Limerick FC returned to winning ways in the Premier Division with a dramatic 3-2 victory over Dundalk on Saturday night at Thomond Park.
Looking dead and buried 2-0 down at the break, the Superblues produced a pulsating second half performance that left those watching breathless.
That a season low crowd of 1,249 were there to witness such an incredible turnaround was the only disappointing aspect of a night that will live long in the memories of Limerick supporters.
For what the support lacked in numbers they made up for in noise; greeting adopted son Craig Curran’s unbelievable 82nd minute winner with a deafening din.
The first 45 minutes showed no hint of what was to come as Limerick once again produced a lackluster first half home performance.
With the Blues struggling to establish any fluency on an immaculate Thomond Park surface, the Lilywhites quickly took control of the game. On eight minutes the visitors were ahead thanks to a wonderful Kurtis Byrne volley with the outside of his left foot from a delightfully lofted Chris Shields pass to the back-post.
The home side tried to hit back immediately with a curling Darragh Rainsford effort striking the bar.
On the half hour mark a perfectly weighted Dave O’Leary through ball set Rainsford free before his powerful low shot was well saved by Peter Cherrie in the Dundalk goal.
On 38 minutes Dane Massey looked to have put Dundalk in an unassailable position, when he placed a free kick, courtesy of a slight deflection, in the top right hand corner of Barry Ryan’s goal.
Once again the Blues tried to respond straight away and an O’Leary cross was just scrambled behind by the Dundalk defence.
The Superblues emerged for the second half transformed but first they had to survive a serious scare when Ryan pulled off a magnificent save from a miscued Shaun Kelly clearance which somehow looped over Ryan before he miraculously clawed the ball back from crossing the line and all but ending the game as a contest.
The all important first goal back came in the 55th minute, with another expertly taken Shane Tracy free kick finding the left hand corner of a helpless Cherrie’s goal. Limerick were now in the ascendancy and were surging at the Dundalk defence at every opportunity.
On 73 minutes Rory Gaffney replaced Joe Gamble as Tracy was lining up a free on the right. Gaffney proceeded to make his way to the back-post where he nonchalantly placed his first touch of the night into the Dundalk net for an astonishing equaliser.
There was only going to be one winner now and Curran’s moment came after a breathless passage of action that saw a goalbound rightfooted Tracy effort just cleared behind off the line for a corner.
Man of the match Tracy took the resultant setpiece, which fell to O’Leary and it was his blocked shot that bounced kindly for Curran allowing him to riffle home from close range and send the home support into raptures.
Limerick FC - Barry Ryan, Shaun Kelly, Stephan Folan, Robbie Williams, Shane Tracy, Joe Gamble (Rory Gaffney 73), Dave O’Leary, Darragh Rainsford, Danny Galbraith, Axel Bossekota, Craig Curran.
Dundalk - Peter Cherrie, John Sullivan, Andy Boyle, Chris Shields, Darren Meenan, John Mountney (Tiernan Mulvenna 78), Kurtis Byrne (John Dillon 61), Dane Massey, Richie Towell, Mark Rossiter (Stephrn McDonnell 27), Vinney Flaherty.