Limerick FC open new season with win at Sligo Rovers

Andrew Cunneen

Reporter:

Andrew Cunneen

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sport@limerickleader.ie

Limerick FC open new season with win at Sligo Rovers

Limerick FC opened their season with a huge away win

LIMERICK FC opened their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division campaign with a huge win in Sligo on Saturday night. Darren Dennehy’s header, just after the hour mark, was the only goal of the game and secured a memorable three points for Tommy Barrett’s men.

Limerick, under Martin Russell, thumped the same opposition by five goals to one on the opening day of last season, but as is the nature of the League of Ireland, both XIs are completely different. The sides only retained three players apiece from that clash twelve months ago – and the hosts were solid favourites prior to kick-off.

It was the visitors who made the brighter start, though. The early link-up between Duggan and Billy Dennehy was promising, while Cian Coleman provided the energy in central areas that Limerick have lacked since they were promoted back in 2012. Eoin Wearen had a quieter opening half beside him but was under clear instruction to find Dennehy and Kearns as early as possible.

To their credit, Sligo grew into the game and should have taken the lead. Caolan McAleer, a new recruit from Ollie Horgan’s Finn Harps in the off-season beat Shane Tracy for pace and drilled a cross towards Ally Roy. The former Hearts winger swivelled but dragged his low drive wide of Brendan Clarke’s post.

The home side’s dominance continued in the early stages of the second half, but they’d fall behind to a shock Limerick opener in the sixty-second minute. Cian Coleman won possession back in midfield before finding Shane Duggan’s run that led him to the right-hand touchline.

The Limerick captain looked up and swung a cross into the box where centre half Darren Dennehy flicked the ball past Micheal Schlingermann.

A huge defensive effort from the Blues saw them see the remainder of the game out with relative ease as Ger Lyttle’s men crafted little of note thoughtout the last half an hour of play. Limerick's next game is a home tie with Bohemians on Saturday February 24 at 6.30pm 

Sligo: Micheal Schlingermann; Craig Roddan (Jack Keaney, 82), Seamus Sharkey, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Gary Boylan; David Cawley, Eduardo Pincelli; Caolan McAleer (Adam Wixted, 65), Rhys McCabe (Greg Moorhouse, 74), Ally Roy; Adam Morgan.

Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Tony Whitehead, Darren Dennehy, Shane Tracy; Cian Coleman, Eoin Wearen (Kilian Cantwell, 68); Billy Dennehy, Shane Duggan, Daniel Kearns (Will Fitzgerald, 90); Mark O’Sullivan (Danny Morrissey, 88).

Referee: Tomás Connolly (Dublin)