RUNAWAY leaders Limerick FC sealed their return to the Premier Division of the SSE Airtricity League for 2017 after securing the First Division title at Belfield Bowl on Sunday night.
A thrilling 3-2 victory over promotion-chasing UCD ensured Martin Russell’s charges wrapped up promotion with six games to spare.
Two second half goals from Paul O’Conor, to add to John O’Flynn’s first half strike, ensured Limerick’s return to the top flight after spending just one season in the First Division.
Some 296 days after suffering a heart-breaking relegation play-off defeat to Finn Harps in Ballybofey, scores of delirious Limerick FC fans invaded the playing pitch at Belfield to celebrate the club’s return to the top table.
And Limerick have achieved their promotion in some style. The runaway winners are unbeaten in the league this season, having won 20 and drawn two of their 22 fixtures to date.
The free-scoring Blues also enjoy a goal difference of +55 with six games to go.
The win also ensured Limerick defeated UCD in each of their four First Division meetings this season.
UCD: Niall Corbett, Mark Langtry, Liam Scales, Josh Collins, Maxi Kouogun, Greg Sloggett, Kieran ‘Marty’ Waters, Gary O’Neill (Capt), Ryan Swan, Jack Watson, Jason McClelland.
LIMERICK FC: Freddy Hall, Shaun Kelly (Garbhan Coughlan 84), Robbie Williams, Paul O’Conor, Lee-J Lynch, Shane Duggan (Capt), John O’Flynn (Chris Mulhall half-time), Shane Tracy, Sean Russell (Aaron Greene 61), Stephen Kenny, Paudie O’Connor.
REFEREE: Andrew Mullally