Limerick pile woe on City

AIRTRICITY LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION:

Limerick pile woe on City

In front of 1,248, an excellent effort from Craig Curran and right-back Shaun Kelly’s strike were the difference for the hosts as they put five points between themselves and their visitors and strengthened their grip on sixth place in the Premier Division.

The lead goal, in the 56th minute was key. After a good flick-on by central striker Rory Gaffney, Curran picked up the ball on the left and when he was allowed to come infield he curled a perfect shot past Mark McNulty, without whom the margin might have been greater.

It put Limerick on a high and seemed to deflate City, and Kelly wrapped things up with 20 minutes remaining.

Limerick manager Stuart Taylor, having seen his side take seven points off the Rebel Army in three league games, was naturally delighted.

“It was a great performance,” he said.

“I always say that if you have the performance then the result will come. We led well from the front and defended excellently. Derby games are for the fans and to go undefeated against Cork City is a great achievement.”

Cork City remain without an away win since beating Bohemians at the start of May. Their manager Tommy Dunne admitted the spectre of relegation looms large.

“For sure we’re in a relegation dogfight,” he said.

“Every game now is a six-pointer. For a lot of this it was even, but it was going to come down to who made the first mistake.”

While the first half had been goalless, that belied what was an entertaining tussle, with both sides playing some good football and creating some excellent chances.

Though Ciarán Kilduff had an early half-chance for City, wide from an Ian Turner free, Limerick settled well and David O’Leary, captain Joe Gamble and Stephen Bradley formed a solid midfield trio.

O’Leary in particular was linking well with marauding full-back Shaun Kelly, though unfortunately for them, no end product was accruing, while at the other end Ciarán Kilduff continued his good start to his City career, causing problems for the Limerick defence along with Danny Morrissey.

The first real chance came in the 17th minute as Danny Galbraith’s cross from the right was met by Curran with a looping header but goalkeeper McNulty did brilliantly to touch the ball onto the post and away.

Then, after Limerick netminder Barry Ryan had clawed away Gearóid Morrissey’s 30-yard drive, McNulty again came to the visitors’ rescue as he acrobatically tipped over Curran’s effort.

That was 10 minutes before half-time, and soon after that Limerick thought they had gone in front as centre-back Stephen Folan’s effort from distance flew into the net after a deflection. The extra touch was adjudged to have been off Curran’s hand, though, and Cork City were awarded a free out.

Danny Morrissey went close twice in quick succession for City before the break, but the deadlock remained intact at the turnaround.

The goal — and a similar chance immediately after that from Curran, which flew over — changed the dynamic, and the second goal provided insurance, if it were needed.

After Gamble found Gaffney in the area, McNulty saved from him but the loose ball fell to Kelly and he powered home.

Things got worse for City when Daryl Horgan was red-carded for reacting badly to a foul by Kelly, but Danny Morrissey gave them hope with an 88th-minute goal. It was only a consolation, though, and they must now regroup ahead of an FAI Cup tie against Kilbarrack United at Turner’s Cross on Monday.

LIMERICK: Ryan; Kelly, Williams, Folan, Nzuzi; Bradley, O’Leary (Hughes 80), Gamble; Galbraith, Gaffney (Sheedy 90), Curran.

CORK CITY: McNulty; N Horgan, Buckley, D Murray, D Murphy; Turner (Kenny 86), G Morrissey, Duggan, D Horgan; Kilduff, D Morrissey.

Referee: N Doyle (Dublin).

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