RUNAWAY leaders Limerick FC restored their 19-point advantage at the top of the SSE Airtricity League First Division thanks to a routine 2-0 win over Cobh Ramblers before 1,191 spectators at the Markets Field on Saturday night.
Two goals in a blistering five minute spell in the opening half from Lee-J Lynch and Chris Mulhall guided Martin Russell’s side to their 16th win in 17 league games.
The Blues now enjoy a 19-point advantage over second-placed UCD and a 20-point lead over third-placed Drogheda.
Limerick FC have dropped just two points from their opening fixtures, winning 15 of their 16 fixtures to date.
There are now just 11 series of games remaining in the First Division.
Free-scoring Limerick have netted 65 goals in the First Division this season, averaging close on four goals per game.
Limerick took the lead on 25 minutes, thanks to a stunning individual goal from captain for the night, Lee J Lynch.
Lynch picked up possession just outside the penalty area, before nutmegging one Cobh defender and gliding past another with a neat shimmy.
When space opened up in front of the former Hamilton Academical player, he uncleashed a superb low drive to the bottom corner of the net. It was a goal worthy of the admission price.
Limerick had the Markets Field rocking and Cobh Ramblers reeling five minutes later when Martin Russell’s side doubled their lead.
Shaun Kelly’s cross from the right was superbly headed home by Chris Mulhall.
Limerick maintained their 2-0 lead until half-time.
The Blues were further boosted on the hour mark when club captain Shane Duggan made his long-awaited return from injury when introduced as a substitute.
Leading 2-0 and with the points seemingly in the bag, Limerick freewheeled for long stages of the second half and might well have conceded at least one goal in the closing quarter had Cobh been more clinical in front of goal.
LIMERICK FC: Freddy Hall, Shaun Kelly, Paul O’Conor, Lee-J Lynch (Capt), Aaron Greene, Sean Russell (Shane Tracy 84), Tony Whitehead, Stephen Kenny (Ross Mann 78), Chris Mulhall, Paudie O’Connor, Sean McSweeney (Shane Duggan 60).
COBH RAMBLERS: Paul Hunt, Charlie Fleming, Anthony O’Donnell (Graham McCarthy 78), Cian Kingston, Ben O’Riordan, Kevin Mulcahy (Capt), Gary Comerford, Shane O’Connor, Marcus Gustavasson (Rob Lehane 65), Darren Murphy, Eoin McGreevy.
REFEREE: Eoghan O’Shea