Experience prevailed Friday night on Shannonside as Leinster Senior outfit Tolka Rovers were beaten by an efficient Limerick performance. Goals from Dave McGrath, Robbie Kelleher and Sean Kelly were enough to ensure that Shane Hughes’ late goal was nothing more than a consolation.
In the early stages, Limerick dominated as expected with Tolka only chasing shadows. Some good inter-play between Thomas Lyons and Jason Hughes crafted the first real chance, with Hughes shooting narrowly wide.
As Limerick became more relaxed, the Glasnevin outfit found the motivation to pressurise although no to avail, the Blues were determined after two straight defeats. Jason Hughes in particular, impressing in the first half with his work rate.
Despite this comfort, Limerick couldn’t find the breakthrough in the first forty-five minutes, and Rovers found themselves level going into the break.
The second half kicked into life as once again, the energy of Lyons and Hughes inspired the Limerick attack. Sean Kelly went close from a free kick, which Cranley managed to tip over the woodwork.
Inevitably, Limerick got their breakthrough on the hour mark as a perfectly weighted Thomas Lyons corner found young striker Dave McGrath rising highest to flick the ball to the far post and into the net, much to the relief for the home side.
The introduction of John Tierney, gave Limerick what they’ve sought in previous weeks, direction. The sheer pace of the striker proved next to impossible for Tolka to deal with. His runs constantly gave goal-scoring opportunities for the Blues.
Another super-sub, Robbie Kelleher got the second, which sealed Rovers’ fate. Some great work from Jason Hughes down the right saw him cross low to Dave McGrath, who miss-kicked but luckily the ball fell to Kelleher who made no mistake.
Limerick weren’t finished there. The tireless Thomas Lyons’ passing, opened up the opposition time and time again. A looped ball over the top caught out McDermott, as Sean Kelly made the run from right back, dinking the ball over the helpless net-minder. The third goal well deserved.
A spirited late show from Tolka granted them their goal, a cross put in by Stephen Murtagh, beat all the Limerick defence to find Shane Hughes at the back post who had the simplest of finishes, a goal which he deserved.
Limerick progress to the next round as a spirited Tolka Rovers wave goodbye to their cup dream for another year.
Limerick FC: Dave Ryan, Sean Kelly, Pat Purcell, Gavin Roche, Ian Storan (John Boyle 72), Jason Hughes, Thomas Lyons, Peter White, Peter Balogh (John Tierney 68), Daryl Kavanagh (Robbie Kelleher 82), Dave McGrath.
Subs not Used: John McGuinness, Stephen Hickey, Alex Scully, Nigel Stanley.
Booked: Daryl Kavanagh, Sean Kelly.
Tolka Rovers: Morgan Cranley, Aidan O’Sullivan (Stephen Comerford 86), Stephen Costello, Alan McDermott, Noel Murray, Mark Sheridan (Eamonn Moylan 68), Stephen Murtagh, David Somers, Derek Swan (Alan Barrett 78), Shane Hughes, Gavin Quinn.
Subs not Used: Sean Gorman, Brian Fitzpatrick, Keith Maher, Ronan Garvan.
Booked: Alan Barrett, Mark Sheridan.
Referee: Keith Callanan.
Extratime.ie Man of the Match: Sean Kelly.
Match Report © Extratime.ie