Cork City 3 – 3 Limerick FC

Airtricity League First Division 

Limerick Scorers: Padraic Quinn (12), Brian McCarthy (39), Denis Behan (68).

Saturday 3rd September 2011

It ended honours even at Turner’s Cross on Saturday evening as Cork City and Limerick playing out an entertaining 3-3 draw in front of nearly 2,000 people.

The home side had early chances to go ahead through Derek O’Brien, who drew a decent save from Barry Ryan, and a Graham Cummins’ effort that came back off the post. It was, however, Limerick who had a header from Brian McCarthy cleared off the line by Danny Murphy before Padraig Quinn put his side ahead with 11 minutes on the clock.

City took all of two minutes to respond. Denis Behan was harshly judged to have fouled Cummins inside the box and it was Davin O’Neill that stepped up to take the spot kick, sending Ryan the wrong way to level matters at one all. Tommy Dunne’s men took all of two further minutes to go in front. This time it was Cummins who impressed by cracking home a superb effort from well outside the area, much to the delight of the home crowd.

Ex-City player Behan was involved in most of Limerick’s play up front. The striker first fired a free-kick straight into the City wall before directing a header well wide of Mark McNulty’s goal after being fed by a long ball forward. He was also at the heart of a well worked drive forward on 25 minutes but his final shot – after trapping the ball and making room to turn – did little to trouble City’s goalkeeper.

Daryl Horgan and Cummins combined to give the latter another shot at goal within minutes. Unfortunately, the Douglas man, who has been a key performer for the Leesiders this season, could not keep his effort down and on target on this occasion.

The visitors got themselves back on level terms just before the break, Brian McCarthy’s looping header catching Dunne’s men out at the back following another long throw in from Rory Gaffney.

City had two more chances early on in the second half. Daryl Horgan forced Ryan into another good save shortly after the restart and a minute later Cummins was unlucky to see his latest effort rebound off the post after more good work from Horgan.

The headlines seemed to settle on an old boy returning to Cork and haunting his previous club when Behan bravely headed the ball beyond McNulty on 69 minutes, the man in blue hurting himself in the process. However, in a game that continued to go from end to end, O’Neill broke forward just three minutes later and fired across the goal and beyond Ryan’s reach to level matters at 3-3.

Horgan might even have claimed the victory for the hosts as the clock moved into injury time. He was teed up superbly by O’Neill only to snatch at his effort and blast it high over Ryan’s crossbar and into a busy Shed End, much to the supporters’ dismay. In the end, it was a result that did neither team any good but it did provide a great evening’s entertainment from two of the First Division’s better teams.

Cork City: Mark McNulty, Danny Murphy, Gavin Kavanagh, Neal Horgan, Kalen Spillane, Gearóid Morrissey, Daryl Horgan, Derek O’Brien (Ian Turner 72), Greg O’Halloran, Davin O’Neill, Graham Cummins.
Subs not used: Daniel Morrissey, James McCarthy, Cathal Lordan, Vincent Escudé-Candau, Jamie Murphy, Vinny Sullivan.

Limerick FC: Barry Ryan, Shaun Kelly, Corrie Treacy, Pat Purcell, Brian McCarthy (Peter White 65), Joseph Gamble (Peter Hynes 80), David O’Leary (Jeffrey Judge 74), Rory Gaffney, Padraic Quinn, Denis Behan, Shane Tracy.
Subs not used: Garbhan Coughlan, Andrew Bhandarkar, Barry Sheedy, Shane Cusack.

Referee: J McKell.

Attendance: 1936.