Limerick FC's Daniel Kearns in a battle for possession with Cork City's Colm Horgan in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division at the Markets Field
LIMERICK FC’s bid to record two Munster derby wins in the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division in the space of 72 hours were dashed at the Markets Field on Monday night where champions Cork City recorded a 2-0 win before an official attendance of 978.
Two terrific goals from Garry Buckley in the 53rd and 86th minutes consigned the Blues to defeat, three days after their thrilling 6-3 victory over Waterford Utd at the Markets Field.
Limerick remained well in this contest, which began the second half of the league season, until Buckley struck for his second goal with a superb strike three minutes from full-time.
The only consolation for Limerick on the night was news of Bray Wanderers 2-0 defeat away to Derry City. As a result the second-from-bottom placed Shannonsiders maintained their eight-point lead on basement side Bray wanderers.
Tommy Barrett’s Limerick side must now regroup for Friday night’s crucial league meeting with fellow strugglers Sligo Rovers at the Showgrounds on Friday night, 7.45pm.
In team news, Connor Ellis missed out on selection due to a hip injury, while Danny Morrissey, who bagged two goals in the win over Waterford, was sidelined with a hamstring injury and Killian Brouder was ruled out with an ankle knock.
The impressive Barry Maguire was a late cry-off for the Blues, having been named in the side originally.
The in-form Eoin Wearen was suspended after accumulating five yellow cards. However, in a boost for manager Tommy Barrett, Kilian Cantwell was included in the starting lineup despite being doubtful with a knee injury.
Limerick started smartly and late inclusio in the starting line-up Maguire did well to shrug off Bary McNamee down the right before crossing for Shane Duugan. However, Duggan didn’t make clean contact form the cross and the ball skidded away.
Despite that positive start from Limerick, the home side was fortunate not to fall behind after 10 minutes when Colm Horgan’s effort was deflected off the crossbar and when Shane Griffin returned the ball into the six yard area, an assistant referee’s flag for off-side brought relief for the Blues.
Cork forced five corners inside the opening 25 minutes as the Leesiders continued to probe for the opening goal. Caulfield’s side looked dangerous on set-pieces through the opening half. However, Limerick continued to pose a threat on the counter.
Limerick needed to go in at half-time on level terms and the Shannonsiders managed to achieve that aim.
The Blues replaced the injured Conor Clifford with Karl O’Sullivan who scored one of the goals in Waterford on Friday night, at half-time.
Tommy Barrett’s side created the first decent opening of the second half when substitute Karl O’Sullivan broke down the left. However, his pass found Kearns in an off-side position.
In the blink of an eye, Cotk opening the scoring in the 53rd minute when Sadlier broke down the left and his pin-point pull back found the in-running Garry Buckley who finished superbly into the bottom left corner of the net. Smashing lead goal although the home side failed to track the runners.
Cork might have doubled their advantage in the 69th minute after Buckley appeared to be fouled inside the box, the ball fell to substitute Sheppard, whose shot at goal was pushed out for a corner by Blues ‘keeper Brendan Clarke.
At 1-0 down, Limerick remained in the contest and Billy Dennehy found Will Fitzgerald with a decent pass from the left. However, the youngster was unable to make clean contact with the ball.
Karl O’Sullivan then beat a host of defenders in the 84th minute. His attempt on goal was deflected out to substitute Colm Walsh O’Loghlen. However, the youngster’s effort from an acute angle was partially blocked out for a corner which was cleared.
Buckley scored a sublime second goal in the 86th minute to seal the win for the Leesiders.
Limerick were unfortunate not to grab a late consolation goal, but Colm Horgan cleared off the line on two occasions.
LIMERICK FC: Brendan Clarke, Shaun Kelly, Killian Cantwell, Tony Whitehead, Cian Coleman, Shane Duggan (Capt), Conor Clifford (Karl O’Sullivan half-time), Daniel Kearns (Colm Walsh-O’Loghlen 55), Billy Dennehy, Mark O’Sullivan, Will Fitzgerqald.
CORK CITY: Mark McNulty, Jimmy Keohane, Graham Cummins (Josh O’Hanlon 83), Steven Beattie (Capt) (Karl Sheepperd 53), Kieran Sadlier (Michael Howard 87), Shane Griffin, Conor McCarthy, Colm Horgan, Barry McNamee, Garry Buckley, Sean McLoughlin.
REFEREE: Sean Grant (Wexford)