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Cork City keep the pressure on leaders Dundalk thanks to brilliant Buckley brace

Just two points separate the top two – but City have a game in hand.

Buckley: on the double.
Buckley: on the double.
Image: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Limerick 0

Cork City 2

CORK CITY KEPT the pressure on league leaders Dundalk with a comfortable 2-0 win in Limerick.

A Garry Buckley brace separated two sides who genuinely seemed fatigued by the heavy schedule they’re embracing at present.

Conor McCormack was the only change John Caulfield saw necessary from his side’s 4-0 romp against Bray last week. He was replaced by Steven Beattie who operated on the right flank.

Limerick’s back four has been in the spotlight for shipping bucketloads on a number of occasions but the inconsistency in selection due to injury hasn’t helped. Even makeshift centre half Eoin Wearen missed this one through suspension.

The Blues were also forced into a late change as Barry Maguire failed a fitness test and was replaced by youngster Will Fitzgerald.

John Caulfield won’t lose sleep as they still possess the second-best record in the league in this category, but the Leesiders have won just two of their last seven away games in the Premier Division. They dropped just two points in their first 13 away games in last season’s campaign.

The frontloading of fixtures didn’t appear to help either side early in this one as both sides lacked sharpness. The only notable goalmouth action of the opening half came from a mis-hit Colm Horgan cross that grazed the crossbar without posing any genuine threat.

Cork City hadn’t scored in either of their last two away games in the league. However, they hadn’t failed to score in three consecutive away games since three losses against UCD, Derry and Bohs between March and April 2012.

They weren’t going to let that happen, either. Buckley, as he so often does, scored the important goal. A lofted ball into the left-hand channel found the dazzling feet of Kieran Sadlier who looked up just in time to see the run of Buckley. He finished coolly into the bottom corner, out of Clarke’s reach.

With just a minute left on the clock, City broke. Buckley, the man who always seems to be in the right place at the right time, was again. This time, he curled a beautiful effort into the roof of the net to seal the points.

Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Kilian Cantwell, Tony Whitehead, Billy Dennehy; Conor Clifford (Karl O’Sullivan 46); Will Fitzgerald, Cian Coleman, Shane Duggan, Daniel Kearns (Colm Walsh-O’Loghlen, 55); Mark O’Sullivan.

Cork City: Mark McNulty; Colm Horgan, Conor McCarthy, Sean McLoughlin, Shane Griffin; Jimmy Keohane, Barry McNamee; Steven Beattie (Karl Sheppard, 53), Garry Buckley, Kieran Sadlier (Michael Howard, 89); Graham Cummins (Josh O’Hanlon, 82).

Referee: Sean Grant (Wexford).

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Andrew Cunneen

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