Oisin Keniry/INPHO File photo: Ronan Coughlan was on the scoresheet for Sligo.
high drama

Eight goals and four red cards as Sligo rally from two down to knock out Limerick

Jason Hughes was among the men sent off after an apparent altercation with a steward.

Sligo 6

Limerick 2

SLIGO ROVERS CAME from behind to progress to the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup in the most dramatic game of the weekend, as they beat Limerick 6-2 in the second round at The Showgrounds.

It was a game that had everything – eight goals, four red cards and a missed penalty, and there are barely enough words in the English language to describe the drama that filled the Yeats County.

Sligo reached the second round following an 8-0 victory over Leinster Senior League side Glebe North two weeks ago, while Limerick progressed past the first round following victory over Cobh Wanderers.

The hosts took some time to get started, and Limerick took advantage, taking the lead after just seven minutes.

O’Sullivan cleverly worked his way into the Rovers box and tucked his shot past McGinty from an acute angle to give the Blues the lead.

Just two minutes later, Limerick doubled their lead. O’Sullivan gained possession in his own half following a Sligo attack, and fought off the challenge of Parkes, before brushing past both Dante Leverock and John Mahon, slotting past McGinty again to give the hosts an uphill battle.

Liam Buckley’s side had it all to do after nine minutes, but Limerick were looking anything but confident.

Sligo halved the deficit on 24 when Parkes ran on to a superb through ball from David Cawley, finishing neatly past Jack Brady. And on the half-hour mark, Ronan Coughlan levelled the scoring following a scramble inside the Limerick box after Daryl Fordyce’s shot was saved by Brady.

Rovers had a glorious opportunity to go ahead on 35 minutes when referee Rob Hennessy pointed to the spot after a foul on Kris Twardek.

Ronan Coughlan’s penalty was well saved by Byrne in the Limerick goals, but it was the aftermath that got everyone talking.

The clearance bounced back into the box, with Dante Leverock attempting an overhead kick, catching the face of Kieran Hanlon in the process. It sparked an angry reaction, with the Bermudan captain headbutting the Limerick striker, and immediately getting his marching orders from Rob Hennessy.

The drama wasn’t over yet, though, with Tommy Barrett’s side also being reduced to ten on 44 minutes as captain Shaun Kelly received his second yellow of the evening.
Just on the cusp of half-time, Rovers went 3-2 up with Regan Donelon’s inch-perfect free-kick curling past Brady.

The Bit O’Red extended their lead 37 seconds in the second-half, with Jamaican Parkes netting his second of the evening, before captain David Cawley netted Rovers’ fifth of the game.

Limerick’s evening got progressively worse as they were reduced to nine, when Clyde O’Connell was sent off for a nasty challenge on Twardek.

Five minutes later, the First Division side were down to eight men, as former Sligo man Jason Hughes appeared to be involved in an altercation with a steward, and referee Hennessy straight away brandished a red.

With ten versus eight heading into the last 15 minutes, the game really died out. But, Rovers were keen to cement their place in the quarter-finals of the FAI cup and they certainly did that on 77 minutes when Twardek netted to make it 6-2, putting four goals between the two sides.

It was simply a matter of running down the clock for the hosts, and they had no problems in the end securing their place in the quarter-final draw in what was a drama-filled night.

Sligo Rovers: Ed McGinty, Lewis Banks, John Mahon, Dante Leverock, Regan Donelon (Sam Warde, 66), David Cawley, Daryl Fordyce (Kyle Callan-McFadden, 41), John Russell (Scott Lynch, 71), Kris Twardek, Romeo Parkes, Ronan Coughlan.

Limerick: Jack Brady, Shaun Kelly, Tomas O’Connor, Robbie Williams, Shane Tracy (, Darren Murphy, Clyde O’Connell, Karl O’Sullivan, Lee Devitt, Jason Hughes, Kieran Hanlon (Adam Foley, 50).

Referee: Rob Hennessy.

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