SPIRITED Limerick FC held champions St Patrick’s Athletic to a 1-1 draw at Richmond Park to secure a precious SSE Airtricity League Premier Division point in front of the TV cameras.
James McGrath struck for the vital 77th equaliser for Stuart Taylor’s Limerick side who had fallen behind to a goal from St Pat’s Christy Fagan.
The first half was largely devoid of incident with both defences holding the upperhand.
But five minutes after the restart, the Saints broke the deadlock when Christopher Forrester’s flick found Fagan in behind and he blasted past Limerick goalkeeper Barry Ryan.
With a quarter-of-an-hour left, St. Pat’s went close again when Mark Quigley rose to meet Conan Byrne’s corner but his header hit the top of the crossbar and went over.
Incredibly, just seconds later, Limerick FC skipper Shane Duggan played a great pass for McGrath to latch onto and he finished with extreme cool past the out-rushing Brendan Clarke.
Manager Taylor had made two changes to the team that lost in Dundalk the previous week as captain Duggan returned from suspension and defender Samuel Oji recovered from injury. The duo replaced Garbhán Coughlan and Tony Whitehead.
Limerick were also forced into a further change before kick-off as Ryan came in for Shane Cusack – who was feeling unwell – while Ali Abass came onto the bench as back-up ‘keeper.
Next up for Limerick FC is a home date with Drogheda United at Thomond Park on Friday next at 7.45pm.
ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC - Brendan Clarke, Conor McCormack, Derek Foran, Ken Oman, Ian Bermingham (Capt), Conan Byrne, Greg Bolger, James Chambers (Killian Brennan 86), Christopher Forrester, Mark Quigley (Lee Lynch 82), Christy Fagan (Daryl Kavanagh 84).
LIMERICK FC - Barry Ryan, Shaun Kelly, Samuel Oji, Stephen Folan, Shane Costelloe (Darragh Rainsford 38), Shane Tracy, Jason Hughes, Shane Duggan (Capt), Patrick Nzuzi, James McGrath, Rory Gaffney.
REFEREE - Tom Connolly (Dublin).