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Veterans get St Pat's out of jail to secure draw against Limerick

Ian Bermingham and Conan Byrne stuck second half goals to claw back a two goal deficit.

Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

St Pat’s 2

Limerick 2

Andrew Cuneen reports from Markets Field, Limerick

ST PAT’S LOOKED to their veterans to get them out of jail to earn a deserved point on Shannonside.

Ian Bermingham and Conan Byrne stuck second half goals to claw back a two goal deficit after Limerick strikers Ogbene and Tosi looked to have sealed the points.

Both sides made two changes each. Neil McDonald opted to give Shane Tracy his first start of the season, following the expiration of Tommy Robson’s loan deal.

Shaun Kelly returned from injury to take his place on the right side of a back four. They replaced Bastien Hery and Tony Whitehead.

Liam Buckley welcomed back three players from suspension – giving Pat Cregg and Gavin Peers starting berths. They came in, in place of the injured Kurtis Byrne and Sam Verdon.

Under Martin Russell, there were constant comparisons made between both these sides but under the control of former West Ham assistant Neil McDonald, they’re polar opposites.

The locals are used to seeing their team control proceedings with possession based football, but they now play on the break with the speedster Ogbene partnering Brazilian Rodrigo Tosi up front.

The Saints dictated the pace of the game early on through Pat Cregg, but Limerick hit the front against the run of play.

From their own corner, Pat’s were scrambling to regain defensive shape as their former goalkeeper did well to punch clear an Ian Bermingham delivery.

Lee-J Lynch ran onto the loose ball and took a touch past a weak challenge. Off the ball, Ogbene spotted the opportunity to run behind the Pat’s backline.

Lynch found Ogbene’s run with a delicious pass into his path and the youngster netted superbly with a tidy finish around O’Malley.

The second half was similar – with Limerick looking to break while remaining defensively sound.

On the hour mark, they looked home and hosed. Rodrigo Tosi was fouled in the box and stepped up to net from twelve yards – with his tenth of the tenth of the season.

Three minutes later, the game changed. Ian Bermingham headed home a brilliant cross from the left before Conan Byrne smashed a free-kick home from the edge of the box.

With fifteen left on the clock, Conan Byrne stepped over a free kick on the edge of the box. He missed from twelve yards in the reverse fixture, but smashed this twenty yarder in the top corner.

The Saints have still only won once away from home all year, but the manner of the draw may inspire them going forward.

Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Robbie Williams, David O’Connor, Shane Tracy; Dean Clarke, Paul O’Conor (Bastien Hery, 79), Shane Duggan, Lee-J Lynch; Chiedozie Ogbene, Rodrigo Tosi (John O’Flynn, 79).

St Pat’s: Conor O’Malley; Graham Kelly, Gavin Peers, Rory Feely, Ian Bermingham; Pat Cregg, Lee Desmond; Conan Byrne, Darragh Markey (Alex O’Hanlon, 69), JJ Lunney; Christy Fagan (Josh O’Hanlon, 84).

Referee: Jim McKell (Tipperary)

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