LIMERICK face an uphill battle for promotion after Cork City’s win over Monaghan United left the ‘Super Blues’ trailing their promotion rivals with just three games to play.
Tuesday night saw a huge dent put in Limerick’s promotion hopes, when Cork emerged victorious at Turner’s Cross, with a convincing 3-1 win over Monaghan United.
Scully’s side remain in fourth place, but are now three points off second, which would guarantee automatic promotion.
Cork’s win saw them leapfrog Monaghan to second, while Roddy Collins’ side are now third, a point ahead of Limerick with a game in hand.
The result leaves Limerick having to pick up maximum points from their remaining games and, even then, must bank on both Cork and Monaghan dropping points.
Were Limerick to win all three, it would leave them on 66 points. Given Cork now have 60 points and a far superior goal difference, catching the Leeside men now looks highly unrealistic.
The best hope for the ‘Super Blues’ is to win their remaining fixtures – one of which is against Monaghan – and bank on Collins’ men dropping points to either Wexford Youths, Mervue United or Athlone Town, all sides they would be expected to beat.
Next up for Limerick is a home tie against Athlone Town, a side who Scully feels will have plenty to prove.
“It’s going to be a tough game, Mike Kerley won’t make it easy, coming back to his old club, so there will be motivation there for them.”
With the game not taking place until Friday October 14, it gives Scully’s side an opportunity to regroup.
“We should be going into the Athlone game near enough full-strength. It has worked out that we can get a little bit of a breather; we can get the players recharged and get our injured players back. It also gives Stephen O’ Flynn another 10 days to get ready,” Scully added.
Going in to Monday night’s FAI Cup quarter-final defeat to Shelbourne, Limerick were shorn of 14 first team players, with an accumulation of injuries and suspensions taking their toll.
Scully refused to blame the 4-3 loss solely on missing numbers however, and felt the team’s performance left a lot to be desired.
“We didn’t play well and I was a bit disappointed with the performance.
“A lot of players there hadn’t been playing recently and had the opportunity to stake a claim and they didn’t.
“It was unfortunate we got hit with the injuries. Corrie Treacy and Peter White were out and if Paddy Purcell had been booked he would have missed the Monaghan game so we just couldn’t afford to take that risk.”
Limerick (57 points)
October 14 - Athlone (h)
October 21 - Monaghan (a)
October 29 - Waterford (h)
Monaghan (58 points)
October 8 - Wexford (h)
October 14 - Mervue (a)
October 21 - Limerick (h)
October 29 - Athlone (a)
Shelbourne (62 points)
October 8 - Waterford (a)
October 14 - Finn Harps (h)
October 21 - Salthill (a)
October 29 - Cork City (h)
Cork City (60 points)
October 8 - Salthill (a)
October 21 - Longford (h)
October 29 - Shels (a)