Duggan: “To Get It With The Last Kick Is Massive For Us”

Captain Shane Duggan was the hero as his last-gasp leveller claimed what he called afterwards a “massive point”, with Limerick’s full focus now on back-to-back games at the Markets Field where they can secure their SSE Airtricity League Premier Division status for 2018.

Listen to Shane’s post-match thoughts, below.

The Shannonsiders appeared set to drop below Saint Patrick’s Athletic in the standings as they trailed going past the four minutes of injury-time. But a late, late twist arrived through Duggan’s sweet strike which made it 2-2 and kept their two-point cushion over the Saints intact.

The 28-year-old midfielder pounced in the box after a clever move from Neil McDonald’s side, who now prepare for the welcome of already-relegated Drogheda United to Limerick next Saturday (6.30pm) which could see them move clear of the dropzone.

“It was a massive point for us,” Duggy said, as he reflected on the draw at Richmond Park on Saturday night, where Limerick had briefly led through Chiedozie Ogbene’s wonder strike, only to fall behind following goals by Paul O’Conor and Conan Byrne.

“We knew coming here it was going to be a very hard task because they have been flying it lately at home. It’s a tough place to come, so I think we’ll take the point at the end. To get it with the last kick of the game, literally, is massive for us.

“Barry Cotter’s ball into Rodrigo (Tosi) was fantastic because in the last couple of seconds he might have thought ‘just have a smash at it’, but he kept his composure and put a great ball into Rodrigo. It was a great set by him; I think I got in Bastien (Héry’s) way to be honest.

“I took a touch past, swivelled on it and managed to hit the target. I think if I didn’t, Bastien would have had a few words with me, but I was just delighted it went in.

“It puts us in a good position because we have got two massive home games coming up. If we can pick up a win next week it would put us in a really strong position. That’s what we’re fully focussed on. There is nothing else we can do – we have to go out there and get that win next week.”

Limerick FC supporters celebrate the opening goal of the game scored by Chiedozie Ogbene. SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, St Patrick’s Athletic V Limerick FC. 07/10/2017. Richmond Park, Inchicore, Dublin. Credit: Conor Wyse.

Reflecting on the overall performance in the capital, Shane added: “I think in the first half we played some good stuff. We probably didn’t create too many clear-cut chances, but we played nice football. In the second half we dropped off a bit and they came out and put us under a bit of pressure. But we kept going to the end and a point is a great result for us.

“We have been hitting a bit of form and it’s at the right time. I think we could have got something out of the Cork game last week as well. We have been having a good little run and we need to keep it going.”

The visit of Drogheda is followed by another home game against Galway United. But Duggan knows they must first concentrate on Drogheda, who he insists are a dangerous proposition despite losing their top-flight status.

“I think everyone is saying to us we have to get the win next week and they’re expecting us to get the three points, but Drogheda are not going to be any pushover,” Duggy – who previously worked under the Boynesiders’ boss Pete Mahon at UCD – said.

“They have nothing really to fear now – they can go out and enjoy their football. We know they’re going to be a threat. We just have to be at our game, play at a high tempo at home and I think we can get the three points.”

Duggan concluded by praising the travelling support which followed Limerick to Dublin, and he hopes to see more of the same at the Markets Field next weekend.

“The supporters have been travelling the last few weeks and they have been fantastic. Every time they come out they’re singing,” he said. “They’re a great bunch of supporters. Hopefully we will have the same next week at home and we can get over the line.”

Date: Saturday 7 October 2017