A WEEK after producing their poorest display of the season, Limerick FC responded with their best performance of the current campaign to send Premier Division Bray Wanderers crashing out of the FAI Ford Cup.
A 4-0 thumping of Premier Division Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds is a terrific result in anyone’s books. But coming just a week after Limerick FC dismally failed to beat First Division strugglers Salthill Devon in the League, the win against top flight opposition amounted to a dramatic upturn in fortunes.
The emphatic win over Bray comes as a timely boost as the ‘Super Blues’ focus switches to Saturday’s crucial First Division clash with fellow promotion contenders Cork City at Turner’s Cross (5pm).
The one moment of true quality in the opening half of the fourth round FAI Cup tie was provided by Paudie Quinn three minutes before the break.
Limerick played a ball through the middle for Denis Behan to chase, but Bray ‘keeper Darren Quigley came out smartly to win the race. Then, inexplicably, he played a pass to nobody in particular. Quinn couldn’t believe his luck and shot into the empty net from 25 yards.
Limerick maintained their advantage to the break. On 74 minutes, Limerick’s Barry Sheedy broke through the Wanderers defence and his powerful shot was parried by Bray ‘keeper Quigley into the path of Quinn. It looked as if the Limerick midfielder would have another empty goal to shoot at, but Bray’s Adam Mitchell brought him down.
Mitchell received a straight red card but, before Denis Behan could take the resulting penalty, there was just enough time for Danny O’Connor to join him, given his own marching orders for persistent dissent. When it finally came, Behan’s spot kick was emphatic and the entire aspect of the game had changed.
Down to nine men and two goals behind, it was inevitable that Limerick would create further chances. Substitute Garbhan Coughlan made his own opening four minutes from time and, after a kind rebound off a Bray defender, he tapped the ball over the line for Limerick’s third.
And Limerick’s fourth came from Man of the Match Quinn, rifling home from the edge of the box just as the game reached full time.
BRAY WANDERERS - Darren Quigley; Shane O’Connor (Kevin Knight, 62 mins), Derek Prendergast, Adam Mitchell, Dane Massey; Dean Zambra, Danny O’Connor, Daire Doyle, Jake Kelly; Chris Shields (John Mulroy, 51 mins), Conor Murphy (Danny McGuiness, 80 mins).
LIMERICK FC - Barry Ryan; Andrew Bhandarkar (Garvan Broughall, 70 mins), Pat Purcell, Peter White, Corey Tracey; Jeffrey Judge, David O’Leary, Paudie Quinn, Barry Sheedy (Peter Hynes, 78 mins); Sean Brosnan (Garbhan Coughlan, 62 mins), Denis Behan.
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