Hughes and Gaffney on target as Limerick take Shamrock Rovers’ scalp
Visitors make nine changes from the side that won the EA Sports Cup last weekend
Limerick’s Rory Gaffney scored the second against Shamrock Rovers. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Limerick City 2 Shamrock Rovers 0: Limerick had a stunning win at Thomond Park which put a big dent in the European qualification hopes of Shamrock Rovers who must now rely on winning the FAI Cup to make the bigger stage.
It was a well deserved victory against a Rovers side that had nine changes from the team that won the EA Sports Cup last weekend.
Limerick made a whirlwind start and inside 10 minutes efforts by Rory Gaffney, Craig Curran and Dave O’Leary all went close.
A deserved lead came after 11 minutes. Limerick had a third throw-in in as many minutes and this time Rory Gaffney’s lengthy effort reached Jason Hughes who turned and slammed past Barry Murphy.
The goal spurred Rovers and a free by Seán O’Connor forced a fine save from Barry Ryan which was the nearest they came to a first half goal.
Rovers came into the game in the second half but Karl Sheppard missed two goal chances before being replaced by Trevor Coyle in the 71st minute, four minutes after a cracking curling shot by Gaffney sealed the points for Limerick.
Rovers almost pulled a goal back when another Limerick new boy, Samuel Oji, almost put through his own goal. The ball broke to Conor McCormack but Ryan was in the right spot to save.
Limerick FC: Ryan, Williams, Oji, Nzuzi, Folan, Tiofack (Bossekota 53), O’Leary, Hughes (Rainsford 90 +4), Gaffney, Bradley, Curran.
Shamrock Rovers: Murphy, McGuinness, McCormack, Ledwith, Elebert, Quigley (McCabe 71), O’Connor, Chambers, Rice, Sheppard (dennehy 71), Zayed (Stewart 62).
Referee: Graham Kelly.