Limerick were denied their first win of the Under-17 National League as Cobh Ramblers battled back to earn a 2-2 draw in their clash at Hogan Park on Sunday afternoon, where Shane Fletcher and Ger Barry were on the mark.
The young Shannonsiders went into the game having lost their first two outings, but they made a bright start here and were dominant throughout the opening period with some fine performances all-round.
Jack Lynch and Stephen Nolan put in strong displays at the heart of the defence which saw Cobh’s chances limited. Limerick hit the front when Barry (pictured above) latched onto a ball on the right and rifled a cross into the area where Fletcher supplied a first-touch finish.
Limerick did not relent and were moving the ball impressively. They should have had a second goal when Seán Madigan found Barry Cotter at the front post but the striker was just off target.
The second half was a more balanced affair, but Limerick still had their chances, and they doubled their advantage when Barry found the bottom corner from outside the box.
Cobh, though, battled and were rewarded when their left-back ghosted in from a corner and finished well. The visitors were dangerous from set-pieces and they were threatening an equaliser.
Cotter almost restored Limerick’s two-goal cushion but his drive was superbly saved by ‘keeper Dean Ring while the rebound was stopped on the line after a fine reaction by Jesse Stafford-Lacey, who was looking to score for the third game running.
Cobh got back on level terms when their striker managed to get onto the ball and was left in a one-on-one with ‘keeper Corey McManus, who could do nothing to prevent the goal.
But it was McManus who ultimately earned the Blues a point when he produced a top-drawer save late on, getting down to his right to stop a free, with heroic defending eventually seeing the ball cleared to safety.
Limerick now prepare for a trip to Wexford Youths on Sunday. Kick-off at Ferrycarrig Park is 2pm.
Limerick: Cory McManus, Ger Barry, Stephen Nolan, Jack Lynch, Seán Madigan, Shane Fletcher (Karl O’Sullivan 55), Kevin Fitzgerald ©, Aaron Fitzgerald, Patrick McDonagh (Lee Wall 75), Jesse Stafford-Lacey (Brandon Murphy 88), Barry Cotter. Goals: S Fletcher, G Barry. Booked: P McDonagh (58), K Fitzgerald (90+2). Sub: Carl Williams (GK).
Cobh Ramblers: Dean Ring, Stephen Sharpe, Ciarán Couch, Matthew Murray, Daniel Lucey, Dylan Wentz, Cameron Hendry ©, Killian Murphy, Ryan O’Regan, Colin Lemass, Killian Cooper. Goals: C Couch, N Broderick. Booked: S Sharpe (36), R O’Regan (85), K Cooper (90+3). Subs Bench: Robert Slevin, Nathan Broderick, Liam Milner, Matthew Lamb, Daniel Moloney, James Kent.
Referee: Martin Kirby.
Report Date: Sunday 23 August 2015
Photo thanks to Conor Wyse Photography.