Shane Duggan-inspired Limerick maintain 100% record

Both sides finished with 10 men in tonight’s closely fought First Division clash.

Shane Duggan was on target for Limerick tonight (file pic).
Shane Duggan was on target for Limerick tonight (file pic).
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

UCD 1-2 Limerick FC

A BRACE FROM Shane Duggan was enough to see Limerick maintain their 100% start in the SSE Airtricity League First Division, despite a spirited display from UCD, in a game where both sides finished with 10 men.

Limerick bossed the opening stages with interplay between Lee-J Lynch, Shane Duggan and Aaron Greene carving UCD open at will. Greene had the biggest of the early chances — as Blues captain Duggan crossed at the second attempt, but the former St Pat’s winger’s volley struck the crossbar.

They weren’t to be denied, however. The league leaders hit the front on 17 minutes through Duggan. Stephen Kenny picked up possession on the right-hand side, before Shaun Kelly’s run took away a defender and Kenny squared for Duggan to net with a low, powerful strike from just outside the box.

Martin Russell’s side often dominate games, but it wasn’t the case at the UCD Bowl tonight and the hosts equalised three minutes before half-time. Dylan Watts ran at pace down the left and waited for Ryan Swan to catch up with the break. He squared and the UCD frontman made no mistake with a consummate finish.

It should have gotten better for the Students only a moment later. Robbie Williams was caught in possession on halfway by Daire O’Connor, and Ryan Swan’s run created a two-v-one situation, but the linesman on the near side flagged for offside when the ball eventually arrived at Swan’s feet.

Collie O’Neill’s side were made to pay for their wasted chances in the 49th minute, as Duggan notched his second with a wonder strike from all of 25 yards.

Moments later, UCD were reduced to 10 men. Chris Mulhall raced onto a through ball and got a touch beyond Niall Corbet, who took him down inside the box. Shane Tracy subsequently saw his penalty saved by former Limerick stopper, Conor O’Donnell.

Just as the game seemed to turn in Limerick’s favour, Robbie Williams saw red for bringing down Ryan Swan as he ran through on goal.

Consequently, a frantic last 20 minutes saw chances for both sides — but in the end, the Shannonsiders’ experience saw them over the line.

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UCD: Niall Corbet; Adam Harney, Maxi Kouogun, Tomas Boyle, Mark Langtry; Daire O’Connor (Conor O’Donnell, 58), Greg Sloggert (Kieran Marty Waters, 82), Dylan Watts, Jason McClelland (Georgie Kelly, 82); Gary O’Neill; Ryan Swan.

LIMERICK: Freddy Hall; Shaun Kelly (Garbhan Coughlan, 46), Paudie O’Connor, Robbie Williams, Shane Tracy; Paul O’Conor, Shane Duggan; Stephen Kenny (Tony Whitehead, 65), Lee-J Lynch, Aaron Greene; Chris Mulhall (John O’Flynn, 90).
Referee: Marc Lynch.

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Andrew Cunneen

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