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Stunning McNamee effort leaves Limerick frustrated in Buncrana

Shane Duggan’s goal on 12 minutes put the visitors ahead against Derry.

Derry's Barry McNamee (file pic).
Derry's Barry McNamee (file pic).
Image: Presseye/Lorcan Doherty/INPHO

Derry City 1

Limerick 1

DERRY CITY’S TOP goalscorer, Barry McNamee, made his first start in four matches and rescued a vital point for his side with a stunning second half free-kick against Limerick at Maginn Park.

The County Donegal man played his first 90 minutes since recovering from a hamstring injury three weeks ago and his superb effort on the hour mark cancelled out Limerick skipper Shane Duggan’s early effort at the Buncrana venue.

It was the second game in 72 hours for Derry and the second time they were forced to come from behind to grab a point to ensure they kept on the coattails of fourth-placed Limerick, who are unbeaten in four league fixtures.

McNamee had registered the first shot on target when he latched onto a pass on the edge of the box from Nicky Low but his scuffed shot was saved easily by Brendan Clarke after four minutes. City’s Austrian midfielder, Lukas Schubert, then took charge of a free-kick just outside the penalty area, but his curling strike went harmlessly wide during a promising opening for the home side.

For all of City’s dominance in the opening stages, it was the visitors who broke the deadlock in emphatic fashion on 12 minutes.

The Super Blues were gifted possession after a loose pass from Ben Doherty, and when Duggan picked up the ball 25 yards from the Derry goal, he blasted his strike past Gerard Doherty into the corner of the net.

Lee-J Lynch flashed a strike from distance across the face of goal and wide on 20 minutes as City struggled to get back into the match.

From a free-kick on 33 minutes the ball broke to McNamee in space just inside the penalty area. The Ramelton man tried to find the far corner, but his effort sailed wide of the mark.

Goalscorer Duggan tried his luck from 35 yards, after a quick break from Limerick, but his powerful drive went narrowly over the crossbar.

The home side finished the half strongly but failed to adequately test the Limerick ‘keeper.

Derry almost capitalised from a quick counter-attack 10 minutes after the restart when McNamee picked up Schubert’s clearance. The midfielder found substitute, Ronan Curtis, who cut inside before curling wide of the far post.

And City were back in the game on the hour mark, when McNamee’s beautifully executed free kick found its way over the wall and nestled into the corner of the net.

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Doherty subsequently came to City’s rescue twice in the space of two minutes. Firstly, the City skipper saved superbly from Rodrigo Tosi’s downward header on 65 minutes. And when Jarvis’ back pass was intercepted by Mulhall, Doherty raced off his line to block the midfielder’s shot.

And it was the turn of the Limerick stopper, Clarke, to save his side on 77 minutes, when he was forced to turn Curtis’ powerful strike over the bar.

In a frantic finish to the game, as Boyle’s low cross into the box found McNamee, and his close-range strike was bravely blocked by Tony Whitehead, who threw his body at the ball.

Derry were the aggressors as the game came to a close, but both sides will certainly have been content with a share of the points from a feisty encounter, which saw eight bookings in total.

Derry City: G. Doherty; C. McDermott, A. Barry, D. Jarvis, B. Doherty; L. Schubert (M. Kennedy 77), H. Monaghan, N. Low, M. Timlin (R. Curtis h-t); B. McNamee; N. Boyle; Subs Not Used – E. Grimes, S. Whiteside, A. Netzer, C. Farren.

Limerick: B. Clarke; S. Kelly, R. Williams, T. Whitehead, T. Robson; C. Mulhall (D. Clarke 69), S. Duggan, P. O’Conor, C. Ogbene; L. Lynch; R. Tosi (T. Walsh 88); Subs Not Used – F. Hall, D. O’Connor, J. O’Flynn, T. Rninz, B. Henry.

Referee - Paul Tuite.

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