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Dublin: 19 °C Wednesday 27 May, 2020

Cork City's seemingly simple walk to the title hits another bump with defeat in Limerick

Rodrigo Tosi and Shane Tracy were on the mark for the Shannonsiders as John Caulfield’s side lost again.

Image: Tommy Dickson; ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Limerick 2

Cork City 1

Andrew Cunneen reports from Markets Field. 

LIMERICK STUNNED CORK CITY on Shannonside – adding another unexpected bump to City’s seemingly simplistic walk to a league title.

The sides had met on three separate occasions already this year, with City knocking ten past Limerick in the process.

John Caulfield made just one change from the team that beat Neale Fenn’s Longford in the FAI Cup – Conor McCarthy being replaced by Steven Beattie. Limerick named an unchanged side for the second time in a row.

Despite their blistering start, finishing off a title race is always a different psychological test. After losses to Bohemians and Sligo, Cork were experiencing déjà vu after just ten minutes in Limerick.

Robbie Williams spent five years at the Blues, and it was clear that old habits die hard as he played a huge part in a surprise Limerick opener.

Greg Bolger played a routine pass into the path of Williams but the experienced centre half expected ‘keeper McNulty to claim. That miscommunication afforded Rodrigo Tosi a chance and he duly delivered with a brilliant chip into the net for his twelfth league goal of the season.

Before City could even react, they were 2-0 down. Shane Tracy celebrated his testimonial last Saturday – being outshone by sister Yvonne on that occasion.

Here, the stage was all Shane’s. Flashing a left-footed strike across the body of Mark McNulty and into the top corner, the Limerick native’s strike stunned those in attendance.

Greg Bolger and Kieran Sadlier dejected after the game Source: Tommy Dickson; ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson/INPHO

The early action wasn’t to end there, though. Cork main’s threat on the night came down the left flank and it was the mismatch of Cotter v Sadlier that was on full display for City’s goal.

After some tidy footwork from Stephen Dooley on the right wing, he crossed perfectly to the back post where the impressive Kieran Sadlier was lurking. Rising above the raw Cotter, Sadlier powered his header over Brendan Clarke into the net to get City right back into the game.

The second half was a backs-to-the-wall effort from Limerick, but prevail they would. A Bastien Hery masterclass provided the Blues with the backbone they so drastically needed for their battle against the drop, while Chiedozie Ogbene flashed the brilliance he has in front of the manager who failed to re-sign him in pre-season.

Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Barry Cotter (Dean Clarke, 46), Tony Whitehead, David O’Connor, Shane Tracy; Bastien Hery; Stephen Kenny (Joe Crowe, 78), Lee-J Lynch, Shane Duggan, Chiedozie Ogbene; Rodrigo Tosi (Peter Berki, 83).

Cork City: Mark McNulty; Steven Beattie (Garry Buckley, 46), Ryan Delaney, Robbie Williams, Shane Griffin; Greg Bolger (Conor Ellis, 70), Jimmy Keohane, Gearoid Morrissey; Kieran Sadlier, Karl Sheppard, Stephen Dooley (Achille Campion, 89).

Referee: Sean Grant (Wexford)

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Andrew Cunneen

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