Limerick fired-up for visit to runaway leaders Cork

Manager Neil McDonald says visitors looking for a positive start to second half of season

Ahead of his first Munster derby at runaway leaders Cork City tonight, recently appointed Limerick manager Neil McDonald believes the unenviable task at hand nonetheless presents an opportunity for his players to give themselves a massive boost going into the second half of the season.

“It’s going to be a very, very difficult game for us to play away from home, but we’re not going in with a defeatist attitude,” said McDonald whose side, sixth in the table, harbour ambitions of qualifying for Europe next year.

“We’re going to try to upset; try to create and try to win the game. The pressure is all on Cork. When you’ve won 16 out of your 17 games, you’re expected to win. We’ll try to surprise Cork on how we go about it, how we try to stop them, but how we get at them as well.

“It’s important that we try to perform well against the top team in the league, and if we can get some points that would be fantastic.


“We would only be the second team to do that and that will make us feel good about ourselves and give us huge confidence for the rest of the season,” added McDonald, who is likely to be without injured goalkeeper Freddy Hall and right-back Shaun Kelly.

Cork, already spoken of as champions-elect courtesy of their 18-point advantage at the top following their 3-0 win at champions Dundalk before the break, wait for injury checks on defender Ryan Delaney and midfielder Steven Beattie.

"We have to make sure that we can give a performance like the one we put in against Dundalk," said Cork manager John Caulfield of the side which has scored 27 goals in winning all eight of their home league games so far.

“If we can play at that level and intensity, then I’ll be very happy. If we don’t, or we switch off, then it will be a tricky match for us. It’s crucial that we keep the momentum going and that we are prepared.”

Drogheda United host second-placed Dundalk in the Louth derby at United Park with manager Pete Mahon hoping his side can end their five-game goal drought.

“It’s been the story of our season,” said Mahon. “We haven’t scored enough goals even though we’ve had no problems creating chances.

“I think it’s important if we could get the first goal as it’ll give us that belief to kick on that we’ve been lacking the last few weeks.”

Though injury rules out Lloyd Buckley, Kevin Farragher and Gavin Brennan, midfielder Richie Purdy and Killian Brennan return for Drogheda.

Injured midfielder Steven Kinsella is Dundalk’s only absentee.

Tonight’s fixtures (7.45 unless stated)

Premier Division

Bray Wanderers v Derry City

Home: 6/4; Draw: 23/10; Away: 9/5

Cork City v Limerick (Live on eir Sport 2, 8.0)

Home: 3/10; Draw: 15/4; Away: 8/1

Drogheda United v Dundalk

Home: 9/1; Draw: 15/4; Away: 1/3

Finn Harps v Shamrock Rovers (8.0)

Home: 15/4; Draw: 12/5; Away: 4/5

St Patrick’s Athletic v Bohemians

Home: 5/6; Draw: 12/5; Away: 7/2

First Division

UCD v Shelbourne

Home: 10/11; Draw: 5/2; Away: 14/5

Waterford v Cabinteely

Home: 4/9; Draw: 16/5; Away: 13/2

Wexford v Athlone Town (8.0)

Home: 21/20; Draw: 23/10; Away: 13/5