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Dublin: 8°C Friday 27 November 2020

McCabe scores amazing 60-yard lob as Sligo claim crucial win

The midfielder registered a crucial goal to help the visitors earn a much-needed win.

Rhys McCabe (file pic).
Rhys McCabe (file pic).
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

Limerick 1

Sligo 2

Andrew Cunneen reports from  Markets Field

SLIGO ROVERS CLAIMED a huge win in an early-season six-pointer at the Markets Field, thanks to a moment of magic from Rhys McCabe.

Quick-thinking from the midfielder saw him lob Limerick stopper Brendan Clarke from inside his own half to find the net in spectacular fashion.

Both sides are in danger of being sucked into the relegation mire, so Tommy Barrett and Gerard Lyttle were aware of the significance of this fixture.

Limerick welcomed back Mark O’Sullivan last week against Bohemians and partnered him with Danny Morrissey for the first time this season — showing their intent. However, the most interesting inclusion in the Blues’ XI was Conor Clifford.

Clifford’s worldwide ban for ‘betting offences’ ended last week and he was rushed into a Limerick side that have been really lacking any sort of creativity of late.

Sligo were coming off the back of arguably their worst performance of the season against Derry, and their boss reacted by making a handful of changes. Micheal Schlingemann, Calum Waters, Caolan McAleer, Greg Moorhouse and Alistair Roy all made way.

The Bit O’Red hadn’t kept a clean sheet all season, but Limerick hadn’t scored in their last 500 competitive minutes of football. If the Blues maintained their current goalscoring form, they’d finish the campaign with just 14 goals – the same amount as Rodrigo Tosi scored for them last season.

Ger Lyttle’s charges hadn’t scored in their previous three league games, but they flew out of the blocks in this one. Adam Morgan, who has scored as many goals as Limerick have this season, was first to test Brendan Clarke, but the veteran stopper was level to it.

Clifford was the star of the opening half, which was somewhat hampered by windy conditions.

These two goal-shy sides were always likely to need something magical to open the scoring. Rhys McCabe found it on the hour mark.

Sligo were awarded a free-kick inside their own half, with seemingly little danger from a Limerick perspective. That wasn’t the case though, as McCabe spotted Brendan Clarke off his line. The midfielder lobbed the ball 60 yards over the former St Pat’s goalkeeper to hand the Connacht side the lead.

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Limerick players surrounded referee Ben Connolly, but their argument that the ball was rolling fell on deaf ears.

As the Blues rushed forward in chase of an equaliser, they were punished by a smart strike from substitute Greg Moorhouse. Former Sligo winger Daniel Kearns got Limerick a consolation, but it wasn’t enough.

The win sees Sligo climb to eighth, one point ahead of the Shannonsiders.

Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Kilian Cantwell, Tony Whitehead (Daniel Kearns, 63), Darren Dennehy; Shaun Kelly, Cian Coleman (Will Fitzgerald, 63), Conor Clifford, Billy Dennehy; Shane Duggan; Mark O’Sullivan, Danny Morrissey (Connor Ellis, 81).

Sligo: Mitchell Beeney; Gary Boylan, Kyle Callan-McFadden, Patrick McClean, Regan Donelon (Calum Waters, 86); David Cawley, Jack Keaney, Eduardo Pinceli (Caolan McAleer, 63); Rhys McCabe, Adam Morgan, Raffaele Cretaro (Greg Moorhouse, 76).

Referee: Ben Connolly (Dublin).

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About the author:

Andrew Cunneen

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