LIMERICK FC crashed out of the FAI Ford Cup at the second round stage after suffering a disappointing 2-1 defeat to Bohemians in their all-Airtricity League Premier Division tie at Thomond Park this Saturday evening.
Goals in either half from Steven Beattie and Paddy Kavanagh helped the Gypsies secure a deserved win before a disappointing attendance of just 842 spectators.
Sixth-placed Limerick FC may have been sitting five places above second-from-bottom Bohemians in the Premier Division table, but there was no doubting the Dubliners’ superiority on the night. Bohs’ showed the greater urgency throughout and used the ball much better.
Limerick, who were strangely lethargic for the majority of the game despite their improved league form of recent weeks, did give themselves a lifeline in the 70th minute when captain Shane Duggan set up Rory Gaffney for a Blues goal.
However, the home side, who lost the influential Shane Tracy to injury in the first half, lacked the ability to break down their gritty opponents. The defeat means Limerick’s wait for a first FAI Cup success will stretch to 33 years next season.
Visitors Bohemians should have opened the scoring on 13 minutes when Paddy Kavanagh crossed into the Limerick penalty area, but an unmarked Dinny Corcoran flashed the ball wide from seven yards.
Limerick responded well to the scare and captain Shane Duggan saw his 16th minute volley smack against a crossbar before flying over, following a Galbraith flick on. However, Limerick, who were without midfield duo Jason Hughes and Prince Agyemang through suspension having accumulated four yellow cards, fell behind on 35 minutes.
Bohs raided down the left through Kavanagh and the in-rushing Steven Beattie finished superbly to the net. It was no more than the Gypsies deserved.
The Dubliners could well have doubled their lead within four minutes of the restart when Keith Buckley crossed for Corcoran, but he was again off target from 12 yards.
Bohemians did go 2-0 up on the hour mark, when Limerick were badly caught out at the back after a free-free for the Shannonsiders from well inside the Bohs half was quickly cleared. Man of the Match Beattie crossed for Paddy Kavanagh who cooly took the ball around Lims ‘keeper Ryan before sliding the ball into the net.
Ryan did well soon after to block a Wearen effort with his feet as Bohemians looked to add a third.
However, the momentum of the game swung unexpectedly after 71 minutes when Limerick scored against the run of play. Shane Duggan set up Rory Gaffney with a delightful pass and the Limerick frontman finished superbly.
However, Limerick were unable to notch a precious equaliser durin the remaining minutes of the game.
Members of the Limerick FC squad, backroom team and supporters joined in a minute’s applause before kick-off as a mark of respect for former Limerick FC kitman John Collins who passed away on Saturday morning.
The late John Collins served as kitman with the club for more than 30 years and worked alongside the likes of former manager. Sam Allardyce.
LIMERICK FC - Barry Ryan, Shaun Kelly, Stephen Folan, Danny Galbraith, Shane Duggan (Capt), Rory Gaffney, Shane Tracy (Ross Mann 26), Patrick Nzuzi (Kieran Hanrahan 88), Tam McManus, Darragh Rainsford (Tony Whitehead 63), Samuel Oji.
BOHEMIANS - Dean Delaney, Derek Pender (Dave Mulcahy 46), Aidan Price, Anto Murphy, Dan Byrne, Keith Buckley (Craig Walsh 78), Roberto Lopes, Steven Beattie (Kevin Devaney 87), Eoin Wearen, Dinny Corcoran, Paddy Kavanagh.
REFEREE - Graham Kelly