his right to pull off another fine save after a cross from Gary Sheehan. Stephen Goggin, Jason Hughes, Eoin O’Brien, Paul Walsh and Gary Sheehan made their debuts for Limerick last night.
LIMERICK 37: Ryan, Daly, Cleary, Danaher, White, Goggin, Hughes, O’Brien (Cosgrave 53) Fogarty (Sheehan h/t) Ryan, Walsh (Grant 83)
ATHLONE TOWN: Kelly, Hamm, Reilly, Hope, Sheridan, Jinks, Scullion (Russo 73) Byrne, Lavine, Hayes (McGee 64) McCartney (Tone 85)
Ref: S Grant (Wexford)