Gaffney goal helps Limerick back to second

LIMERICK FC moved back into second place in the Airtricity League Division 1 on Friday night when they beat Wexford Youths 1-0 in Ferrycarig Park. And the weekend got even better on Saturday when leaders Longford Town lost 3-1 at home to Finn Harps.

LIMERICK FC moved back into second place in the Airtricity League Division 1 on Friday night when they beat Wexford Youths 1-0 in Ferrycarig Park. And the weekend got even better on Saturday when leaders Longford Town lost 3-1 at home to Finn Harps.

After the disappointment of losing to Longford seven days earlier, Rory Gaffney got Limerick’s league campaign back on track when he struck a 70th-minute winner against an ever-improving Wexford Youths side.

Limerick travel to Ballybofey next weekend to take on Harps but Pat Scully will be happy that the gap is now just one point between his side and Longford.

Limerick dominated possession in the opening half in Wexford on Friday night but the home side have the best defence in the league so far and goalkeeper Graham Doyle was a dominant figure against Limerick. Denis Behan came closest to breaking the deadlock on 15 minutes when his powerful header was brilliantly saved by Doyle. Joe Gamble also went close only for CJ Browne to pull off a remarkable block.

After the interval Limerick, assisted by giant throws from Rory Gaffney, laid siege to the home goal but it was Wexford who came closest to scoring, Danny Furlong heading narrowly wide after a rare breakaway. Tom Elmes too threatened when opportunity arose and a long range drive just after the hour whistled dangerously close to Dave Ryan’s left upright.

Five minutes later, however, Limerick took the lead. The Wexford defence failed to deal with yet another Steven Bradley corner from the right and Rory Gaffney expertly volleyed the high bouncing ball home from close range. And that was that. Wexford tried to rally but Limerick held out for the closing 20 minutes to round off a good week that began on Monday with a 3-0 win over Cork City in the EA Sports Cup.

Finn Harps are next up next Saturday as the league already enters its second phase of games. Limerick beat the Donegal side 2-1 on the opening weekend in Jackman Park and can expect another tough battle in Donegal.

The other games on next weekend see Longford host bottom side Mervue Utd, Wexford travel to Waterford and SD Galway entertain Athlone Town.

LIMERICK FC - Dave Ryan; Shaun Kelly, Pat Purcell, Corie Tracey, Shane Tracy; Sean Brosnan, Joe Gamble, Steven Bradley, Rory Gaffney; Denis Behan, Garbhan Coughlan. Subs: Paudie Quinn for Coughlan (62 mins), Gary Sheehan for Brosnan (69 mins), Dave O’Leary for Gaffney (80 mins)

WEXFORD YOUTHS - Graham Doyle; Brian Nolan, CJ Browne, Jamie Carr, James Dermody; Dean Broaders, Craig Wall, Shane Dempsey, Aidan Keenan; Danny Furlong, Tom Elmes. Subs: James Scallon for Brown (34 mins), Eric Molloy for Dermody (82 mins).

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