Sunday 28th September 2008
Limerick FC’s U20s won a tough three points against Kilkenny City with a 2-1 victory in Athea on Sunday afternoon. Many thanks to Athea for their superb hospitality. The quality of the pitch and the facilities in the west Limerick ground would be the envy any club in the Mid West.
Limerick, who were last year’s U21 Southern Section champions, without a single player from last year’s squad started slowly and Kilkenny could have gone ahead inside the opening 5 minutes. What looked like a clear penalty was given as a direct free kick just outside the box by referee Frank O’Neill, but the resulting shot worried the corner flag more than it did the Limerick goalkeeper, Jack O’Donoghue. Limerick could and indeed should have opened their account soon afterwards, Shane Byrne taking Craig McMarlow’s cross off the head of the inrushing Cillian O’Connor for what seemed like a certain goal. Centre back TJ Leahy blasted the home side ahead soon afterwards from an identical cross as Limerick led at the break.
The visitors began the second half with the wind at their backs and little to lose. The Cats pushed men forward in search of the equaliser and were always going to be caught at the back. New signing and local Athea man, Cillian O’Connor combined well with Scott Hurley and seemed to be well marshalled by the Kilkenny defence before he unleashed a stunning drive into the roof of the net from the corner of the area. Limerick seemed to settle with Bobby Tier and Dessie Fitzgerald breaking up play in midfield and Michael Sheehan outstanding at the back. With nothing to lose, Kilkenny poured forward and were rewarded after a raid down the left led to a mix-up in the Lim’s defence and suddenly there was only a goal in it. Limerick introduced George Daffy and Daniel Henneghan to hold the ball up in the forward line and McMarlow and Ian Storan combined well on more than one occasion, but Kilkenny were unlucky not to equalise as Jack O’Donoghue pulled off an excellent reflex save from an onrushing City forward and from the resulting corner, the ball was headed just past the angle of crossbar and post. Limerick held on for the win to the delight of the large local support.
Special thanks to The Gables Bar & Restaurant in Athea who sponsored the post match refreshments for both Teams. Next up for Limerick is a tricky tie away to league newcomers FC Carlow this Saturday KO 2pm in Tullow, Co Carlow. Management team of Billy Barrett and Mike McCarthy will be hoping to build on this display with another victory.
Limerick: O’Donoghue, Storan, Mulvihill, Leahy, Sheehan, McMarlow, Tier, Fitzgerald, Hurley, Byrne, O’Connor.