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New Limerick boss Boland makes dream start as Saints pay the penalty at Inchicore

St. Pat’s have now lost three of their opening four home fixtures this season.

Image: Donall Farmer; ©INPHO/Donall Farmer/INPHO

St Patrick’s Athletic 0

Limerick 2

WILLIE JOHN BOLAND began life as Limerick interim manager with a flourish as his side overcame St Patrick’s Athletic to secure a 2-0 victory at Richmond Park in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division.

Tony Whitehead opened the scoring when he used his guile to flick a Shane Duggan free-kick into the net midway through the first-half before substitute John O’Flynn sealed the win with a fine finish seven minutes from time.

Boland’s men were in total control during the opening period and deservedly broke the deadlock when Duggan’s free-kick from the right arrowed through the Saints’ box before Whitehead’s deft touch took it past O’Malley and into the net on 27 minutes.

John Boland New Limerick boss Willie John Boland had a night to remember. Source: Donall Farmer; ©INPHO/Donall Farmer/INPHO

Three minutes later Chiedozie Ogbene embarked on a mazy run down the left flank before picking out Rodrigo Tossi  who hit a superb acrobatic effort inside the six-yard box. However, the Brazilian globetrotter was denied at point-blank range by a tremendous O’Malley reaction save.

The Saints should have been level going into the break after creating two great chances in quick succession minutes before the half-time whistle.

First, a Conan Byrne corner dropped to Lee Desmond at the back post. The young centre-half tried to place it into the corner but former Pat’s stopper Brendan Clarke was quick to dive low and push it around the post.

Then, from the resulting corner, Kurtis Byrne’s header rebounded off the crossbar before being hooked clear to bring an entertaining half to a close.

The Saints came out of the second-half blocks racing and almost equalized five minutes into the restart when Kurtis Byrne stroked a magnificent effort towards the top right corner only for Clarke to slap it over the bar.

On 63 minutes Pat’s were handed a glorious opportunity to equalize when referee Paul McLoughlin pointed to the spot after Robbie Williams was adjudged to have blocked a Kurtis Byrne strike with his arm.

Conan Byrne with Robbie Williams Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Conan Byrne stepped up to take it but he saw his low shot saved by Clarke at the right post before Ian Bermingham’s follow-up was again batted away from the target by Clarke in what was a superb sequence of goalkeeping.

The visitors wrapped up the three points on 83 minutes when a perfectly placed ball from Ogbene pierced the Pat’s back-line and found O’Flynn who dispatched it into the bottom-right corner.

The win lifts Limerick to fifth in the table on 10 points while St Pat’s return to the drop-zone as they have now lost three of their opening four home fixtures this season.

St Patrick’s Athletic: Conor O’Malley; Michael Barker, Gavin Peers, Lee Desmond, Ian Bermingham (c); Patrick Cregg, Alex O’Hanlon (Darragh Markey, 81), J.J Lunney (Graham Kelly, 69); Conan Byrne, Josh O’Hanlon (Aidan Keena, 77), Kurtis Byrne

Limerick: Brendan Clarke; Shaun Kelly, Robbie Williams, Tony Whitehead, Tommy Robson; Shane Duggan (c), Paul O’Connor, Lee J Lynch; Chris Mulhall (Dean Clarke, 68), Rodrigo Tossi (John O’Flynn, 73), Chiedozie Ogbene (Ian Turner, 88)

Referee: Paul McLoughlin

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Harry Manning

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