Limerick Scorers: Jeffrey Judge (4, 53, 64) Thomas Lyons (35 pen), Garbhan Coughlan (71)
Tuesday 28th June 2011
A fantastic Limerick performance saw the Blues progress to the last four of the EA Sports Cup after defeating Monaghan by five goals to nil; a scoreline that didn’t even flatter the home side as Jeffrey Judge grabbed a hat-trick. Goals from Garbhan Coughlan and Thomas Lyons completed the scoring as the home side ran riot against a weakened Monaghan side.
In the early stages Limerick began to control the centre of the park, with midfield dynamo Thomas Lyons running the show. In terms of chances, the first fell to Brian McCarthy. From a floated Lyons corner, McCarthy was free in the centre but somehow managed to head over the bar. It wasn’t to take long however for Limerick to open the scoring. The sixteen year old sensation Stephen McGann did well on the left wing before swinging in an inch perfect cross to the back post. Judge was on hand to tap home his first of the night as Limerick gained the advantage inside six minutes. They wouldn’t look back from here.
Chris Breen had a decent effort cleared off the line following Rossiter’s spill from what looked a routine take, but his game was to end pre-maturely as he was taken off with a dislocated shoulder. Pat Scully could have easily opted to go one up front and try to grind out the result, but he stuck by his guns and replaced Breen with fellow striker Sean Brosnan to maintain that attacking threat.
In an evening that was extremely hot and cold for the young man, Monaghan goalkeeper Jake Rossiter really seemed to struggle under the high ball. This was highlighted just past the half hour mark as the stopper dropped a simple catch from a cross; Pat Purcell got his body in between goalkeeper and ball; the Limerick skipper was hauled down and the penalty awarded. Thomas Lyons deservedly got his goal after converting from the spot. Monaghan’s only effort to note of the entire first half was a long range free kick from Eric Foley; which was smashed from all of thirty yards. His stringing effort skinned the crossbar but nothing more. The half time whistle was much to the relief of manager Roddy Collins
The second half was to be but a mirror image of the first; Limerick dominant, and scoring within the first ten minutes. Some excellent refereeing from Graham Kelly allowed play to continue even after Paudie Quinn was taken out on the counter attack. Quinn had managed to play in Jeffrey Judge in a wide position before being up-ended by the Mons defence. Judge rightly continued and smashed a fantastically driven shot into the back of the Monaghan net; clinical.
In a game that contained five goals, it may seem sceptical to say that there should have been a lot more, but this was the case in Tuesday’s encounter on Shannonside. Michael Isichei was the bright spark for Mons throughout and in one particular incident, ran around three Limerick defenders before crossing excellently for David Byrne in the middle. Byrne somehow managed to miss the target from all of three yards.
They would be made pay for that miss, as a few moments later Jeffrey Judge would grab his hat-trick. Jeffrey plays in midfield and often scores the odd goal, but the Limerick native will be chuffed to bag three goals. The third came from a fantastic Andrew Bhandarkar cross while on the overlap. The young full back’s cross was nodded to the back post, to the awaiting Jeffrey Judge to shoot home for his third.
Various other long range efforts tested Rossiter in the Mons goal, most notably from Paudie Quinn, but the Monaghan rearguard stayed strong until they finally conceded the fifth. Garbhan Coughlan was the benefactor from some more questionable goalkeeping from the Mons number one as a tame Barry Sheedy effort wasn’t held, allowing Coughlan to tap home from an acute angle.
In all truth, it really should have been six, and subsequently seven as Garbhan turned would-be provider to set up Barry Sheedy and Paudie Quinn with identical chances. Both players missed an opportunity of a tap in at the far post following some magic down the right wing from Coughlan. His impact was huge when he came off the bench. The referee blew for full time shortly afterwards and Limerick go into the semi-final draw alongside rivals Cork City, Sligo Rovers and Derry City.
Limerick FC: David Ryan, Corrie Treacy, Andrew Bhandarkar, Brian McCarthy, Pat Purcell, Thomas Lyons (Garvan Broughall 67), Jeffrey Judge, Padraic Quinn, Chris Breen (Sean Brosnan 17 (Garbhan Coughlan 60)), Barry Sheedy, Steven McGann.
Subs not used: Peter White, Barry Ryan, Peter Hynes, Sean O’Callaghan.
Monaghan United: Jake Rossiter, James Fallon, Alan Byrne (Alan Collins 46), Roderick Collins, Philip Byrne, Jason Marks, Eric Foley, Shane Fitzgerald, Don Tierney, Michael Isichei, Andrew Haran.
Subs not used: Kevin Loughran, John Reilly, Garbhan McKenna.
Referee: Graham Kelly.
Official Attendance: 358.