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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 29 September 2020

Richmond rocks as captain Bermingham heads Buckley's Saints to first home win of the season

A second-half header from Ian Bermingham earned St Pat’s their third win of the season and their first at Richmond Park.

St Pat's captain Ian Bermingham celebrates scoring against Limerick.
St Pat's captain Ian Bermingham celebrates scoring against Limerick.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

St Patrick’s Athletic 1

Limerick 0

Aaron Gallagher reports from Richmond Park

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC recorded their third win of the season on Friday night, as captain Ian Bermginham’s second-half header proved decisive against a Limerick side the Saints now leave in their wake below in the Premier Division standings.

An evenly-fought and, at times, fraught affair hung in the balance until just before the hour mark when Conan Byrne swung in a dangerous free-kick from just outside the box which the Pat’s skipper headed powerfully beyond former team-mate Brendan Clarke.

The victory was the hosts first in front of their own supporters at home in Richmond Park this season, with an opening night defeat to Cork in Inchicore followed by a 0-0 draw with Dundalk a fortnight ago.

Friday’s win sees Liam Buckley’s side rise to fifth temporarily after a Dublin derby loss to Shamrock Rovers this day last week, while Tommy Barrett’s Limerick drop down into seventh following a display which they will feel they could easily have deserved a point from.

The opening 45 minutes saw chances at both ends, but nothing which tested either Clarke or counterpart Barry Murphy to the enth degree as both sides evenly matched one another.

Dean Clarke and Shaun Kelly Dean Clarke dribbles past Limerick defender Shaun Kelly. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

US-born striker Jake Keegan was picked ahead of the usually prolific Christy Fagan to lead the attack for St Pat’s. The 26-year-old proved a handful throughout for Killian Cantwell and Darren Dennehy with more than one header glancing narrowly wide of the post.

Limerick executed a fine counter-attacking game-plan which saw them bypass midfield on multiple occasions thanks to the industrious engine of midfielder Shane Duggan, who scored a last minute equaliser the last time these sides met at the tail end of last season.

But it took 56 minutes before the deadlock was finally broken from either side and it was former Saints winger Billy Dennehy who led the way for his opponents breakthrough, with a sloppy tackle on Simon Madden along the right wing.

Dennehy was booked for the challenge and it was the resulting free-kick from Conan Byrne which saw captain Bermingham rise high ahead of his marker in-between a mass of blue and red bodies to steer an accurate header past goalkeeper Clarke to make it 1-0.

Manager Buckley pushed his side forward to make sure of the three points with the introduction of striker Fagan late on. There were late efforts from Keegan and Ryan Brennan, however one goal was enough to earn the three points and haul St Pat’s up the table.

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC: Barry Murphy; Simon Madden, Kevin Toner, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham; Ryan Brennan, Jamie Lennon, James Doona; Conan Byrne, Dean Clarke (Darragh Markey 69), Jake Keegan (Christy Fagan 90)

LIMERICK: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Killian Cantwell (Barry Maguire 65), Darren Dennehy, Tony Whitehead, Cian Coleman, Shane Duggan, William Fitzgerald (Colm Walsh O-Loughlin 79); Billy Dennehy, Henry Cameron (Jeff McGowan 89), Connor Ellis

Referee: Seán Grant

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Aaron Gallagher

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