Basement side Limerick stun Cork City to boost survival hopes
Paudie O’Connor’s winner at Turner’s Cross puts a major dent in Leesider’s title challenge
Paudie O’Connor’s last minute winner gave Limerick a shock 3-2 win over Cork City. Photograph: Inpho
Limerick gave their hopes of survival a major boost and dented Cork City’s title chances as Paudie O’Connor gave them victory at Turner’s Cross.
From the off, Limerick gave notice that they weren’t going to be overawed by the disparity in the sides’ respective league positions. Lee Lynch tested Mark McNulty in the first couple of minutes after a loose clearance by the goalkeeper but the Blues didn’t have long to wait for the opener.
This time, Lynch was the creator and it was his perfectly-slid pass which took out the home defence and allowed Vinny Faherty to drill a low shot to the corner of McNulty’s net. They could even have gone two in front but Dean Clarke, having cut in well from the right, sent his shot into the side-netting.
The home side improved and, though they lost captain John Dunleavy with a head injury, his replacement Ross Gaynor was the player to level. His low ball from the right looked to be a cross but it evaded everybody, goalkeeper Freddy Hall included, and nestled in the corner.
Dan Murray should have put City in front but he shot over from Karl Sheppard’s low cross and when the third goal arrived it was for Limerick. Seán Russell’s pass found former Cork player Ian Turner, whose shot was saved but Clarke was following up to convert the rebound.
It stayed that way until half-time and Faherty almost put the visitors two in front early in the second half, McNulty’s clearance rebounding off him but going just wide. Again, City levelled, this time through half-time sub John O’Flynn as he bundled the ball home from Colin Healy’s corner on 55.
They couldn’t find a lead goal, however, and Limerick struck to push ahead once more. From a free kick on the right, Russell’s delivery was perfect to allow O’Connor get a glancing touch on the ball and divert it to the net.
CORK CITY: McNulty; Healy, Bennett, Murray, O’Connor; Miller, Dunleavy (Gaynor 18); Beattie, Buckley, Sheppard; O’Sullivan (O’Flynn half-time).
LIMERICK: Hall; Paul O’Conor, Paudie O’Connor, Williams, Tracy; Turner, Lynch, Duggan, Clarke (Rainsford 90); Russell (Agyemang 83); Faherty.
Referee: D McKeon (Dublin).