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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019
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Cork City give Limerick the blues in super Markets sweep

The Leesiders made it seven wins out of seven in this evening’s Premier Division clash at Markets Field.

Ian Turner and Kevin O'Connor Limerick's Ian Turner tackles Kevin O'Connor of Cork City. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Limerick 0
Cork City 3

Paul Dollery reports from Markets Field

CORK CITY MAINTAINED their perfect start to the season tonight, securing a comfortable victory on their first visit to Limerick’s Markets Field in front of a crowd of 2,989.

Goals from Sean Maguire, Garry Buckley and Gearoid Morrissey ensured that the Leesiders remain six points clear at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division with their seventh win from as many games.

It was a disappointing night for Limerick, whose bright start to the game was halted by Sean Maguire’s seventh goal of the season in the 20th minute. City’s breakthrough changed the entire complexion of the game thereafter.

Sean Maguire celebrates scoring the first goal of the game as goalkeeper Brendan Clarke looks on dejected Sean Maguire celebrates after opening the scoring for Cork City. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Both Limerick and Cork City were unchanged from their respective wins against Bray Wanderers and Dundalk last weekend, which meant that former City trio Shane Duggan, Ian Turner and Chiedozie Ogbene started for the hosts. Injuries kept Greg Bolger, Steven Beattie and captain Johnny Dunleavy out for the Leesiders once again.

With 13 minutes played, it was Turner who engineered the first real chance of the game against his hometown club. The winger’s quick throw-in down the right released Lee J Lynch, whose excellent cross was headed just wide by Rodrigo Tosi. Nevertheless, Limerick looked full of confidence as they enjoyed the best of the opening exchanges.

Yet it was the visitors who went in front seven minutes later by capitalising on some sloppy Limerick defending. Tony Whitehead’s pass out from the back was intercepted, allowing Stephen Dooley to play in Sean Maguire. With just Brendan Clarke to beat in the Limerick goal, the league’s top goalscorer in 2016 finished neatly.

That goal seemed to rattle Limerick and their carelessness in possession led to them coughing up several more good chances. Maguire should have had a second four minutes later but he somehow managed to put the ball wide with an open goal at his mercy, following some hesitancy from Clarke.

Chiedozie Ogbene and Jimmy Keohane Limerick's Chiedozie Ogbene under pressure from Cork City's Jimmy Keohane. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dooley then fired a ferocious effort off the crossbar after being set up just outside the box thanks to good work by Karl Sheppard, before an Alan Bennett header from Kevin O’Connor’s corner brought a save from Clarke.

But City did deservedly double their advantage in the 33rd minute. Garry Buckley advanced beyond Tommy Robson at the back post and tucked home from close range after Dooley crossed from the left.

Limerick eventually managed to conjure up a response to going behind, with Paul O’Conor forcing a save from Mark McNulty and City right-back Jimmy Keohane making an important block on a Chiedozie Ogbene strike.

Limerick reverted to three in defence in the second half in an attempt to get back into the game, with striker John O’Flynn replacing left-back Robson. However, their task became even taller just over a minute after the restart when Gearoid Morrissey beat Clarke with a superb, low, left-footed strike from 25 yards out.

Gearoid Morrissey scoring their third goal Celebrations for Gearoid Morrissey after putting Cork City 0-3 up. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

City weren’t content to sit back and protect their substantial lead. Clarke had to parry an O’Connor free-kick in the 53rd minute, before the former St Patrick’s Athletic goalkeeper denied Maguire twice just moments later.

Limerick soon began to look more cohesive in attack, however, and Mark McNulty had a couple of nervy moments. First he misjudged a Shane Duggan dead-ball delivery, which almost ended up in the net. Then Ogbene had the Cork City goalkeeper scrambling with a ball in from the left that also wasn’t too far away from the target.

Dooley and substitute Connor Ellis were both denied by resolute Limerick defending with chances to score a fourth for John Caulfield’s side, before McNulty made a fine save from a powerful, low Robbie Williams free-kick.

Karl Sheppard deserved a goal for another wonderful performance for City, but Clarke saved an effort from the former Shamrock Rovers attacker when the visitors sought to catch Limerick on the break. But it mattered little, as the league leaders sealed another three points at a canter.

Robbie Williams with Sean Maguire and Karl Sheppard Cork City's Sean Maguire and Karl Sheppard challenge Limerick's Robbie Williams for a header. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

LIMERICK: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Tony Whitehead (Dave O’Connor, HT), Robbie Williams, Tommy Robson (John O’Flynn, HT); Paul O’Conor, Shane Duggan; Ian Turner, Lee J Lynch, Chiedozie Ogbene; Rodrigo Tosi (Chris Mulhall, 81).

CORK CITY: Mark McNulty; Jimmy Keohane (Shane Griffin, 64), Ryan Delaney, Alan Bennett, Kevin O’Connor; Conor McCormack; Karl Sheppard, Garry Buckley, Gearoid Morrissey, Stephen Dooley (Christian Nanetti, 85); Sean Maguire (Connor Ellis, 75).

Referee: Neil Doyle

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About the author:

Paul Dollery

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