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Byrne the hero with two in three minutes as Saints end losing streak in dramatic fashion

Conan Byrne scored two second-half goals in the space of three minutes to hand Limerick a deflating defeat.

The winger netted a brace on Friday night in Richmond Park.
The winger netted a brace on Friday night in Richmond Park.

St Patrick’s Athletic 2

Limerick 1

Dave Donnelly reports from Richmond Park

CONAN BYRNE CAME off the bench to net twice in three minutes as St Patrick’s Athletic ended a seven-game losing run with a 2-1 win over Limerick at Richmond Park.

Former Saint Billy Dennehy had given the Blues a deserved lead from the penalty spot early in the first half as the home side were lethargic in the opening half.

The Blues were the first to every ball in the opening stages with former Dutch underage international Barry Maguire to the fore to all of their attacking play.

Maguire mugged former Blues teammate Conor Clifford and fed Will Fitzgerald before arriving late for a shot that Brendan Clarke could only gather at the second attempt.

And it was the Dutch-Irishman who won the penalty that led to the opener as he was clattered by Killian Brennan after peeling away to latch onto Darren Murphy’s rehearsed corner.

Brennan protested his innocence but it was a clear penalty, and Dennehy sent Clarke the wrong way from 12 yards.

Liam Buckley introduced Conan Byrne and Jamie Lennon for the disappointing Clifford and Killian Brennan at half time and it had the desired effect with a much more energetic second half.

A rare error from the excellent Killian Brouder should have meant an equaliser as Dean Clarke ran through, but young goalkeeper Tommy Holland saved excellently.

Limerick sat back more as the game went on and paid the price with 13 minutes remaining when Conan Byrne went down in the box, and he put the penalty away himself.

Three minutes later, Byrne completed the remarkable fightback as he headed Simon Madden’s cross into the bottom corner.

Limerick almost snatched a draw they’d have deserved in the final minute as Killian Cantwell’s excellent volley crashed back off the crossbar, and the Saints held out for victory.

St Patrick’s Athletic: B Clarke; Madden, Leahy, Desmond, Bermingham; Clifford (Lennon 46), K Brennan (C Byrne 46), Markey; R Brennan, D Clarke, Keegan (T Byrne 75).

Limerick: Holland; Wearen, Cantwell, Brouder, Dennehy; Murphy, Maguire, Duggan (Morrissey 82); O’Sullivan, Fitzgerald, Ellis.

Referee: Sean Grant.

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