LIMERICK FC took a giant step back towards the top flight of the Airtricity League over the weekend as they moved six points clear at the top of Division 1 thanks to a 3-1 win over Wexford Youths.
For the first time this season, Pat Scully’s side have some breathing space at the summit of the table and with just seven games remaining, this league title now looks like theirs to throw away.
It didn’t look as positive at one stage on Friday night. In the 57th minute in Ferrycarrig Park, Wexford Youths went 1-0 up and it looked as if the exertions of four games in eight days was beginning to take its toll.
But Limerick were truly professional about the setback. Rory Gaffney had the equaliser in the back of the net within three minutes, Jeffrey Judge put them in the lead six minutes later and then Dominic Foley put the icing on the cake in injury time.
The news that third-placed Waterford Utd were held to a 0-0 draw by Athlone Town was encouraging on Friday night but nothing like the news that came 24 hours later. Long-time league leaders Longford Town fell to a shock 1-0 loss at home to Finn Harps. It means the midlanders slip to third in the table behind Waterford on goal difference. Both are six behind the Super Blues.
Limerick have to play their nearest challengers again as the season now enters its fourth and final phase of games but Limerick are in a great position.
The sides were level 0-0 at the break, Limerick coming closest to scoring in the opening half when Gary Sheehan’s shot was just over.
Paul Malone’s goal for the home side seemed to spur Limerick into life and Gaffney’s goal after a cross from a corner got them back on level terms.
Minutes later Judge had them in the lead when he brilliantly chipped Graham Doyle.Limerick had an effort ruled out for offside and it looked like Limerick would finish 2-1 winners until sub Foley punced in injury time to seal the win.
Limerick make the long trip to Ballybofey next weekend to take on Finn Harps but the past weekend could turn out to the most crucial few days in the season.
Limerick are closing in on the title.
LIMERICK FC - Barry Ryan, Robert Kluciar, Shaun Kelly, Pat Purcell, Shane Tracy, Jeffrey Judge, Joe Gamble, Rory Gaffney, James McGrath, Denis Behan, Gary Sheehan
WEXFORD YOUTHS - Graham Doyle, Sean Corcoran, Jamie Carr, Christopher Browne, James Scallon, Shane Nolan, Eric Molloy, Paul Malone, Dean Brouders, Joe Mulcahy, Tom Elmes
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