RED-HOT frontman John O’Flynn bagged a first half hat-trick as Limerick FC thumped Waterford Utd 7-2 at the Markets Field to move 12 points clear at the top of he First Division.
In-form O’Flynn brought his tally of goals this season to 11 in all competitions with his three-goal haul in the opening 45 minutes before 1,457 spectators at the Garryowen venue.
O’Flynn set the runaway leaders on the road to victory when firing home his opening goal after just 46 seconds of the game.
Paul O’Conor also bagged a brace of goals for Martin Russell’s side, while Stephen Kenny and Chris Mulhall were also on target.
Limerick FC, who enjoy a 12 -point lead over second-placed Drogheda Utd in the SSE Airtricity League First Division, have now won all 9 of their opening league fixtures.
The Super Blues led 3-1 against their Munster rivals at half-time thanks to O’Flynn’s three-goal salvo.
However, Waterford did get within a goal of their hosts at 3-2 on 54 minutes, only for the free-scoring home side to bet four goals over the remainder of the game.
Limerick FC return to the Markets Field on Tuesday night for a big EA Sports Cup quarter-final clash with in-form Premier Division side Galway Utd, 7.15pm.
LIMERICK FC: Freddy Hall, Shaun Kelly, Paudie O’Connor, Tony Whitehead, Shane Tracy, Paul O’Conor, Shane Duggan (Capt), Stephen Kenny (Ross Mann 76), Garbhán Coughlan (Lee-J Lynch injured 23), Aaron Greene, John O’Flynn (Chris Mulhall 70). Not used: Tommy Holland, Shane Costelloe, Jordan Moore, Colm Murphy.
WATERFORD UTD: Kevin Burns, Dean Reidy (Aaron O’Connor 46), Colm Nugent, Roy Butler, Dylan McGuire (James Dermody 46), James O’Brien, David O’Leary, Robert Buckley (Shane Mackey 69), Anthony McAlavey, Eoin Rhodes, Philly Gorman (Capt).
REFEREE: John McLoughlin