Eager Limerick even honours with Rovers

Limerick FC 2 Shamrock Rovers 0

Eager Limerick even honours with Rovers

Two top drawer strikes from Jason Hughes and Rory Gaffney in either half at Thomond Park last night saw Stuart Taylor’s side cancel out a 1-0 defeat away to the Hoops in June.

Rovers were left to rue missed opportunities, but overall, Limerick, who look determined to end their first season back in Ireland’s top flight in almost 20 years on a high note, deserved their win.

Samuel Oji, who had another solid game at the heart of the Limerick defence, clipped Eamon Zayed on the edge of the box five minutes in.

But Sean O’Connor’s free kick eventually saw Jason McGuinness’ header drift well wide of the target.

Rory Gaffney’s long throws were causing problems for the Rovers’ defence at the other end. The first was fisted away from Craig Curran eight minutes in by Rovers’ keeper Barry Murphy.

But a third three minutes later saw Jason Hughes, in his first game at Thomond Park for Limerick, net a superb left-footed volley from inside the box.

At the other end, Patrick Nzuiz had to be alert to cut out a James Chambers long ball at the expense of a corner with Sean O’Connor bearing down on goal.

O’Connor, an ex-Limerick favourite, went close to restoring parity just past the half-hour mark after David O’Leary took down Mark Quigley 25 yards from goal. However, O’Connor’s free-kick was brilliantly saved by Limerick keeper Barry.

Craig Chambers blasted wide from 10 yards after the break, while Danny Ledwith’s timely intervention took the ball off Curran’s toe as both sides went close.

Gaffney more or less sealed the win 67 minutes in, the long throw artist curling a contender for goal of the season high into the net after being set up by Hughes.

Rovers pushed forward late on, but except for an Oji own-goal scare the visitors never really looked like reducing the deficit.

LIMERICK FC: Ryan: Nzuzi, William, Folan, Oji, Tiofack (Bossekota 50) Hughes (Rainsford 90) O’Leary, Bradley, Gaffney (Murphy 86) Curran

SHAMROOCK ROVERS: Murphy, McCormack, Ledwith, McGuinness, Elbert, Quigley (McCabe 70) O’Connor, Rice, Chambers, Sheppard (Dennehy 70) Zayed (Stewart 60)

Referee: G Kelly (Cork).

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