They say a week in a long time in politics and in front of local TD John Halligan at the RSC last night, Waterford United showed that a week is even more longer in football as the Blues shocked Limerick FC in a passionate Munster derby.
After losing to Wexford Youths 6-0 on the opening night of the season, Paul O’Brien’s side went into this contest as complete outsiders but produced a scintillating performance.
The home side went in front on 22 minutes when Paul Phelan sent in a delivery from the left that saw Ben Ryan’s shot blocked into the path of Willie John Kiely and he hammered in off the underside of the crossbar.
The crossbar came to Waterford’s rescue on 58 minutes when Shane Guthrie sent a long free kick forward that was flicked on into the path of O’Brien but his angled effort came crashing back off the woodwork.
Limerick did find an equalising goal on 69 minutes when Derek O’Brien whipped in a superb delivery from the left that found the head of central defender Shane Guthrie and his header gave keeper Packie Holden no chance.
United introduced Seani Maguire on 78 minutes in place of Peter Higgins and within minutes of coming onto the field, the striker put the Blues back in front, racing onto a through ball from Gary Dunphy before rounding keeper Barry Ryan to slot to an empty net.
Limerick were denied by the bar three minutes from time when Gary Sheahan’s stunning strike rattled the bar before Kiely made sure of all three points in injury-time.
WATERFORD UNITED: Holden, Carey, Burns, Long, Mernagh; Ryan, Dunphy, Dempsey, Higgins (Maguire 78), Phelan; Kiely (Keegan 90)
LIMERICK FC: Ryan; Bhandarkar, Purcell, Guthie, Treacy; Bradley (McCann HT), Gaffney, Quinn (Foley 51), Gamble, O’Brien; Behan (Sheehan 66)
Referee: Sean Grant (Wexford)
SD Galway 1Wexford Youths 1
Salthill Devon and Wexford Youths shared the spoils at Terryland Park last night.
Shane Dempsey struck on 53 minutes to give Wexford the lead with a powerful strike.
But the home side snatched a point as Brian Gaffney struck an equaliser with eight minutes remaining.
SALTHILL DEVON GALWAY: Grant; Curran, Quinlan, Geraghty (Browne ht), Bradshaw; Harty (Molloy 67), Enubele (Conlon 67), Greaney, Gaffney; Tierney, Gilmore.
WEXFORD YOUTHS: Doyle; B Nolan, Browne, Carr, Dermody; Dempsey, Malone; Furlong, S Nolan, Keenan (Croke 69); Elmes.
Ref: Keith Callinan (Cork).
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