Defeat sees Shelbourne edge closer to the drop
Rory Gaffney hits left footed cracker low past Lee Murphy
Limerick’s Rory Gaffney celebrates scoring his side’s only goal with Tony Whitehead during last night’s game against Shelbourne. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Shelbourne plunged closer to relegation but as they left Thomond Park last night they must wonder why they did not win this exciting contest by four or five goals.
They totally dominated the second half and created at least six scoring chances. They were denied on four occasions by superb saves by Limerick goalkeeper Barry Ryan but they also fluffed glorious opportunities.
The best chance of all fell to their top scorer Dean Kelly 10 minutes from the end. He found himself clear with only Ryan to beat but he shot over.
Kelly also missed four other chances, Stephen Sheerin, Adam Hanlon and Dylan Connolly also could have grabbed goals as Limerick finished with a win after some heroic defending especially by Tony Whitehead, one of three under-19 players given a chance by manager Stuart Taylor.
Shelbourne goalkeeper Lee Murphy also rescued his side on three occasions. It was Shelbourne who mounted the first attack of note after six minutes but Ryan denied Hanlon. Kelly and Gaffney combined but the latter’s cross was just inches too far for Sheedy.
Another superb save by Ryan denied Dylon Connolly who beat Limerick’s off-side trap but after 27 minutes the home side took the lead.
Carol Tiofack floated in a corner from the left and from eight yards Rory Gaffney hit a left footed cracker low past Lee Murphy.
That goal stung Shelbourne and Gartland and Kelly went close and two minutes before the interval Kelly created a great chance but Sheerin failed to get a touch.
LIMERICK FC: Ryan, Whitehead, O’Callaghan (Williams 56), Nzuzi, Kelly, Tiofack, Sheedy (Hanlon 69), Murphy, Hughes, Bradley, Gaffney.
SHELBOURNE: Murphy, Gartland (Ryan 51), Flynn, Cornwall, Andrews, Hurley, Hanlon, Doyle (Murtagh 70), Connolly, Sheerin (Gannon 57), Kelly.
Referee: A Kelly.