By Adrian Finnan, Sporting Limerick
Cork City defeated Limerick FC 3-0 at the Markets Field for the second time in three weeks to advance to the third round of the EA Sports Cup. Goals from Garry Buckley and Shane Griffin either side of a Shane Tracy own goal provided the Rebels with a well-deserved victory.
Cork began brightly and the lively Garry Buckley beat Shane Tracy to get to the by-line, but Conor Ellis failed to covert his clever pull-back. Immediately, Ellis turned provided for Steven Beattie but his weak effort was easily saved by Brendan Clarke in the Limerick goal.
The visitors took a deserved lead when Steven Beattie’s right wing cross was powerfully headed into the roof of the net by Garry Buckley. Limerick were particularly sloppy in possession and Cork midfield duo Greg Bolger and Garry Buckley were comfortable throughout the opening stages. The home side also looked vulnerable from set pieces.
Limerick struggled to create any chance of note and could only manage wayward shots from Stephen Kenny, Garbhan Coughlan and Bastien Hery which failed to trouble experienced goalkeeper Mark McNulty.
Approaching the hour mark, Stephen Dooley received possession in acres of space and supplied the ball to Conor Ellis who somehow placed his effort wide with the whole goal to aim at. Limericks first clear effort on goal came from Stephen Kenny, but his drilled shot was well held by veteran Mark McNulty.
Cork doubled their lead from a corner as Stephen Dooley’s in swinging cross was headed into his own net by Shane Tracy. Limerick had no time to recover as Cork added to their lead after a great run and finish from left-back Shane Griffin, who easily beat Tobiaz Kainz.
Cork were running riot at this point but it was Limerick who fashioned the next chance. Substitute Sean McSweeney blazed over from 18 yards from a Dean Clarke pass.
Great link up play between Sean Maguire and Stephen Dooley resulted in the latter forcing a great save from Brendan Clarke. With ten minutes remaining, rampant Cork should have scored a fourth as Ryan Delaney misjudged a header from a Dooley corner.
The visitors had no difficulty in the remaining minutes and comfortably dealt with the feeble attacks offered up by Willie Boland’s men.
With 17 changes made overall by both teams, it was no surprise that it was a relatively poor game. John Caulfield will be happy with his own team’s dominance. However, Limerick were poor in attack and defence which will disappoint Boland, considering a lot of players had a chance to stake a claim for a place in the first team on a regular basis
Limerick: Brendan Clarke, Tobiaz Kainz, Barry Cotter (Tony Whitehead 81), Dave O’Connor, Shane Tracy, Bastien Hery, Stephen Kenny (Sean McSweeney 67), Tom Wash, Dean Clarke, Ian Turner, Garbhan Coughlan (John O’Flynn HT)
Subs not used: Freddy Hall, Tommy Robson, Lee-J Lynch, Chris Mulhall
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Cork City: Mark McNulty, Conor Mccarthy, John Dunleavy, Ryan Delaney, Shane Griffin, Greg Bolger, Garry Buckley (John Kavanagh 72), Stephen Beattie, Stephen Dooley, Achille Campion (Alec Byrne 55), Conor Ellis (Sean Maguire 55)
Subs not used: Alan Smith, Aaron Drinan , Conor McCormack, Christian Nanetti, .
Yellow Cards: None
Red Cards: None
Referee: Jim McKell
Sporting Limerick Man of the Match: Stephen Dooley (Cork)