LIMERICK FC endured a frustrating evening at Thomond Park on Saturday as the home side failed to collect three points against a plucky Shelbourne side, forced to play with 10 men for more than 80 minutes.
Stuart Taylor’s side would have gone to a lofty fifth in the Premier Division table had they managed to make it three league wins on the bounce. However, the Blues failed to make a breakthrough in the face of Shels’ stubborn resistance and in the end the Dubliners were good value for the 0-0 draw before 1,582.
Following the 10th minute dismissal of Shels’ Robert Bayly, the home side dominated possession for much of the half. However, Taylor’s charges lacked the composure and creative guile necessary to unlock the visitors defence.
Limerick came oh so close to going in front in first half stoppage time, but Shane Tracy’s effort from inside the box crashed against the crossbar before being cleared to safety.
The main talking point in the second half arrived 15 minutes from time when the home side had a strong penalty claim waved away. Indeed, to add insult to injury, Limerick’s exciting winger Danny Galbraith was booked for simulation, when it appeared he had been fouled inside the penalty area by Shels’ substitute, Sean Brennan.
Limerick boss Taylor and midfielder Galbraith couldn’t hide their frustration at the decision in the post-match press conference.
Taylor said: “The facts are that after the game I went up to the referee and asked him about the penalty decision. He said there was contact. In my rule book, if there is contact, then it should be a penalty. I really don’t understand the rules now.
“I am very respectful to all the referees as is everyone at this football club. We have taken our medicine this season dealt with it and moved on. But we can’t keep getting decisions given against us all the time. I feel for the supporters. In this financial climate they pay a lot of money to see the best team on the pitch. Danny (Galbraith) is close to a suspension now. He has three yellow cards, two arising out of penalty claims, which were blatant.”
Galbraith added: “It was a penalty. It is for me. Both times the players involved have come to me after the game and said it was a penalty.
LIMERICK FC – Barry Ryan, Stephen Folan, Shaun Kelly, Brian O’Callaghan, Robbie Williams, Danny Galbraith, Joe Gamble (capt), Shane Tracy, David O’Leary (Jeffrey Judge 89), Craig Curran, Rory Gaffney (Aaron Brown 82).
SHELBOURNE – Ger Hanley, Brian Shortall, Jack Memery, Paul Crowley (Capt), Dean Kelly (Mark Leech 63), Adam Hanlon, Pat Flynn, Robert Bayly, Stephen Hurley, Craig Mooney (Sean Brennan 71), Ian Ryan.
REFEREE – Neil Doyle (Dublin).