Treaty United maintained their impressive home form and returned to winning ways as Jack Lynch’s first goal in the red and white gave them victory over fellow play-off hopefuls Athlone Town.
Tommy Barrett’s side have now amassed 10 points from 12 at the Markets Field, while Athlone have now suffered three defeats on the trot.
The hosts went in front thanks to captain Lynch on 22 minutes. He raced onto a wonderful reverse pass from Sean McSweeney and slotted beyond the advancing Micheál Schlingermann.
The Midlanders were limited to a handful of first-half efforts with James Doona and Stephen Meaney trying their luck from range but they lacked fluidity in attack and struggled as Treaty retreated later in the game.
Lynch almost doubled his tally just after the hour mark but was denied by a desperate Athlone block.
In a largely fragmented game, Treaty keeper Tadhg Ryan was woefully under-employed, though he did deny Shane Barnes in the final quarter. Barnes met a low cross and the shot forced Ryan into a reflex save to prevent an equaliser.
This meant a first clean sheet in six outings for the Limerick side after the returning duo of Sean Guerins and Anthony O’Donnell bolstered their defence, and moves them up to fourth place, behind Athlone on goal difference.
Ryan; Fleming, Guerins, O'Donnell, Ludden; McCarthy (Armshaw 85), O'Connell, Lynch (C), McSweeney (McKevitt 79), Keane (McNamara 80); Hanlon (Coustrain 58).
Schlingermann; Tlou (Reynolds 80), Cantwell, Hand, Daly (Brookes 63); Wixted, McKenna, Hollywood (McCann 70) Doona; Byrne; Meaney (Barnes 70).