Friday 2nd May 2008
Anthony Flood hit a second half a hat-trick as Shelbourne closed the gap on First Division table toppers Dundalk with a win at Jackman Park.
Flood notched his first from close range in the 54th minute and took his tally to the season to ten with a brace in the final fifteen minutes.
Shels had a glorious chance to open the scoring in the 3rd minute after Peter White was harshly penalised for handling Anthony Floods cross inside the box.
But Lims keeper Dave Ryan dived low to his left to keep out Dave Freeman’s spot kick.
Flood then had his low shot saved at the near post by Ryan, who dived bravely at the feet of the same player.
Limerick should have opened the scoring in the 10th minute, Willie Bruton finding James Hayes inside the area but the latter pulled his shot wide of Dean Delaney’s far post.
Shels high line of defence proved to be susceptible to the through ball again in the 34th minute however – but Brendan Daly’s pull back was cut out by Robbie Hedderan with two Limerick players poised on the six yard line.
Bruton was pulled back for a marginal offside just after the restart with the Shels defence once again pushing up toward half-way.
Shels scored in the 54th minute when Flood blasted home from close range after Ryan was only able to parry James Chambers stinging 25 yard volley.
But Limerick nearly restored parity in the 63rd minute. Delaney dived brilliantly to his right to keep out Wayne Colbert’s low drive and Bruton fired the rebound into the side netting from an acute angle.
Colbert was then involved at the other end, pulling off crucial block on a Mark O’Brien shot after the Shels midfielder was set up by Flood.
Flood notched his second of the game in the 74th minute when he headed home a Robbie Hedderman cross from the left beating Dave Ryan to the ball on the edge of the 6 yard box.
And the same player completed his hat trick in the 89th minute, blocking down Dave Ryan’s attempted clearance to round the Lims keeper before firing into an empty net.
Limerick 37: Ryan, White, Cleary, Danaher, Barrett, Daly, Fogarty (Ryan 79), Hayes (Cosgrave 69) McCarthy, Bruton, Manjor (Colbert h/t)
Shelbourne: Delaney, Chambers, Hedderman, Keely, Brennan, O’Brien, McGill, O’Halloran (Murphy 71) Flood, Freeman, Keddy
Ref: R Rogers (Dublin)