Limerick FC have it all their own way

LIMERICK FC got their home campaign in the Airtricity First Division to a perfect start with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over a sub-standard Salthill Devon side at Jackman Park.

LIMERICK FC got their home campaign in the Airtricity First Division to a perfect start with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over a sub-standard Salthill Devon side at Jackman Park.

LIMERICK FC got their home campaign in the Airtricity First Division to a perfect start with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over a sub-standard Salthill Devon side at Jackman Park.

Salthill did nothing to dispel the pre-match prediction of a comfortable victory for the ‘Super Blues’ over the 90 minutes.

Limerick, unbeaten now after two games, wore an unaccustomed cardinal red and white stripes, commemorating the kit they played in during their first ever game in the Market’s Field.

The Shannonsiders never looked like losing this one, thanks to a brace of goals from Shane Tracy and a long range effort from Peter Hynes.

Limerick were 3-0 up just after the hour mark and from there they coasted to victory much to the pleasure of manager Pat Scully.

“I thought we were terrific in the first hour,” Pat Scully said.

“However it tends to happen in these games when you do three up, that the lads take their foot off the pedal as we all know the game is over, and the tempo went out of the game. However, it was a good result we got what we wanted which was the three points.”

This game was seen as a must win for the ‘Super Blues’ against one of the weaker sides in the First Division. “Salthill and Mervue may be seen as the whipping boys of the division, but last season some teams lost crucial points to them,” Scully added.

“But, it is extremely important to get the job done and make sure they get nothing out of us, which we did tonight.”

Limerick got off to a dream start after a mere forty seconds, as immediately from the kick-off, Shane Tracy ran at the Salthill defence and was upended 20 yards from goal.

Tracy converted the resulting free kick with a ferocious left-footed strike into the top right corner past the helpless Ronan Forde.

Limerick settled into the game as they dominated possession. The 4-5-1 tactics employed by Scully worked wonders as Salthill struggled to cope with the extra man in midfield.

Limerick continued to create opportunities, with Tracy and Peter Hynes both coming close to doubling the lead in the opening fifteen minutes. Limerick looked very good on the ball in midfield with youngsters David O’Leary, 17, and Stephen McGann, 16, looking very composed in possession.

As the half progressed, Limerick were coming close and closer to an elusive second goal with Brian O’Callaghan having his closed range header blocked on the line.

However, the inevitable second goal arrived on the verge of half-time. Limerick played some intricate short passing football down the right side of the field, before Paudie Quinn turned inside and delivered a low cross into the box which was flicked into the net from ten yards out by Tracy to double his and Limerick’s tally.

Limerick did not take their foot off the pedal in the opening stages of the second half with Shane Tracy only inches away from getting on the end of a Paudie Quinn pass and his hat-trick. The lively Hynes was beginning to become extremely influential with every attack.

Hynes got his just reward in the 62 minute when he gathered possession 25 yards out from goal, turned his marker and drilled a powerful right-footed low shot into the bottom right corner past the flailing hand of Forde.

From there the game petered out somewhat. Limerick slowed the tempo and began to coast. Garbhan Coughlan looked bright when he was introduced creating a few chances, although nothing clear–cut.

Salthill finally had their first attempt with five minutes remaining when Etanda Nkololo had a thunderous free-kick from twenty yards excellently diverted by keeper Barry Ryan.

Pat Scully was delighted at Hynes’ goal and contribution throughout the game.

“Hynesy always works very hard for the team, he is very unselfish and I was delighted with his finish. We have great strength at our disposal,” Pat Scully said.

“It was awful to have lost Gary Sheehan, but we have players like Shane who can come in and do an excellent job.”

Looking to Friday night’s clash with Cork City at Turner’s Cross, Scully is optimistic about his side’s chances. “We improved from last week and hopefully we can improve again next week,” he added.