Limerick FC manager Tommy Barrett
BATTLING Limerick FC all but secured the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division relegation play-off spot after recording an excellent 2-0 victory away to basement side Bray Wanderers at the Carlisle Grounds on Friday night.
First half goals from Barry Maguire and Connor Ellis helped Tommy Barrett’s second-from-bottom placed Limerick side move 12 points clear of Bray in the table with now just four games to go.
Such is Limerick’s superiority in terms of goal difference over Bray, that the Blues look all but set to be involved in a two-legged relegation play-off clash with a First Division side next month.
Limerick also still harbour slim hopes of hauling themselves clear of the drop zone completely in the remaining weeks of the season. Eighth-placed Sligo Rovers’ defeat at Waterford leaves the Shannonsiders eight points behind the Bit o’ Red with four games to play.
A gritty Limerick side took a deserved 18th-minute lead at the Carlisle Grounds with Ellis and Cian Coleman combining to allow Blues skipper Shane Duggan centre for Maguire to tap-in from close range.
Limerick wrapped up the points two minutes before half-time when Karl O’Sullivan beat two defenders before crossing from the right to allow Ellis to bag a crucial second.
Next up for Limerick FC in their push to avoid relegation from the top flight is a home tie with Derry City at the Markets Field on Friday night next, 7.45pm.
BRAY WANDERERS: Mark O’Connor; Sean Harding, Conor Kenna, Sean Heaney, Jamie Crilly (Byron O’Gorman 76); Paul O’Conor (John Sullivan 68), Rhys Gorman; Darragh Noone, Jake Kelly (Ger Pender 35), Kevin Lynch; Jake Ellis.
LIMERICK FC: Tommy Holland; Shaun Kelly, Kilian Cantwell, Killian Brouder, Shane Tracy; Darren Murphy, Cian Coleman (Will Fitzgerald 73); Karl O’Sullivan, Barry Maguire (Danny Morrissey 80), Shane Duggan; Connor Ellis.
REFEREE: Anthony Buttimer (Cork)