Limerick FC midfielder Bastien Hery gains possession in their FAI Cup semi-final defeat to Cork City at Turners Cross
LIMERICK FC’s dream of reaching a first FAI Cup final since 1982 ended in a heart-breaking 1-0 semi-final defeat to Cork City before an attendance of 3,563 at Turners Cross on Friday night.
Garry Buckley’s 15th minute goal proved the difference between the sides as holders Cork advanced to a Cup final showdown against Dundalk or Shamrock Rovers at the Aviva Stadium#
After a slow start when Cork could have raced into a two or three-goal lead, Limerick responded resiliently and with a stroke of good fortunate could well have notched the equaliser which would have taken the game back to a replay at the Markets Field on Monday night.
This was Limerick’s 12th FAI Cup semi-final defeat and the club’s first appearance at this stage of the Cup since 1994.
It’s back to league action for Limerick now and a crucial SSE Airtricity League Premier Division fixture with St Patrick’s Athletic at Richmond Park on Saturday, October 7 at 5pm.
The Blues best chance of equalising in the opening half arrived just before the break when Ogbene’s well hit left foot effort deflected off a defender, but Cork keeper McNulty got a strong hand to the ball to keep it out.
Limerick came oh so close to drawing level on 55 minutes when Tosi headed just over the crossbar from Héry delivers from the left.
And Limerick came agonisingly close to equalising in the 86th minute when from a Duggan corner on the left, Hery flicked on and as substitute Berki looked set to score from a few yards out, Beattie dramatically succeeded in scrambling the ball away.
It was just not to be for Limerick as time ran out on the Blues Cup dream for another season.
CORK CITY: Mark McNulty, Alan Bennett (Capt), Ryan Delaney, Conor McCormack, Stephen Dooley (Jimmy Keohane 53), Kieran Sadlier (Stephen Beattie 79), Gearoid Morrissey, Karl Sheppard (Achille Campion 89), Shane Griffin, Conor McCarthy. Garry Buckley.
LIMERICK FC: Brendan Clarke, David O’Connor, Lee J Lynch (John O’Flynn 83), Shane Duggan (Capt), Rodrigo Tosi, Shane Tracy, Tony Whitehead, Stephen Kenny (Peter Berki 71), Dean Clarke, Chiedozie Ogbene, Bastien Hery.
REFEREE: Ray Matthews